About Dylan Stafford

Dylan Stafford's first book, Daddy Muscles, is about learning to be a dad and husband one day at a time. He holds a BA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. At the UCLA Anderson School of Management, he is an Assistant Dean for the Fully Employed MBA Program. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Marisa and their sons Jackson and Christian.

From Warren Buffet to Chief Quality Officer: Meet Dr. Nasim Afsar ’17

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog - Nasim Afsar-manesh - Episode 42 (003)

Get inspired and learn best practices from Dr. Nasim Afsar-manesh FEMBA ’17 in this Drive Time podcast interview. Nasim is the Chief Quality Officer for UCLA Health. As an MD and a hospital executive, she is accountable for over 100,000 patients who receive their primary medical care from UCLA. She literally uses her MBA every day to save lives.

Nasim shares lessons she learned from a 2-hour dinner with Warren Buffet back at Caltech in college, as well as productivity tips she uses every day today. Trust me: You want to learn from Nasim. Not only does her career touch over 100,000 patients, she has also balanced raising her two young daughters during her FEMBA experience.

Nasim is one of the great people in your UCLA Anderson network, and she graciously shares her success strategies with us in this Drive Time podcast.

Enjoy!

First Place (3x) and Flex from Houston: Meet Vishal Saheta ’17

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog - Vishal Saheta - Episode 41

What is Flex like from Houston? And how about your wife flying to LA with you?

How does it feel to earn three first place finishes in case competitions during FEMBA?

What is FEMBA like during large layoffs at your company?

Vishal Saheta ’17 is in a brand new role as a Project Manager at Schulumberger (Fortune #287), and he answers these questions and more in this Drive Time podcast interview. If you’re thinking about Case Competitions, if you’re thinking about Flex, if you’re balancing friends and family and FEMBA, Vishal’s story has something for you.

Vishal’s three first place finishes in case competitions were:

  1. 2017 First Place “The Economist / NRG Energy Case Study” global competition
    The $10,000 prize is shared by Vishal and his team members Ean Mulligan and Julian Trobe, both in the full-time MBA program. The judges awarded UCLA #1 saying, “The UCLA Anderson Blue team’s solution was clean, concise and well thought-out.” 15 competing teams included HEC Paris, MIT, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, Rutgers and Columbia. The UCLA Anderson Energy Management club made this competition available.
  2. 2016 First Place “PwC Fiercest Competitor Strategy” competition
    The UCLA Anderson Management Consulting Association made this competition available, with sponsorship from PwC. Two teams from UCLA actually competed against each other.
  3. 2015 First Place, 4th Annual “UCLA Challenges in Energy” case competition 
    Teams from seven schools competed, including Stanford, UC Berkeley and Michigan Ross. Vishal’s winning team “The Energizer Bunnies” consisted of Dan Freeman ’15, Dan Abbott ’16, and David Penskar ’16. The first place prize was $2,500. The UCLA Anderson Energy Management club also made this competition available.

To complete the interview, Vishal shares about:

  • Global Access Program with Finland and a Global Immersion to Hong Kong. Vishal shares about these two FEMBA experiences.
  • Maximizing productivity in FEMBA Flex. Vishal ends the interview sharing some of his secrets for success.

Vishal is a very accomplished person with 17 years of experience in Technology development & Product Management. His pre-UCLA degrees include a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai (First Class with Distinction) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue where he earned a 4.0. UCLA Anderson helped him round out his skill set by building on his finance skills (passed 3 levels of CFA) and innovation skills (24 US and International patents awarded).

Enjoy!

Be Here Now: Brian Lopez ’12 launches his new firm

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog - Brian Lopez - Episode 40 Final

Five years after graduating UCLA Anderson, Brian Lopez ’12 is the brand new President and co-founder of The Data Analysis Group, Inc. You’ll hear how Brian launched his new company, how he turned an engineering degree in undergrad into a career in forensics and data analytics, and more.

Highlights of Brian’s interview include:

  • Choosing FEMBA after initially planning a full-time MBA pathway when his then-boss launched a firm and took Brian with him.
  • Finding his undergraduate path in engineering through good college counseling and a supportive family environment.
  • Establishing his professional reputation, including being a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified IDEA Data Analyst. Brian teaches corporate classes in analytics on the side and regularly speaks at forensics conferences on fraud.
  • Combining his Global Access Program research work with his Korean GAP company with a Global Immersion to Seoul National University.
  • Enjoying his five-year Class reunion this past weekend with networking, food and dancing at Shutters and Hotel del Mar in Santa Monica. Note how he will be following up with fellow Anderson alumni at lunches forthcoming.
    (How comfortable are you to work a room? We brainstorm on the challenge of networking in a room when everyone is interesting!)
  • Sharing his productivity tips, including a great perspective he calls “Be Here Now” and how that perspective not only leads to peace of mind, but also is very supportive of selling work.

Brian is a wonderful example of a UCLA Anderson MBA fully leveraged: He’s thinking fearlessly as a forensics expert; He’s sharing success keeping up with peers from school and tapping into the Anderson network: And, he’s driving change, launching his brand new firm. Enjoy this FEMBA Drive Time interview with Brian Lopez.

UCLA’s Akshay Grover ’18 & TIME Magazine: Sustainability and Ingenuity for Life

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog - Akshay Grover - Episode 39

Akshay Grover ’18, is a Sr. Sales Executive at Siemens Building Technologies. Born in New Delhi, he studied abroad, leaving India to go to Dubai to earn his engineering degree. An internship with Siemens became an access for him to come to California. He moved 8,000 miles for his goal of attending UCLA Anderson.

You’ll hear Akshay’s story of coming to America and continuing his career growth at Siemens. Specifically, he worked on a sustainability project with San Bernadino County (America’s largest county at over 20,000 square miles) which resulted in over $400,000 in energy and cost savings. This sustainability project caught the attention of TIME Magazine and their new “American Genius” segment, and led to TIME Inc Studios interviewing Akshay and his team last year and creating the video below.

Akshay will be a Teaching Assistant this summer, and he’s also gone on a Global Immersion to Germany. Here are some fun photos of visiting the Berlin Wall Museum and spelling F-E-M-B-A with his peers, attending Oktoberfest, and taking a boat tour.

20170505 Akshay Grover 18 F-E-M-B-A in front of the Berlin Wall Museum

F-E-M-B-A !

20170505 Akshay Grover 18 FEMBA 2018s on the Berlin Boar Tour

20170505 Akshay Grover 18 Oktoberfest in Munich

UCLA Anderson does Oktoberfest!

20170505 Akshay Grover 18 Boat Tour in Berlin

Associate Dean Gonzalo Freixes, Akshay Grover ’18 and friends!

After listening to the podcast, if you’d like more information on Akshay’s project with San Bernadino County, please see these links:

Business Insider Article 

TIME Magazine Segment

Siemens Case Study of San Bernadino County

Congrats to Steve Yu ’03, UCLA 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award

When you hear, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person,” you very often are speaking of someone like FEMBA alum Steve Yu. Below, I’ll paste the official UCLA information on Steve and his award. But first, I want 20170502 Steve Yu 03 alumni award phototo add my own appreciation of Steve.

Steve was one of my original “FEMBAssadors” way back before we even came up with the term. Steve is a big proponent of FEMBA on-boarding leading to success in the program. We worked together a lot in the 2008-2010 time frame and he helped us bring in the classes of 2011 to 2013. I learned a lot from Steve about listening to what people are specifically dealing with the months before FEMBA, and how to always be positive.

We also became “quarterly coffee buddies” and tried to meet a couple of times a year since he’s in the law school and I’m here at Anderson. I’ve been impressed watching Steve grow his career, including to his latest promotion to Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Dean of Operations at UCLA Law. (As an aside, the CFO positions at both UCLA Law and UCLA Anderson are currently filled by FEMBAs!  You can hear about Kate Motonaga, FEMBA 1997 and CFO, here.)

Here is the official text, and a link to read more awards. Congratulations Steve!

Steve Yu is the recipient of the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award. He serves as president of the largest UCLA regional alumni network, the UCLA Los Angeles Westside Network. As a visionary leader, he has reinvigorated the network with new programming, collaborations and leadership. Yu is an active mentor and presenter in the Bruin Leaders Project, Bruin Toastmasters for UCLA-affiliated members and True Blue Toastmasters for External Affairs employees. He has also shared his public-speaking expertise with Law School colleagues as well as UCLA physicians. Formerly the controller at the UCLA School of Law, he began his new role on April 1 as the chief financial officer and assistant dean of operations for the school. Yu graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in economics and M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

https://alumni.ucla.edu/awards/

Here is Steve helping us on April 11, 2017, for a UCLA staff + FEMBA recruiting lunch.

20170411 UCLA Staff recruiting lunch Steve Yu AJ Ezzour and Jessica Barnette with Chris Thompson

(L-R) Chris Thompson, AJ Ezzour 18, Jessica Barnette 19, and Steve Yu 03.

 

 

 

Flex made an MBA possible for these MDs: Aviva Regev 16 and JC Jimenez 19

FEMBA PODCASTS - Dylan's Blog - FEMBA MDs - Episode 38

Flex is FEMBA’s innovative hybrid delivery model that we pioneered in 2012. Flex allows incredible people to earn an MBA who would never be able to earn and MBA otherwise due to the big careers they have already built.

Today’s podcast introduces you to two of our FEMBA medical doctors for whom Flex allows for an MBA: Aviva Regev MD FEMBA 16 Clinical Instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UCLA Health, and Juan Carlos (JC) Jimenez MD FEMBA 19 Associate Clinical Professor of Vascular Surgery at UCLA Health.

There’s so much in this interview, so I’ll only give you a few of the highlights, but among other topics, you’ll learn:

  • How Aviva is now co-teaching “The Business of Healthcare” here at UCLA Anderson with her Department Chair, just nine months after graduation.
  • How during his first quarter at UCLA Anderson, J.C. published “Vascular Surgery: Principles and Practice, Fourth Edition.”
  • Meeting together in the Operating Room, as anesthesiologist and vascular surgeon. You’ll hear about these two preparing to conduct a heart transplant!
  • Juggling FEMBA and career and maximizing the MBA journey
  • A few of their professional productivity tips that they use to manage their very big careers.

Aviva and JC are incredible people; I felt like a “little crumb” in this interview. They are examples of the lifelong career connections that get made in the classrooms of UCLA Anderson.

Hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the lives and careers of Aviva and JC.

The real Jerry Maguire and the $5,000 1st Place Prize: Meet the winners of the Game Day Sports Case Competition

Last weekend, three FEMBAs won the 4th annual Game Day Sports Case Competition at Villanova University. Congratulations to Thomas Crutchley ’19, Keenan Long ’19 and Doug Paulus 19.  And special thanks to Thomas for this interview.

Dylan: So first, Thomas, thanks for bringing me the good news. And second, tell me all about the Game Day Sports Case Competition.

Thomas: My pleasure Dylan. Well we all flew to Pennsylvania last weekend. A cool thing was that MEMES paid for our plane tickets to go compete. We won from a field of nine teams including Penn, U Connecticut, another UCLA team, USC and Villanova.

Dylan: Congratulations! Tell me more.

Thomas: Well, this was the 4th annual for this case competition. It goes back and forth between UCLA Anderson and Villanova. UCLA hosted 1 and 3, and Villanova hosted 2 and 4. It comes back to UCLA next year I believe.

Dylan: That’s great. So our new FEMBA 2020 students reading this, pay attention, maybe you can participate next year. And you won’t have to fly to Pennsylvania.

Thomas: Yeah, they’ll save a flight, but they’ll miss out on the Philly cheesesteaks!

Dylan: Life is full of difficult choices for sure. How did you hear about the competition?

Thomas: Keenan got an email from the SBA [the Sports Business Association] and we looked into it. The hardest part honestly was that this competition requires both MBA and Law School students be on every team.

Dylan: Cool. So how’d you get a law student on your team?

Thomas: All internal networking. We reached out to Dean Freixes. We just started asking around. We ultimately connected with Ilan Issacs, a 3L here at UCLA Law. He crushed the legal part. He’s going into entertainment law after graduation.

Dylan: And how about Doug and Keenan, your fellow FEMBAs? How all do you know each other.

Thomas: Well first we’re all in Section 3. Go section 3! And second, we’re all just a bunch of sports lovers.

Dylan: And was this your first case competition?

Thomas: For sure. First case competition for all of us. Turns out all four of us have a sports connection. Ilan walked on to the soccer team at Brown. Keenan played semi-professional Major League baseball. I played college baseball at UCSD. And Doug self-describes as the “ultimate intermural athlete.”

20170408 Game Day Sports Case Competition L-R Ilan Isaacs 3L Law School Prof Jeffrey Moorad host Keenan Long 19 Doug Paulus 10 and Thomas Crutchley 19 best

Above: 2017 Game Day Sports Case Competition (L-R) Ilan Isaacs 3L UCLA Law School, host and professor Jeffrey Moorad, Keenan Long 19, Doug Paulus 19 and Thomas Crutchley 19.

Dylan: Nice. And how about Jeffrey Moorad, professor and founder of the Game Day Sports Case Competition?  [Shown in the photo above.]

Thomas: That’s one of the coolest parts. So he’s amazing. He’s a former sports agent, as well as the former CEO and former minority owner of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB).

And, he’s part of the inspiration of the Jerry Maguire character in the movie.

Dylan: No way. That’s awesome. I didn’t know that?

Thomas: When he teaches sports business at UCLA, he brings in all kinds of big names, A-Rod, like that. He represented Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Manny Ramirez. That’s where they got all the perspective that became the Jerry Maguire character.

Dylan: Oh yeah. That’s right. In my Drive Time podcast interview with our FEMBA Olympic Gold medal winner Ed Moses last year, Ed mentioned being in that class.

Thomas: Professor Moorad is amazing. He created this case competition. He put up the prize money.

Dylan: I’m looking him up online right now. Looks like he’s an alum of both UCLA and also Villanova, and that in 2012 he donated $5 million to the Villanova Law School for the creation of a new Center for the Study of Sports Law.

Thomas: Exactly. And when we met him at first we didn’t recognize him. We were all mingling around and one of asked, “So what’s your role here?” Later, when he went up on stage and we realized the whole thing revolves around him. You know. It was a moment.

Dylan: Love it. Well what were your other take-aways? Was it worth your time and effort?

Thomas: For sure. I think for all of us, what was really exceptional was the interaction with the judges. I mean, these were some real big names in sports management, like Joe Banner, former president of the Phildelphia Eagles. He was a judge. People like that.

And we were hanging out with them, listening to them talk about their careers.

It was eye-opening. It’s not just an old boys network. The way they described their career paths, you can see it. You can see that you can take an MBA, or a law degree, and you can really make a career in sports management.

Dylan: How great is that? We all know sports is a huge business and it’s only going to grow.

Thomas: Yes. And these guys were telling us how to get started. I mean, they all gave us their business cards. It was great.

Dylan: Oh very good. Hold on to those. And follow up. Send ’em a ping now and again to keep them posted on how your MBA is going.

Thomas: We will for sure.

Dylan: Well thanks for this. You made my week with your story. Congratulations again Thomas (and Doug, Ilan and Keenan!).

20170408 Game Day Sports Case Competition Thomas Crutchley 19

Thomas Crutchley, FEMBA 2019, with the winning check. Congrats!