I carved out my entire Friday morning to write this tribute, but it actually took me until 4:00 in the afternoon to finish this story. The day was worth it because I want to do justice in acknowledging a student-leader I have worked with for three years who has made a huge contribution to UCLA Anderson: Doug Longo, ’14, our outgoing student body president.
Brian Sterz, friend-of-Doug, reached out to 12 classmates and all 12 provided stories and photos, all without Doug’s knowledge; here is Doug in the words of the people who’ve studied, traveled, laughed, planned, implemented, and moved couches with him. My thanks to Brian Sterz for organizing, and to everyone for sharing their stories and photos.
Doug Longo, we hope YOU appreciate how much WE appreciate YOU. We will miss you.
From the Marines to Merrill Lynch to FEMBAssadors to FEMBA trips to Germany, France, Peru, Chile and Italy to FEMBApalooza to SuperSaturdays to Bob Iger to Anderson Student Asset Management to FEMBA Council President to DFA, you’ve been amazing to watch.
Brian Sterz, ’14 Real Estate Brokerage & Investment at STERZ+CO “I remember Doug handing out cookies on the first day of Leadership Foundations after planning 5 pre-pre school happy hours. Without even knowing this guy’s name, I knew it was the happy hour planner! I’ve seen him step up to plan, organize, and lead nearly every FEMBA Council event regardless of whether it was his “role” to do so, or not, and has never once asked for thanks or recognition. I have seen him mentor students in “younger” classes and be available for seemingly everyone in our class. I remember him keeping people in line during internship recruiting for their own good, and that of Anderson generally, though it only served to make his competition stiffer. And we cannot forget that he has been the best-dressed-FEMBA at 3 consecutive Halloween parties!” (see photo-proof below)
Ilene Hernandez ’14, Portfolio Manager at HSBC “In 2013, when Cassandra Stokes and her husband (also a Femba) moved down from San Francisco to be closer to campus, Doug helped them out by offering to set them up with a nanny for their newborn.”
Doug organized an entire trip to Cabo, flights, hotels and details, for his 2014 classmates. “Anderson South” was born.
Ryan Hughes ’14, Founder at Bull Oak Capital “I’ve had the pleasure of taking 90% of my classes alongside Doug. We were both in Section 4 together and both in finance. As most of you already know, both Doug and I were enlisted in the military and we often talked about the stark contrast between our lives back then and our lives today. Few enlisted people end up at a school like Anderson.
As an enlisted person, you were pretty low on the totem pole and it tested your mettle on a daily basis. The only way to move up quickly through the ranks amid stiff competition (and Doug did so extremely quickly) was to dig deep, stay focused, and grind through it. Without a doubt, his military experience as a Sergeant in in the Marines (I’m Navy, but I don’t hold it against him!) helped define who he is today. Watching him grow and excel at Anderson was pretty amazing. There are a ton of opportunities at Anderson and I’m pretty sure Doug took advantage of them all. From starting as the undisputed Section 4 Social Rep to becoming the FEMBA President, Doug worked hard from Day 1. I am very proud of Doug and I have no doubt he will do well at DFA. I look forward to visiting with him in Austin and hearing about his accomplishments.
Tanu Rudrakshi ’14, Sr. Internal Auditor, Roll Global “Doug was one of the first people I met before Leadership Foundations even started – back at a happy hour at Barney’s in Westwood. By the way, that’s also where I met my current roommate, Shilpy (Gupta). I remember even at that happy hour Doug was already talking about the huge reunion parties he wanted us to have after we graduated in three years. At that time it seemed so far away, but as I look back at these three years Doug is one of the best friends I am gaining as we get ready to graduate. Whether it’s helping me with my finance homework (or calling me out in class) or BBQ’ing and playing cornhole at our apartment on a lazy Sunday, Doug is one of my classmates that has always pushed me to personally power through the marathon that is FEMBA. Whether it was GAP, switching jobs, traveling for work constantly, he always told me to keep my eye on that MBA prize. He is always there to help anyone he can in any way he can. We will all certainly miss him these last few months of school and happy hours as he heads to Austin, but I’m confident that he will take this opportunity not only to work for an amazing firm but to finally beat me in a burger-off. Oh who are we kidding- that will never happen.
Scott Cooper, MBA ’14, Healthcare Consultant, Scott Cooper “I first met Doug when he came to our first ASA cabinet meeting. Being the FEMBA President, Doug also sat on our board for the entire Anderson Student Association. We didn’t know each other at all to start, but both knew that we wanted to improve the relationship between the full timers and the FEMBAs that had been strained in the past. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this tattooed ex-marine.
This was almost a year ago now. What happened was almost magical. Doug and I became immediate friends. Over the course of the year we became golfing buddies (he’s AWFUL by the way), drinking buddies, wingmen, paired up and auctioned off for charity, got to meet Bob Iger, and have grown together as leaders while improving the relationship between the two classes. I hear stories of the personal sacrifices he makes to ensure his classmates are succeeding and whenever I meet a FEMBA and mention Doug’s name, I just see their faces light up with joy. I have never met someone more liked and respected by his friends and classmates. He is the model by which I perceive ultimate leadership and what I aspire to be.
Oh yeah, and I don’t think anyone will ever sell for more than $1500 again at an Anderson charity auction.”
Abhinav Sarna ’14, Engineering Lead, LeisureLink “Thanks Brian [Sterz] for the initiative [Doug Tribute]. Doug has been my best friend since I met him at a pre-FEMBA happy hour in 2011, he is like an older brother to me who always saves me from getting into trouble. I will be really sad when he moves to Texas in a couple of weeks, but I am very happy for his professional move.
He is a great leader and is very committed to the UCLA experience. He likes to say that we all are friends for life and we’d be partying together the same way even in our sixties. Unfortunately (and embarrassingly enough), I don’t really have any professional looking pictures of Doug but I have one that I like, so I am attaching it.” –Abhinav
Megan Slaughter ’14, Sr. Manager Acquisitions at Disney ABC Television Group “When Doug spent 2 hours (in the middle of a date) moving a couch into my apartment, I knew he was something special. He goes out of his way to help others all the time. Doug also tells the best stories and his laugh is contagious. When Doug is around, you can’t help but have fun.”
Michael Benedosso ’14, Linked INbassador, LinkedIn “Doug is a piece of crap. He once punched my newborn baby in the stomach for not looking him in the eye. He stole my grandmother’s social security check and refuses to stand for the National Anthem.
Kidding of course. In all seriousness, Doug is a great guy who exhibits unsurpassed leadership skills, care for his community, and love for the school. He sacrifices hours out of his busy week to help the students of Anderson and works tirelessly to make this a better institution. He deserves a medal, or a shirtless back massage at the very least.
Michael P. Benedosso
Elizabeth Newman ’14, Senior Account Executive at Twitter “I think we’ve summed up Doug well, but to add my two cents: it’s evident that Doug’s passion for Anderson leads him to get involved to make this school a better place for future years, and to inspire others to do the same. I think we can all agree that he’s succeeded.”
Gabriel Flores ’14 Research Analyst at Velocify “Doug was the very first FEMBA I met. It was at a happy hour he organized almost half a year before we started the program. When I arrived, everyone was in the middle of a conversation but he stopped what he was doing and made sure I felt welcomed. Since then, Doug and I have become good friends. I had the pleasure of being on a GAP team with Doug and traveling with him to Italy. I truly don’t think there could have been a better person to travel with. The FEMBA experience would not have been the same without him. He not only helped people make connections by bringing everyone together, he helped make them lifelong connections. I know that I wouldn’t have made as many close friends if Doug hadn’t been around.
David Duong, ’15, Strategic Marketing Manager, Electronic Arts “As a first year [FEMBA], Doug always made me feel welcome to the Anderson community and I appreciated the time he took to build a relationship with us 2015s.
He always takes the time to recognize others on a job well done and to give credit where it is due. For example, Matt Gorlick ’13 busted his ass for Anderson all the time last year and Doug created the FEMBA Recognition Award to recognize him for all his hard work.
There are a lot of good deeds that go unnoticed at Anderson, but Doug always makes sure to call this out so that people get kudos for the good they do.
To sum up Doug in one quote, he’s a big guy that always looks out for the little guy and that is something that I greatly appreciate about him.“
…So there you are. As I stated, Doug didn’t know anything about this. We collected all the stories and photos without his knowledge. Raymond on my team did interview Doug about his FEMBA experience, and here is FEMBA, in Doug’s own words.
Q: Doug, tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
A: I have a Navy Achievement Medal for leading a platoon to enforce U.S. sanctions against Iraq, or I have a twin who’s a high school physics teacher. She’s obviously much smarter and better looking than me.
Q: How has FEMBA impacted your career or personal life thus far?
A: I can’t even imagine my personal life without my FEMBA family. We have developed a deep bond that I know will enable us to remain close friends forever. We enjoy spending our time together even when it is not academic related.
The program is practical and gives you tools that have an immediate impact in the workplace. Your colleagues will quickly notice a difference in how you approach complex problems. Having the credibility of being an Anderson MBA student has also had a tremendous impact on my career. I am constantly contacted by recruiting firms with great opportunities at some very well know corporations.
Q: What about FEMBA has surprised you?”
A. How even though you are in a part-time program, you still get the full-time experience in terms of connecting to classmates. I would even go as far as to say that as students, the FEMBA’s are even better networked with each other due to the extra year that we are on campus.
If you are still with us, dear reader, these last words are from me, Dylan.
Through the admission process, I knew Doug had been an enlisted Marine who had been awarded the Navy Achievement Medal during his service to our country. He’d then gone back and earned his college degree and was applying to business school. I liked him and we admitted him.
In 2011, the year Doug began FEMBA, we were trying to get the FEMBAssador experience up-to-speed. We needed leadership, and I put out a request to the whole student body. Doug was one of three students who gave me a year of their time volunteering as the “Power Trio” in charge of the FEMBAssador experience.
Every Thursday afternoon for a year, from 4:00-5:00, Doug was in my office for our weekly meeting. Remember, he’s a volunteer, doing this on top of a full-time job at Merrill Lynch.
I am many things, but concise is not one of them. Doug powered through all those meetings and helped lay the foundation that has become the FEMBAssador program here. He was key in helping launch FEMBApalooza in the summer of 2012, which is on pace to surpass 1,000 participants this summer.
And most importantly, he embodied “servant leadership.” He was always looking at how to make the atmosphere of UCLA Anderson better. He rolled up his sleeves in student government and made a difference on recruiting, student services, admissions and the MBA-FEMBA relationship. If you read Scott Cooper’s tribute above, it is clear about the strong bridge he built between MBA and FEMBA.
So…the best thing I could think to do with my Friday (and I could only do it with the help of Brian, Tanu, Abhinav and everyone) was to pay tribute to Doug’s contribution to UCLA Anderson and to FEMBA.
You have raised the bar around here. I can’t wait to see who runs for FEMBA Council President to follow you.
Thanks Doug. See all the people in the FEMBApalooza photo below? You impacted them and more.
With respect and appreciation,