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

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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.

Be Authentic, Be Yourself – Meet Grace Chang ’13

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From FEMBA Council President to Anderson Alumni Board to Winning at TechCrunch Disrupt, we catch up with Grace Chang, FEMBA 2013 to hear about her very busy career trajectory post-graduation.

Grace launched Events Sorbet during FEMBA with two fellow FEMBA Council leaders, quickly growing from 3 to 26 people with operations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York before they brokered off the business. Grace then went to a mobile chat company, getting her feet wet in a more seasoned start-up and successfully riding through an acquisition, ending up with 6 different offers.

UnifyID was the most intriguing of the 6 offers Grace was considering and she signed with UnifyID as both their first-ever product manager and their first non-technical hire. Launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, UnifyID won battlefield runner-up winner (#2 out of 1,000 start-ups competing).

Coincidentally, Phillip Chang 17, Head of Information Security at Boingo Wireless, and Drive Time podcast editor, was attending the RSA Conference last month where UnifyID was again one of ten finalists in an innovation competition and won the “RSAC Most Innovative Startup 2017”!). Today, 3/10/17, as we post, Grace’s whole team is headed to SXSW!

Back during FEMBA, as FEMBA Council President, Grace was the organizer of the first ever “Opportunity/Enterpreneurship/Club Zone” at the very ever first FEMBApalooza in the summer of 2012. She reflects on taking on leadership roles during FEMBAs that were not offered at work, and how she grew from the opportunity.

Learn about all of this and more from Grace Chang ’13 in this episode of our Drive Time podcast.

Marine to Finance: Meet Doug Longo ’14

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In honor of Veterans Day, our Drive Time Podcast features FEMBA Alum and Marine Corps Veteran, Doug Longo ’14. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, and working for Dimensional Fund Advisors as a Fixed Income Investment Strategist, Doug was our FEMBA Council President during his time at Anderson as well as VP of the Anderson Student Asset Management (ASAM). Currently, he is the official UCLA Anderson Regional Ambassador in Austin.

This Drive Time interview covers a lot about Doug and UCLA Anderson:

  • Being one of youngest Sergeants in Marine Corps history. Doug enlisted in his junior year of high school. He was the “Doogie Howser” of the Marine Corps at 20 years of age.
  • Earning the Navy Achievement Medal
  • Charting his career from Bear Stearns to Merrill Lynch to UCLA Anderson to Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Consistently being a servant leader before, during, and after FEMBA
  • Fast-tracking FEMBA to graduate early and start at Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Hearing his gratitude at getting to work at DFA, and connecting with some of the titans of finance, including Nobel Laureate Eugene Fama and Ken French as in the Fama-French three-factor model, plus LOTS of Anderson MBAs.
  • For more on Doug, read this moving tribute that was compiled by his classmates.

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It’s Your Life; If You Want It You Can Have It: Meet Kate Motonaga ’97

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What an engaging FEMBA success story!  I hope you enjoy listening half as much as I enjoying interviewing.

Kate Motonaga, FEMBA ’97, CFE and new Senior Associate Dean and CFO of UCLA Anderson generously shares about her education and career and ends with some great advice about how to maximize your MBA at UCLA Anderson: “It’s Your Life and It’s Your Career; If You Want It, You Can Have It.”

You’ll learn about:

  • Getting recruited to come back to UCLA Anderson as the Senior Associate Dean and CFO
  • Founding her own company and running it for a decade.
  • Becoming a CFE, a Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Opening the new Anderson facility, from the prior Social Sciences location of Anderson
  • Being in a two-section FEMBA program
  • Experiencing the pre-GAP Field Study model
  • Making FEMBA Friends-for-Life, who continue to offer professional support to each other
  • Being a working parent

Hope you enjoy meeting a dynamic new leader of UCLA Anderson, who is also a FEMBA!

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Giving Back and Building Bridges: meet Vanessa Toy ’00, President, Cultivate Creations

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For this week’s Drive Time podcast, meet Vanessa Toy, Full-time MBA ’00, and President of Cultivate Creations, a marketing, strategy, innovation consulting practice that drives expansive growth for small to medium size businesses in the natural products industry.

Vanessa donates her time and talent by serving on the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network Board of Directors. Currently, she is Executive Committee Member and Chair, Class Presidents Council. In this podcast, she shares her experiences and perspectives, including:

We ARE Anderson.

The UCLA Anderson Alumni Network has amazing people, who’ve accomplished and done incredible things in business and our communities. She believes that as alums, we have a lifelong relationship with UCLA Anderson and its people who share a common philosophy to:

  • Share success
  • Drive change
  • Think fearlessly
  • Hire and partner with other Anderson alums

She is grateful to UCLA Anderson for giving her so many gifts:

  • Big picture business thinking
  • Functional and technical business expertise
  • Entrepreneurial and team spirit
  • A deep and rich alumni network full of gifted and great people

Vanessa’s philosophy on connecting and building bridges:

  • Be yourself, be genuine, and make it personal
  • You get out of it what you put into it
  • Connect in the spirit of connecting and reaching out, not always with an agenda – what goes around comes around…it’s good karma
  • Be proactive and connect, “opt in” to be part of a lifelong network

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Bold Moves and Giving Back: meet Kimberly Freeman ’02

Drive Time - Dylan's Blog - Episode 18 - Kimberly Freeman - 9.2.16

Meet Kimberly Freeman ’02, our UCLA Anderson Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives and Community Relations. Kimberly brings three degrees and a career’s worth of making a difference in industry back to UCLA Anderson.

Kimberly discusses her education and career and commitment, including:

  • being a ‘born and bred’ product of Los Angeles
  • earning degrees from Berkeley (Engineering) and USC (Public Policy) before earning her UCLA Anderson MBA
  • commuting from the Bay Area during FEMBA
  • being an energy lobbyist, working with Southern California Gas company before coming back to UCLA Anderson
  • managing a ‘career as a laboratory’; seeking and finding mentors; always growing; sharing success
  • building the confidence of a leader through the stages of a career
  • civic engagement and asking the big questions of one’s career, like “How can I contribute to society?” and  “How will I measure success?”

We hope you enjoy this interview with a very successful UCLA Anderson alumna, Kimberly Freeman.

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Group Podcast: Making the World a Better Place – Care | Mind

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Making the World a Better Place: Care | Mind

This week’s Drive Time Podcast is the first of its kind, starring a trio of three alumni stories from Oscar Rodriguez (FEMBA ’14), Hanson Chang (FEMBA ’14) and Sarah McMains (Full Time MBA ’12). You will hear how Oscar and Hanson met in their first year of the FEMBA program and continued working together, along with Sarah, through the creation of their start-up healthcare business, “Care | Mind” (an iOS application). The group discusses several themes that have stuck with them throughout their time at UCLA Anderson and beyond, including:

  • Building a partnership through their time in the FEMBA program
  • Discovering opportunities, broadening their perspectives, and finding their higher purpose
  • Bringing medicine back in the hands of individuals and empowering people with information
  • Increasing the utilization of wearable technology with the senior population
  • Leveraging the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network to find a perfect match for their marketing needs
  • Practical tips for getting the most out of the UCLA Anderson experience

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