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).


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!

Team 21 Visionaries: Deloitte Case Competition Winners


Welcome to the first Drive Time Podcast of 2017, featuring Team 21 Visionaries, the #1 team out of a field of 24 Anderson teams in the 2016 Deloitte Case Competition held here at Anderson last Fall Quarter. Seen above (left to right) are Melissa Tran, Sophia Moreno, Ella Foux and Bradley McGough, all Class of 2018.

Melissa, Sophia, Ella and Bradley give you their insider’s peek at what a case competition is all about and the reasons you’d want to participate, including:

  • Exposure to Deloitte Executives
  • Opportunity to hone public speaking skills
  • Getting your feet wet in consulting
  • Competing for real dollars in prize money
  • Solving real-time company challenges
  • Receiving feedback from Deloitte Executives
  • Visiting both the Los Angeles and the Dallas offices of Deloitte
  • Building memorable connections with classmates across sections
  • And more.

Congratulations again to Melissa, Sophia, Ella and Bradley. We appreciate your representation of UCLA Anderson!

Podcast: Meet Matt Rose ’16, “Co-Founding PetSnap with Classmates”

Drive Time - Dylan's Blog - Episode 11 - Matt Rose - 7.14.16

Matt Rose ’16 ran full speed through FEMBA and we hope you enjoy hearing his journey. A transplant from Colorado, Matt already had a Master’s degree before his MBA from UCLA. An unexpected life tragedy happened during FEMBA and from there he had an insight that led to creating PetSnap with classmates. In this podcast, you’ll learn how:

  • Matt launched PetSnap with very little outlay of funds, using the resources of UCLA,
  • Matt’s section three classmates became his co-founders,
  • Professors Cockrum, Freixes, Scheinrock and Sussman supported the architecture of PetSnap,
  • Matt and his wife Kate greeted their first child just before graduation. (Their daughter was born after we recorded this podcast.)

Enjoy meeting Matt Rose ’16.

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Podcast: Sean Camarella ’16 “A Global Tour with Destination McKinsey”

Drive Time - Dylan's Blog - Episode 9 - Sean Camarella - 6.30.16

“A Global Tour with Destination McKinsey”

Meet Sean Camarella, UCLA Anderson FEMBA Class of 2016. A Bruin undergrad, Sean had already earned a prior Master’s Degree from USC while climbing the ranks at Boeing to be a Manager in Materials and Processes. You’ll hear how Sean fulfilled his two MBA goals of gaining a global perspective and accelerating his career as he goes into the details of his experiences:

  • Consulting with a company in Finland for his Global Access Program (GAP) capstone project
  • Traveling on two Global Immersions, to Argentina with Professor Terech and to China with Professor Leslie
  • Graduating with the Specialization in Global Management
  • Changing careers during FEMBA
  • Graduating as one of 4 classmates his year going to McKinsey and Company
  • Finally, and after the recording of this podcast, Sean and his wife Laura have welcomed their first daughter Charlotte, who was born healthy and happy the week before graduation.

We hope you enjoy meeting Sean Camarella UCLA Anderson FEMBA Class of 2016.

“I got everything I wanted from my MBA” meet Isadora Dantas ’16

Drive Time - Dylan%27s Blog - Episode 8 - Isadora Dantas - 6.23.16

“I got everything I wanted from my MBA”  Meet Isadora Dantas, UCLA Anderson FEMBA Class of 2016. Hers is a fantastic global journey from Brazil to New York City to Los Angeles, a powerful personal transformation, and incredible career results. Isadora shares generously about the impact of FEMBA:

  • Discovering a passion for public speaking during Professor Firstenberg’s course
  • Becoming a TEDx campfire speaker at UCLA
  • Aligning her prior Master’s degree research on happiness
  • Co-founding a start-up, Petsnap, with FEMBA classmates
  • Switching careers, from graphic design to product management, leveraging the coaching of Susan Cowell and our FEMBA Career Services team
  • Switching companies, from Disney to Sony to finally landing at UCLA-founded, Cornerstone OnDemand, all utilizing her UCLA network
  • Taking a Global Immersion to Israel with Professor Gabriel to see the vibrant tech scene
  • Meeting her “FEMBesties” during school
  • (Short on time?? Start at 38:00 to hear Isadora’s summary of her FEMBA journey, and what’s next.)


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Good news and Great news

Friday afternoon in Westwood and what’s this unique atmospheric occurrence? Something that resembles moisture has been falling from the sky…strange.

Great last couple of weeks in FEMBA. 99% of Round Two has been reviewed by Faculty Committee and the applicants have been notified, two weeks ahead of schedule.

WELCOME to all our new Round Two members of the Class of 2019!

Applications are still up for the season, and we look forward to welcoming you to UCLA. We’ll have a welcome event April 9, and save-the-date for FEMBApalooza 5, July 24th.

GOOD LUCK WITH FINALS EVERYONE  Winter Quarter went fast this year!

My final is next week, for the “Being a Leader” course I took this quarter across campus in the Luskin School of Social Welfare. Taking one class, while working, made me appreciate yet again how dedicated you are as you go through FEMBA.

PROGRAM UPGRADE: Enrichment Program for young children of Saturday FEMBAs

We have launched an Enrichment Program in partnership with UCLA Early Care and Education exclusively for the children of UCLA Affiliates. We now have an on-campus option for child care on Saturdays.

Your young children can attend an enrichment program Saturday while you attend FEMBA classes! We can’t wait to see if we attract new FEMBAs with young children who would not have chosen to get their MBA otherwise.

CONGRATULATIONS! First Place winners of the Southern California  ACG Cup last week.

201603111 ACG Winners Jeremy Mau 17 David Zhou 17 Kyle Patterson 17 DSC_0751.jpg

Above: l-r Jeremy Mau, David Zhou and Kyle Patterson, all Class of 2017.

201603111 ACG Winners Jeremy Mau 17 David Zhou 17 Kyle Patterson 17 Action shot DSC_0732.jpg

ACG, the Association for Corporate Growth – Los Angeles, hosted 11 teams from multiple schools in this annual investment banking competition. Jeremy, David and Kyle’s team came out #1. The team worked hard for the three week window of the competition, and their efforts paid off!


20160311 Net Impact Bhagwan Chowdhry Geetha Rajan 17 Karen Shang 17 Clarissa Chiang 17 Navin Prabhu 17 Sid Khanna 17

Above: Professor Bhagwan Chowdhry, Sid Khanna 17, Dr Margaret Martin, Founder of Harmony (non-profit), D’Addario Foundation Executive Director, Suzanne D’Addario Brouder, C Terry Lewis – chairman of Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Dr. Barry Bittman, center, CEO/President of Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Bhavna Sivanand Price Center, Geetha Rajan 17, Karen Shang 17, Clarissa Chiang 17 and Navin Prabhu 17.

The photo above came from one of my favorite FEMBAassadors, Geetha Rajan 17, along with this note:

Hi Dylan,

I wanted to share an amazing opportunity that FEMBA students had this week (03/07/16) . What started off as a Net Impact Case Challenge, went as far as being chosen to represent Anderson to present our recommendations on scaling Harmony (a non-profit that focuses on positive development of low-income children through music) to the CEO/President of Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, Dr Barry Bittman. Dr. Bittman flew in from Pittsburg to understand our recommendations and was very impressed. The Price Center and Professor Bhagwan Chowdhry have been invaluable in maintaining the relationship with Harmony and giving us this opportunity.

Further, we are also chosen to present our recommendations to an Anderson Trustee who is interested in potentially investing in Harmony! 

I never knew how far this would take us. Truly an opportunity of a lifetime! 



Two great LiveGuide sessions so far for Spring Quarter. If you have friends who want an in-depth look at the value of FEMBA, have them sign up for either of these LiveGuide sessions:

Srishti Goyal 16 LiveGuide Session April 4

Kiesha McCurtis 16 LiveGuide Session April 21

20160311 LiveGuide for April 2016 Srishti 16 and Kiesha 16

FEMBAs sharing their experience with their peers at Northrop Grumman

20160310 Northrup Grumman - Corporate Connect Information Session 3 10 2016

Above, this year’s first Corporate Connect Information Session for Northrop Grumman employees was held at Il Fornaio Restaurant in Manhattan Beach. This event was organized by Barry Ripley 16 and attended by four other current FEMBA students Roselle Chinsio 16, Timothy Bednar 18, Stephen Moran 18, Anthony Davidson 17, and 19 prospects that currently work in the Engineering field at Northrop. There was great energy in this informal setting and several people walked away with plans to apply this year and next year. We want to thank Barry for his hard work in coordinating with current students, building the audience and reserving the restaurant to make it a convenient way for Northrop employees to meet current UCLA Anderson FEMBA students and learn about the program first hand during their lunch break.

LUNCH-AND-LEARN at the Cheesecake Factory in Sherman Oaks

20160308 Sherman Oaks - Regional Lunch 3 8 16.jpg

Barry Ripley 16 was with Chris Thompson and me for a lunch in Sherman Oaks, above.

Last, but definitely not least, Christy Marquez and Raymond Morada put a LOT of MILES in this week recruiting. Christy did two Bay Area events, one each in San Francisco and Mountain View. She also hosted a great coffee chat here on-campus today. Raymond did two lunches, one in San Diego, and the other in Irvine. What a good, great week! Thanks to all my team.

Great weekends everyone!