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.



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