Secretary of the Treasury, Jacob J. Lew

This doesn’t happen everyday: Secretary of the Treasury, Jacob Lew, is speaking right here, right now, in Korn Convocation Hall. He’s en route to Cairns, Australia, for the Group of Twenty (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, but stopped off at UCLA Anderson to speak to a full house. His speech is also live-streaming on our Anderson website.

First topic: tax inversions and patriotism.


Next: US economic relations with Russia.
Next: China.
Next: Value of the Dollar.

Now, questions and answer period. The questions posed by students:
Syria and ISIS?
Scotland and UK?
Student loans?
Tax code reform, reactions from other countries?
Wealth inequality?
Communicating post-2008-financial-crisis efforts?
How to communicate contentious topics abroad, at home?
Dean Judy Olian, last question, immigration reform: As one-third of our students are international. How do we make sure they can work here, with their UCLA education?

4 great alumni, 1 great week

What a cool week this was, running into four great FEMBA alumni. It’s a small, connected world, living in FEMBA-land.

20140911   Paraag Lal and me

Monday lunch, Thai food on Pico with Paraag Lal 2004. Those of you in the 2017 class will recognize Paraag as the keynote speaker from Tuesday evening of Leadership Foundations.

Paraag Lal ’04 (CEO and Co-Founder at Carmen Road Entertainment) and Ellen (Keeler) Moore ’04 were the leaders with whom SuperSaturday Admission Interviews were launched back in 2004. This year, on November 8, FEMBA’s lifetime total of face-to-face admission interviews will surpass 5,000! That is 5,000 moments-of-truth that we have had with people applying for their MBA degree at UCLA–a big accomplishment.

Paraag also changed my life by taking me to an ashram in southern India. We spent 8 days on the ashram after first being on a FEMBA International Study trip in Mumbai and New Dehli with Finance Professor Subra and a very great group of FEMBAs, EMBAs and a few brave significant others.

20140911   Paraag and me in India 2010

Back in 2010, Paraag and me, on the top of the dormitory at the ashram, overlooking the back-waters in Kerala. The dress for the ashram was “all white” or at least that’s what Paraag told me. As you see, he was rocking his U2 360 concert shirt.

20140911   Elephant in India 2010

“Dylan, you gotta try sitting on an elephant,” Paraag told me. It was a trip. SO much larger than riding a horse. Your legs are really wide. You climb up on the “elbow” of the elephant, when it’s knealing. Then, when the elephant stands up, you go up, and up and up, with it. There were these thick black hairs on its back.

20140911   Hrag Hamalian and me

Yesterday, Wednesday morning, with Hrag Hamalian ’14, in the A-Building atrium. Hrag and fellow ’14, Josh Schachter are making some entrepreneurial magic this year. More details will be coming in the next month. Hrag and I were working on a prototype together.

You’ve read about Hrag and Josh before, in an earlier post. Hrag was inspiring before FEMBA, during FEMBA, and now even more as a brand new alum.

20140911   Catherine Algra and me

Then yesterday evening, also Wednesday, with Catherine Algra ’08 at Back-to-School-Night. Our respective children happen to be in the very same elementary school class this year! We sat in tiny, little second-grader seats and heard a wonderful teacher tell us how she’ll be caring for the children this year.

Below is a chance to hear Catherine Algra ’08 (Senior Financial Services Manager at Betson Enterprises), reflect on her Global Access Program experience during FEMBA. Forward to 0:50, 1:50 or 5:25, to hear her reflections.

20140911   Chaz Hales and me

Today, Thursday afternoon, looked who stopped by to surprise me, Chaz Hales ’08, rocking his ZZ Top/Duck Dynasty beard. Chaz is one of my heroes, because he (just like Paraag, Catherine and Hrag) has carved out a very unique path with his FEMBA degree. Also, he’s been one of our alumni admission readers for over five years now!

Want more Chaz? Who doesn’t!  Below is his “90210/FEMBA” video made with friends from his 2008 class.



Making History: The new FEMBA Class of 2017

Last week we welcomed the UCLA Anderson FEMBA Class of 2017, the 27th entering class and the largest-ever entering class!

The highlight of my year is making the opening-day welcome, where I get to give the class profile and share my “diamonds polish diamonds” metaphor. My half-hour speech is only a small part of the whole Leadership Foundations, an intense, five-day immersion taught by some of our freshest-thinking professors, embedding social-connectivity with multiple experiential-learning components.

20140825 LF Diamonds Polish DiamondsBelow are some of the statistics of our amazing new class of students, as well as some photos of the week.

The FEMBA Class of 2017

  • The 27th entering FEMBA class
  • 330 students = most ever. Up 13% from last year.
    FEMBA has more than quintupled since beginning in 1988.
    At over 900 students, FEMBA is poised to be one of UCLA’s largest graduate program student bodies, if not the largest.

20140825 LF Poised to be largest

  • 715 applications, up 19% from last year
  • 92 women = most ever
  • 23 Military = most ever (to the best of my knowledge)
  • 8 MDs = most ever
    I don’t know how to confirm this, but my hunch is that this is more than any other part-time and also probably any other full-time MBA program.
  • 7 Lawyers
  • 3 PhDs (Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering and Experimental Particle Physics!)
  • Class includes patent-holders, published authors, CPAs, CFAs, Eagle Scouts, a Peace Corps graduate, a Teach for America graduate, Missionaries, Riordan program alumni
  • 2 married couples (both spouses in Class of 2017)
  • 3 are married to other Anderson students (2 MBA, 1 FEMBA)
  • 5 members of the class have a parent with an Anderson MBA
  • 443 SuperSaturday admission interviews were held on-campus.
    100% of all admits were interviewed.
    We’ll surpass 5,000 life-time SuperSaturday interviews November 8th!
  • 9% are of Hispanic or African-American heritage
  • 36% are married
  • 30 average age
  • 610-730 middle 80% GMAT
  • 3.4 average undergraduate GPA
  • 26% hold advanced degrees
  • 150 undergraduate universities represented
    UCLA #1, 46 graduates
    USC #2, 23
    UC Irvine #3, 16
    UC Berkeley #4, 13
    16 Ivy League graduates
    9 Military Academy graduates
  • 268 total employers represented

20140825 LF 268 companies

  • $83,198 is average salary
  • 77 are already earning over $100,000/year
    27 nationalities/countries of birth  (the United Nations meets Hogwarts!)
    34 states of birth

20140825 LF a Global Village

  • 7% reside outside of California and 1% reside outside the US (see below)
    We have three international commuters (two from China and one from the UK, all into FLEX)
  • FLEX grew 11% from last year ( up to 63 from 57 )
    FLEX has students from 13 states and 2 countries (China and UK)

20140825 LF Our Reach is Growing

What’s it like to give a keynote welcome to 330 people? A bit intimidating, especially since it takes three shots just to photograph them all.

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-1

The new FEMBA Class of 2017, August 25, 2017, day one of Leadership Foundations. 1 of 3.

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-2

The new FEMBA Class of 2017, August 25, 2017, day one of Leadership Foundations. 2 of 3. (See Associate Dean Freixes down front.)

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-3

The new FEMBA Class of 2017, August 25, 2017, day one of Leadership Foundations. 3 of 3. (Directors Melissa de Ramos and Bonnie Kim coming down for their opening welcomes.)

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-Kari Schumaker welcome 2

Hail to the Chief! Our FEMBA student body president, Kari Schumaker ’15, welcomes the new students.

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-Kari Schumaker welcome

Let out your inner thespian. Joining Kari on-stage are FEMBA Council Officers Vibhore Bhaskar, Amber Jackson, David Forbes, Chihiro Kurokawa and Allyson Tom for a skit or two.


20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-Allyson Tom

Allyson Tom ’15, FEMBAssador Co-Chair, also welcomed the 2017s, and gave an overview of FEMBAssadors.

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-David Duong welcome

David Duong plugged all-things-social. In the background he showed two videos, for Section Wars, and here, AnderProm.

20140825 LF day one Class of 2017-Hands Up

If you’re excited to be starting at UCLA, let’s see you raise your hands!

20140825 LF Ops Team

They made six months’ worth of work look effortless; the team who managed the entire week: Kuni Kondo, Itze Ornelas, Amjad Ezzour, Michael Fontanez, Abraham Martinez.

20140826  LF 2017 - TAs

These upperclass FEMBAs gave up a week too, so that they could be the Teaching Assistants for Leadership Foundations: Brad Phillipi, Ryan Rosales, Chihiro Kurokawa, Jack Warren, Asa Sharma, and Alyse Thompson.

20140825  LF 2017 - Faculty

The engine that makes the whole enterprise go, our excellent faculty. Here were the five leaders of Leadership Foundations 2014, our professors Keyvan Kashkooli, Noah Goldstein, Craig Fox, Margaret Shih and Jenessa Shapiro.

Finally, I want to thank the three team who make my professional life possible, my Admissions Team, Our Alumni Reader Team, and our FEMBAssador team. Thanks everyone! Your efforts created this history-making, largest-ever entering FEMBA Class of 2017!20140825 LF Admissions Team 20140825 LF Alumni Reader Team 13-1420140825 LF FEMBAssador Team 13-14


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!

201207 Palooza_FacultyFun

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!

20140801_Homeboy_NICC_1 (2)

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!