Thanks for seven years of leadership: Professor Carla Hayn

One benefit of earning my own MBA is working for extremely high-caliber people my whole career. At Siemens, it was Alan DeMuro in Santa Clara, then Jürgen Zenner and Lothar Harings in Germany, and then Gary Garman back in the US. Here at UCLA Anderson, Professor Victor Tabbush was in charge my first five years.


Professor Carla Hayn, FEMBA’s Senior Associate Dean from 2007-2014

The last seven years I’ve supported Professor Carla Hayn, who became the Senior Associate Dean of FEMBA in 2007 and stepped down on June 30, 2014. Carla leads by example and I wanted to share some of my top lessons-learned from her, as a way to say thanks for her leadership.

1. Build your team / Get the resources you need

Victor ran FEMBA and EMBA by himself for five years. When Carla succeeded him she brought in help. Gonzalo Freixes was her second-in-command from the outset and the work Victor had done on his own was now being shared between two people, Carla AND Gonzalo.

Carla’s example taught me a lesson: ask for help. I remind myself, ‘just because I could do something, doesn’t mean I should do something.’ I’ve become more humble, more willing to receive support, in the seven years with Carla.

2. What’s best for our students? / Let’s try it!

Four months after Carla took the helm in 2007, FEMBA was heralded the #1 part-time MBA in the nation by BusinessWeek. A cautious person might have maintained course and not taken any risks, but my experience of Carla was the opposite.

“This is great. #1. Now what can we do better?” That’s how I saw her respond.

I watched her boldly champion three big upgrades to a program that had just been labeled “Best in the US.”

First, she pushed full-force for the creation of the Office of Professional MBA Programs Career Services Center. She brought in Susan Dearing’s leadership and soon we had a crew of career services professionals. Now–thousands of coaching-hours later–thousands of students have benefited. FEMBA was a pioneer in part-time MBA programs offering full career services.

Second, she put all her support to establishing the International Electives for EMBA and FEMBA students. EMBA students were asking for more electives; FEMBA students wanted more international options; Everyone wanted more elective choices. Carla and Gonzalo created International Electives and accomplished all three.

In one-week formats, EMBA & FEMBA students could earn four-units of credit in “mini-study-abroad” electives. Students could travel with UCLA Faculty and Students, or participated in the first-ever exchange options for part-time MBA students.

Seven years later, over 1,700 students have studied in over 20 countries around the world.

Thirdly, she brought FEMBA Flex to life. In March of 2012, the faculty voted to offer FEMBA core courses in a hybrid, “Flex” format (50% on-campus and 50% face-to-face). We’d experimented with hybrid electives for several years and had a good track record of learning outcomes and student satisfaction, but it was a big leap to offer core courses in a hybrid format.

“Let’s go,” said Carla. And we did. In April 2012, we put it on our website that we’d offer Flex core courses in September and we were off and running.

That first year of Flex brought several very high-caliber students into FEMBA who would not have been at UCLA, in either FEMBA or EMBA, without a hybrid offering. Flex continued to grow and now enters its third year with the most participation yet, with students from multiple different states commuting to UCLA. We even have someone planning to commute from China to Flex!

3. Fight for your people / Be straight with your people

Finally and personally, I benefited from relating to Carla as a mentor. I’ve gone to her with victories and defeats and always I got a straight answer from her.

Several years ago, when I had ‘stubbed my toe’ on some initiative that didn’t go well, I was in her office, basically whining, and she gave me some wonderful perspective that has served me well ever since.

“Dylan,” she said, “if you have a whole career and don’t have some big failures along the way, well, that’s not much of a career now is it? There are probably lots of people who think I should do things differently, but that’s not the point. You have to do what you think is best.”

It was straight and honest. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear necessarily, but it was true. I left her office empowered, thinking to myself, “Dylan, you have a cool job at a great institution, but things won’t always work out as planned. You just gotta put on your big boy pants and power forward.”

I always knew exactly where I stood with Carla and I am more direct in my communication after watching her.

Lastly, she is a fighter. She was always championing for great faculty for students, for more student resources and even for us staff. It was Carla’s drive that gave me the chance to teach Business Communications with Professor Bob McCann.

It was Carla who “punked me” when she promoted me to Assistant Dean in 2012. She didn’t tell anyone and sprang the news on me at our first-ever FEMBApalooza. It was quite a life-moment, getting promoted in front of over 500 people, and then getting to wear a balloon crown!

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Carla, on the left, addressing the 2012 FEMBApalooza crowd and announcing my promotion to Assistant Dean. Me, wearing a funny hat.

So there’s more, but those are some of my most-appreciated lessons-learned from sharing seven years of life working for Professor Carla Hayn.

Carla, I got to say words of appreciation at your faculty tribute on July 11th, but I wanted to expand on those same thoughts here on my blog. You are a great leader. Thank you for your commitment, your energy and your vision.


Bragging on a friend: Alex Lawrence ’99

20140808 Alex Lawrence

Alex Lawrence ’99. Named to Diversity Magazine’s Top 100 under 50, Diverse Emerging Leaders for 2014

Bragging on a friend, when good things happen to them, is a joy.

Alex Lawrence ’99 is both a friend and colleague. As a friend, our children are similar in age and have enjoyed pool-party-play-dates together, and Alex and I do “Dad talk” sometimes. As a colleague, we’ve worked together since 2004, much more so recently with his promotion to Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Admissions. He’s someone I turn to when I need to think through a complex challenge at work.

It’s a pleasure re-print this accolade that has been given to Alex, him being named to Diversity Magazine’s list of Top 100 under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders list for 2014.

From Kimberley Freeman–Assistant Dean, Diversity Initiatives and Community Relations, UCLA Anderson

I am delighted to announce that Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid – and Anderson alum – has been named to Diversity MBA Magazine’s list of Top 100 under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders list for 2014.  Along with the other honorees, he will be featured in an article in the September 2014 Top 100 under 50 issue of Diversity MBA Magazine.  The magazine is scheduled to be distributed to more than 1,850,000 readers in print and online.

Selection was based upon Alex’s position here at Anderson, his scope of responsibility, civic achievement and, of course, his Anderson MBA! 

Alex will be featured along with 99 other talented professionals who have made a tremendous impact on leadership in their organizations and communities and will be honored in September in Illinois.   This is the 8th year that the list has been compiled and during that time more than 700 leaders have been honored for their commitment to excellence, education and community.

Alex began his current appointment in August 2012 after serving more than 8 years as Executive Director of The Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson. As Assistant Dean, Alex has the primary responsibility for sourcing, attracting, recruiting and enrolling qualified candidates to the full-time MBA Program at UCLA Anderson.

While he was Executive Director of The Riordan Programs, Alex developed creative programs and initiatives which targeted students who were the first in their family to apply to college, current undergraduates, or professionals seeking an MBA degree. As a result, 100% of participating high school students continued on to college and nearly 70% of the participating college graduates obtained their MBA at the nation’s elite business schools.

Alex currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson and the Board of Trustee for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

A graduate of Drexel University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from UCLA Anderson in 1999.

The Flood of 2014

What a unique week! Who would have ever guessed a 93-year-old water main would break and pump 35,000 gallons/minute down the hill to UCLA? Fortunately, no one was hurt; unfortunately, the damage is real. Some of our team members still don’t have their cars released. Here’s what it looked like up close.


Westwood Plaza, with the cross-walk underwater. All the water was rolling down Sunset, from the right of the photo.


Here’s thousands of gallons/minute flowing into our own Lot 4.


Raymond Morada, our FEMBA Marketing and Communications Manager, was watching the morning news when he saw his own car on the footage of the cars being towed out of Lot 4. “Oh my goodness–That’s my car!”


Our Associate Director, Maureen Riley, was interviewed coming to campus to teach Tuesday evening. Click below to watch.


Associate Director, Matt Gorlick ’13, smiling at the off-site, car-recovery lot. “I got my car back, and I can’t believe I left the house with such a wrinkled shirt!”


Looking down at Drake Stadium. This is all the water that found its way to Pauley Pavilion.

Homeboy Industries and Team FEMBA

FEMBA represented itself very well in the Net Impact Consulting Challenge (NICC) this year, winning both first and second place in the competition.

20140801_Homeboy_LogoHere’s an inside-look at the NICC from the FEMBA team paired with Homeboy Industries. Case competitions are an excellent way to hone business skills, deepen your network, and, especially in the social-profit-focused NICC, make a difference. This year, 85 students from Anderson and the Fielding School of Public Health contributed more than 1,000 hours of consulting support to 19 organizations.

For this blog post, I had a great conversation with Deepak. The NICC was one of six case competitions he entered his first year of FEMBA. “I kinda went crazy on case competitions,” he told me.

“Dylan, what makes NICC different from the other competitions is that we really got in-depth with the client. It was much more like a day-on-the-job in that it gave me much more insight into a new industry. That key difference really caught our attention as we were building our team.”

“In every case competition, I tried to pair up with new people, even from different sections. The networking is great at Anderson, but there’s so much more to learn in a case competition setting; you really see people’s strengths and weaknesses and I think the relationships formed are even stronger.”

Here’s Deepak Patil’s telling of the NICC experience this year:


FEMBA Team “Homeboy Industries,” the 2014 Net Impact Consulting Challenge 2nd Place Winner: l-r Anjali Purkayastha ’16, Nihar Bhatt ’16, Michael Weare ’16, Prasad Naik ’16), Tiffany Cantrell ’16) and Deepak Patil ’16

The Competition: We did a few case competitions prior to NICC (Net Impact Consulting Challenge). All were interesting and enriching experiences but this one was very different compared to the others. NICC pairs you up with a local non-profit organization and you get about 15 days to do a consulting assignment with the non-profit, starting with a project scope and coming up with valuable strategic recommendations to strengthen the non-profit services. At end we present in front of judges the issues and the recommendation.

Team formation: Prasad Naik took a lead on this one and approached a few of us and convinced us to join the team, to make real impact. The final team was Prasad Naik ’16, Nihar Bhatt ’16, Anjali Purkayastha ’16, Micheal Weare ’16, Tiffany Cantrell ’16 and Deepak Patil ’16 (me).

Homeboy Industries: We got paired up with Homeboy Industries, which provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women. We really appreciated the cause that they work for.

Kick Off : Our contact at Homeboy Industries was a little hesitant to work with newbies (first year FEMBAs), but the kick-off meeting with us instilled the confidence in them that we could help them with our talents and varied experiences.

We had our kick off and were able to come up with project scope on day 1. Homeboy had a lot of goals and we worked with them to prioritize and narrow them to the most important. The tasks were mainly related to Homeboy Bakery division of the industry.


Got a breakout room. Time to get going.  l-r  Anjali, Tiffany, Michael, Prasad, Nihar and Deepak

Days at Work: The first task that most of us on our team did was to visit Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, to get a better understanding of their mission. We met quite a few very enterprising Homeboys, understood the way they work and got a know-how of the workings of the bakery market.

Then it was time for market research – multiple surveys, collection of data, analyzing data, numerous calls with Homeboy Industries, customers and other potential customers. Just for people who love inside quotes – I still remember Prasad, Nihar and me (Deepak) working at around 1:00 AM at Nihar’s office trying to makes sense out of the data collected and bring it all together (doing this while eating pizza and drinking Pepsi). We were hitting some roadblocks, and I said may be we will be able to solve this if we switch to Coca Cola (Nihar works for PepsiCo) and Nihar came back saying nope, maybe it will be just easy to analyze it if we could use SAP (I work for Oracle). Touché Nihar, Touché.


Looking good!

It was hard work, but a great bonding experience at the same time. The best skill that we learned from each other was how to attack an argument and not the person.

FEMBA life comes with challenges, for example, managing the time of 6 FEMBA students (work, study, and personal life) was a tough task, but we also learned that teamwork can make many things possible. It also made us appreciate the importance and value the support our fellow FEMBAs gave us. I am pretty we are making friendships which we will cherish for life.

Deliverables and Presentation: The challenge here was to consolidate all those hours spent on research into a 15 minute presentation. Gallons of coffee and a Starbucks Gold Status helped us get through this hurdle. On the presentation day we all did a great job of presenting our findings and recommendations to the Judges and Homeboy Industries.

We had a great opportunity to compete with some of the best Anderson teams. After the first round, we made it to finals. The final presentation was in front of a larger audience and all the 15 judges. It was indeed a great experience and snagging the 2nd place ($3000 as the prize money) was just another perk and a good one at that!

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l-r Prasad, Deepak and Nihar.

Aftermath: We are still in touch with Homeboy Industries, and helped them out with the deliverables. It was an honor and a great experience to work on something which makes an impact in today’s world almost immediately and for a good cause.

From the Homeboy Industries website, here’s a cool infographic about the positive human impact that results from their efforts. Congratulations again to Deepak and team; thanks for making a difference!



Never Eat Alone; and meet Blair Nichols ’17

“Dylan, you gotta read this book. It’s so inspiring.”

Maureen Riley, our Associate Director for FEMBA Admissions was the first person to tell me about Never Eat Alone, by Keith Ferrazzi. This was a couple years ago and Susan Dearing, the Executive Director of the UCLA Anderson ProMBA Career Management Center, had suggested the book to Maureen. Keith spoken here at UCLA Anderson and Susan tells me how he broke new ground in teaching networking by focusing on generosity and the power of relationships, seeking what you can provide for another and appreciating the unique ‘currency’ we each have, but often overlook.

Fast-forward to the 2014 application season, when we read the FEMBA application of Blair Nichols ’17. Blair is Chief of Staff for Ferrazzi Greenlight, Keith Ferrazzi’s company. When Blair’s application was approved by the Faculty Committee, I was glad because I knew Blair could bring some networking expertise to the student body.

20140724 Blair Nichols 17

Blair Nichols ’17, Chief of Staff, Office of the CEO, Ferrazzi Greenlight

Blair gave me permission to share this blog post he published on LinkedIn today. In Blair’s own words:

My father told me his biggest regret was that he didn’t keep up with his network throughout his career. If he had he may have had an easier time finding a job as a recently displaced C-level executive nearing retirement. Instead he took his severance and bought a small business that no small amount of effort on his part could make profitable. I took his words to heart when I began college and launched my career in publishing by securing internships at my professors’ recommendation and then attending the Columbia Publishing Course where recent college grads could spring-board both their careers and networks.

When it came time to determine what graduate program would be help me best advance my career along with my interests and passions, it didn’t take me long to figure out that an MBA would serve me much better than an MFA. While the fantasy of being a writer will never fully subside, a program that encourages limited group discussion and focus on one’s own craft sounds about as exciting to me as joining a monastery. Business school with its intentional design for networking, and alumni that remain connected for years to come, was much more enticing. People and relationships are what have informed each step of my career, so why not choose a program that supports that?

Of course, networking is not the only reason I chose an MBA. As a Literature major with minors in Communication and Gender Studies, I didn’t come to corporate life armed with the hard skills many Engineering, Econ, or Accounting students had. After several years of letting others worry about “the numbers” and allowing my soft skills to carry me into management, I realized I wanted to possess the same knowledge that business leaders have. I wanted the added confidence, credential, and opportunities that accompany an MBA as well.

When I told my parents about my plan they both assumed I’d be going part-time. At 40, with 4 kids still at home, my father completed his MBA on weekends. My mother finished an MA and continued graduate work at night throughout most of my childhood. At the time I hadn’t really considered FEMBA. But after being recruited for a job in LA that moved me from NY, I knew I wasn’t ready to take a break from my career. After taking the helm as Chief of Staff to Keith Ferrazzi, a man whose books and IP speak directly to the ideology I was raised with about generosity being the cornerstone of success, I knew I was in the right place to grow professionally while also continuing my education.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be among the highly accomplished group of individuals already admitted to the class of 2017. We chose FEMBA because our relationships are vital to us. Not just with our managers, colleagues, or others we consider to be part of our “professional network,” but to our families, our friends, and those we’ve yet to meet who will someday count on our support. The foundation we’ve already begun in the early years of our careers will be nourished by our professors, our projects, and most of all by each other. And these are the relationships we’ll need to continue to nurture for years to come so that someday, “not keeping up with each other” won’t be something we tell our children we regret.

Thanks for this blog submission Blair. And thanks for the new edition of Never Eat Alone; I have a plane trip tomorrow and I’m taking it with me.

We’re happy having you in the Class of 2017. We look forward to your generosity. I love the signature on your email:

Business is Human | Relationships Power Growth


FEMBApalooza 3

Thanks to everyone who participated last Sunday as FEMBApalooza 3 set new records for attendance and complexity. We hosted 766 attendees, including 64% of our entering class of 2017 and FEMBAs from 20 different class years, over 200 significant others, 101 children, and 16 staff and faculty. We’ve now surpassed 2,000 total guests in the three years of FEMBApalooza.


Mi familia! This was the third ‘Palooza for my wife and boys.


Thank you Franciso Alejo ’15. DJ X brought the music for the second year in a row.


The one and only Christy Marquez. For the third year in a row, Christy coordinated all the vendors and the reservations of FEMBApalooza. Great job!


Maureen Riley of FEMBA Admissions. Also a three-year veteran of managing our ‘Palooza.


Christina Robertson ’12, back on-campus. I saw Sam Fatoohi, and a great crew of fellow 2012s.


The tension mounts in one of the two World Cup viewing areas.


For the third year, the Bone Marrow drive was present. Thanks for keeping this tradition going!


Shreena Grewal ’16, and her entrepreneurial side business, Bites Desserts. All-natural ingredients + part of proceeds donated to charity. Thanks Shreena. It was delicious.


“From Handshakes to Hugs” was our theme this year. FEMBA is all about making life long connections.


The Clubs were hopping in the FEMBA Biergarten.


I hope you got your FEMBA swag!




The last photo requires an explanation. It’s actually a post-Palooza photo submitted to me by David Zhou, a new 2017. It epitomizes the whole point of FEMBApalooza.

Hi Dylan/Matt,

Happy Friday! I wanted to reach out and share some positive feedback on the well organized and meaningful time we had at FEMBAPALOOZA. Aside from the festivities, it was a really great kick start to the potential lifelong relationship with some very special people. As a matter of fact, we had our first 2017 happy hour + dinner last night with more 20+ UCLA attendance – wholly enabled by the networking last weekend. See attached on some of the photos from last night. I can speak on the behalf of the whole group that attended; we are all very excited for leadership foundations and the bright future ahead!  

As always, we welcome your coaching on active ways to positively contribute to the UCLA Anderson & FEMBA community.



My sincere thanks to everyone’s contributions, to make this year’s FEMBApalooza successful.

Christy Marquez who managed vendors
Raymond Morada for logistics
Matt Gorlick for atmospherics
Maureen Riley for continuity
Francisco Alejo ’15, our amazing DJ X
Shreena Grewal ’16, for the delicious desserts. Believe it or not, Bites Desserts isn’t her day job, but rather a part-time passion. She’s also dedicating part of her proceeds to charity.
Amber Jackson ’15, and Ryan Swank ’15, FEMBAssador Leaders for 13-14, for over 6-months of conference calls
James George ’16, and Allyson Tom ’16, FEMBAssador Leaders for 14-15, and also to James’ lovely wife who helped
All our FEMBAssador volunteers: Alan Kuei, Allyson Tom, Alyse Thompson, Andrew Kuntjoro, Brian Sterz, Chris Martinez, James Dailey, Jessica McConaughy, John Voralik, Jon Fong, Katie Marcoux, Kelly Stelbasky, Kristen Palchak, Lauren Johnson, Madhan Selvanathan, Nancy Yao, Riley Rindt, Roselle Shinsio, Steven Huang, Tatevik Torossian, Terry Shea
Aaron Schasse, Nathan May and Britt Benston of Anderson Marketing. We can’t wait to see the FEMBApalooza video capture.
The almost 20 FEMBAs who boldly went on camera in the interview corner.
Robert Downs, our photographer
Anna Cano, our Classic Party Rentals partner
Neli’s Catering, who brought not only the food but also the amazing balloon lady and face-painter
Auntie Em’s for the sound system and for sure for the World Cup satellites and viewing stations
Ronni Savage, our point person for Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Thanks for the great logistics support and the security team.

UCLA Commencement 2014, FEMBA memories

Commencement 2014! Grads and dads and moms and grandparents and babies and boyfriends and girlfriends and all of the support network of the FEMBA Class of 2014–all the dedicated loved ones gathered in the California sunshine. It’s one of the best days of the year at UCLA.


The view from Lot 4 never looks so good.


“That’s right! Next time I see the A building, I’ll be an alum,” thought by an almost-graduated 2014.


Dylan, Linda Tran ’14 and Matt Gorlick ’13


Linda and her mom, “Last time, when I graduated from Berkeley, I couldn’t get all my family up there. This time? No excuses. Everyone’s coming today.”


Couple of Texans… Dylan and Doug Longo ’14. Back from his new job at DFA in Austin.


GAP power team. Former GAP Fellow Matt Gorlick ’13. GAP Faculty member Janis Forman. GAP Executive Director Paul Brandano ’06.




Top left, taking the selfie!


I can’t look up into the sun this long! Take the photo already!


The photographer on the roof of Korn Convocation Hall said, “Close your eyes for a second. Then open them all at once and look up.” I thought it sounded like something a doctor would say before doing something painful to me.


“Now the happy one!”


Going to miss Anastasia, Melissa, Beth. You all brought so much energy to FEMBA!


More smiles.


Oh yeah we did!




With Daniel Millner ’14. Daniel works on-campus, as the Director of World Arts and Culture. Thanks for all the coffees at Il Tram these last years Daniel. I think we solved all the world’s big problems over those conversations! So nice seeing your wife and family last night.


Dylan con Manuel Ambriz ’14. ¿Manuel, qué puedo decir? Es increíble que volabas desde ciudad de México a Los Angeles durante tres años. Eres una persona increíble.

20140613 Manuel Ambriz three passports

Manuel Ambriz ’14, commuted from Mexico City to Los Angeles for three years. He wore out three passports. He wasn’t in FLEX, he was in all-day Saturday. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt there’s a UCLA Anderson graduate who logged more miles for their MBA than Manuel. Felicitaciones!




Josh Schachter ’14, Hrag Hamalian ’14 and me. Can’t wait to see what these two entrepreneurs cook up next!


Jon Dearing and Susan Dearing. Congratulations Jon. Congratulations Mom!


Ryan Hughes ’14. Founder of Bull Oak Capital and a committed father and husband. Go Ryan Go!


Never have to take another MBA final exam….


Professor Janis Forman, Professor Carla Hayn (FEMBA’s Senior Associate Dean for the last seven amazing years) and Patricia Godefroy, our new marketing Dean.


With Kari Shumaker ’15, FEMBA’s new student body president.


Dean Judy Olian, Dean Al Osborne, and Susan Wojcicki ’98, CEO of Youtube and our 2014 Commencement speaker.


Faculty line up.


Looking at the grads lining up, from the catwalk.


Faculty parade.


Brian Sterz ’14. Going to miss you!


Brian and Doug!


Follow the leaders. Susan Wojcicki ’98 and Judy Olian lead the procession.


Andrew Hull ’14, with Gonzalo Freixes and Carla Hayn. Congratulations Andrew. Your commencement address was outstanding. Heartfelt. Compelling. Great.


I see you, seeing me. Gonna miss you Michael Klausler.


Susan Wojckicki ’98 offers applause for the new grads.


Andrew Hull ’14, gives a heck of a speech.


Nothing beats the California sunshine!


Brian Sterz ’14…get off the phone. We’re trying to have a graduation here!


You know it’s a party when we break out the bagpipes!

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