“I’m a business analyst who loves the outdoors, cooking, and long conversations with new friends.”
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Fun Fact About Yourself: My first job in college involved inserting light-emitting electrodes into mouse brains to manipulate their memories!
Undergraduate School and Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Biological Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Capital One, Business Manager
UCLA Anderson is founded on the Three Pillars: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, and Drive Change. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? When I was first learning about Anderson, the “Share Success” pillar strongly resonated with me. All my biggest achievements and growth experiences in my professional and personal life have come through collaboration. Many of those experiences have resulted in life-long friendships. When I was thinking about where I wanted to go for business school, it was critical for me to find a collaborative and supportive culture, where the students helped each other to grow rather than constantly competing against each other. It’s so important to feel like you belong during the whirlwind two years of your MBA, and all the Anderson students I’ve met have been incredibly kind and welcoming.
What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? Los Angeles is a world-class city, full of cultural diversity, natural beauty, and year-round sunshine. If you drive 5 hours from LA, you could be in the desert, in the mountains, at any number of marvelous beaches, or in another country. There’s always something new to explore on the weekend! Los Angeles also has a wide set of industries where MBAs can go: there’s more than just entertainment in LA! UCLA is very close to Century City and all the companies in Santa Monica and Venice, and the Metro makes downtown LA accessible as well.
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of UCLA Anderson’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was really impressed by the Parker Career Management Center. A big part of going to business school is the internship and job you’ll get after school. I wanted to go into that job search with as much support as possible from top career advisors and structure from a rigorous career definition and search program. So far, I’ve been beyond impressed with Parker’s diligence and organization. Parker starts working with you before you even arrive on campus, helping you make sure that you stay ahead of the curve.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at UCLA Anderson? The class I’m most excited about (so far!) is marketing – it’s an area I’ve never worked in but have always wanted to learn more about. The data-driven approach to identifying and selling to your customers is very interesting to me. I’m also very excited for Anderson’s wide variety of clubs. I want to explore both the professional and the interest clubs. I’m incredibly excited for our ski trip this December – the skiing on the West Coast truly is the best!
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’ve pivoted several times in my career. The first pivot—from biological engineering student to life sciences consultant—didn’t feel too big. I had the support of my cohort of incoming consultants as we all learned together. I made a bigger pivot a few years later from life sciences consulting to business analysis in the financial services industry, where I had no prior experience. This pivot enabled me to improve my quantitative skills and have ownership over long-running projects and initiatives. While in this role, I directly supported P&L owners on key projects related to setting and monitoring business strategy – it was great exposure to the variety of work you can do in strategic planning roles. Surviving these pivots and thriving in these roles has given me so much confidence that with hard work, I can learn quickly and become a valuable contributor and leader in new industries.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? Working remotely during COVID-19 reminded me that you must enjoy the day-to-day details of your job. The big picture matters, but eight (or more) hours a day is too much time to spend doing something you don’t enjoy. You also need to be a part of a resilient team that cares about each other and can communicate openly. When you don’t see each other each day in the office, your team needs a supportive culture to fall back on! Finally, this past year and a half reminded me that life is short, and there is much more to experience outside of work.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I took zero business classes in college, so I planned on doing my MBA at some point for most of my career. I waited until I had clarity on my long-term professional goals and confidence in who I am as a team member. After nearly a decade on the East Coast, I was ready to move back to the West Coast and pursue my MBA. My professional network is mostly in NYC, so I wanted to invest in building a new professional and personal network on the West Coast for this next phase of my life. I’m hoping to find a role in generalist consulting or strategic planning in the Los Angeles area after graduation!
What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Kellogg, Berkeley Haas
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UCLA Anderson’s MBA program? Speak with students to understand Anderson’s culture. Anderson is very student-driven: if you are looking to get involved and shape your MBA experience, there’s no better place! The corollary to this is that Anderson is looking for students who will get involved—in Anderson, in their careers, and in their communities. The more you can show your genuine enthusiasm for this in your application, the better!