Media-Mogul-Lunch at UCLA

 

“The Rebirth of Television in the Landscape of Entertainment” – Thursday afternoon panel at UCLA Anderson. 

L-R. Professor Sanjay Sood, facilitating

Anne M. Sweeney, Former Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks & Former President, Disney-ABC Television Group, The Walt Disney Company

Ynon Kreiz ’93, Former CEO, Maker Studios

Susan Wojcicki ’98, CEO YouTube (speaking in photo)

Mike Hopkins ’01, CEO, Hulu

Mike is on the cover of our Femba brochure this year. He’s making us proud!

UCLA Venture Accelerator Launch Party

All the stars are here at UCLA Anderson this afternoon for the launch party of our new Venture Accelerator!   Above is Dean Judy Olian, welcoming everyone. 

 Above, l-r, Aniruddha Mukherjee new Femba 2019, Jeff Locke Punter for the Vikings and UCLA alum, and Entrepreneurship Professor George Abe.   

  

Above Tamra Johnson Femba 2012 Co-Founder and Partner 79 Studios, and Saujin Yi MBA 2007 Founder and CEO 79 Studios.  Tamra and Saujin met at MIT, then reconnected at Ucla Anderson and created 79 Studios.  79 Studios uniquely and effectively empowers women in entrepreneurship and leadership. 

 Above, two alumni, both creating new companies: Mohtadi Nadjar full time MBA with his new brand of olive oil OLIVI, and Ed Cho Femba 2013. 

2016-The Best Year Ever. (Why the heck not?)

[It’s Monday night, January 11, 2016. Alabama won the National Championship about an hour ago. I wouldn’t know, because I fell asleep next to my three-year old. But I’ve woken up and I’m posting this blog, with some of my thoughts and plans to make 2016 the “Best Year Ever.” I wrote these thoughts last Friday morning. This post will be a test, to see who’s up late studying on Monday night, and needs a break.]  🙂

Greetings from Il Tram, Anderson’s coffee shop. It’s the first Friday morning of the new year, and I’m on my laptop, writing my first blog of the year 2016.

Hope your holidays were restorative. My wife and I traveled 15 days, from Rhode Island to New Jersey to one country (Texas, my original home), with our two boys, aged 8 and 3. Returning to work Monday was bewildering. Where’s my parking pass? What’s my password? What’s my name? Forgetting the basics is the sign of a vacation well-lived.

Sunday, January 3, we flew home to LAX on Southwest. Watching the arriving bags, every other young person I saw was wearing a UCLA sweatshirt: The Bruin tribe was coming back together.

So.

Still have your New Year’s resolutions? It’s only been 8 [now 11] days, so I hope they’re still real for you. If you’re having trouble, here’s something else to try: naming your year and sharing your goals (with the assumption that your goals came true).

I myself don’t have much success with New Year’s Resolutions. But one thing I do that works for me is to NAME my year, like

  2016 The Force Awakens

Actually I’m choosing something less poetic, but equally solid

  2016 The Best Year Ever

What’s the point of naming the year? It’s like naming a chapter. Chapters have a beginning, a middle and an end. Chapters have characters, and characters have adventures, and adventures have danger and heroism and outcomes, good and bad. Mostly, chapters are worth reading.

A book without chapters, one long list of words with no breaks, well that’s not a book I want to read. But a book with chapters, a story, that has power. I need to bracket life to keep my power going. And that’s why I like to create a theme for each year.

So. 2016 The Best Year Ever.

After naming the year, let’s do a Stephen Covey exercise and begin with the end in mind. Let’s assume that the chapter of life called “2016,” replete with dangers and heroism and outcomes, has happy endings. Let’s go forward to December 31st and write some summary headlines to this “Best Year Ever” from within FEMBA admissions and my accountability.

Macro-Headline #1: The FEMBA Class of 2019 stands on the shoulders of giants

Story: In the face of market contractions for all part-time MBA programs in SoCal, UCLA Anderson continued to attract and matriculate a growing student body. Building on the record-smashing class of 2018, the new entering class is even stronger with improved metrics for women, diversity, academic background, advanced degrees and geographic diversity. The FEMBA program has surpassed the UCLA Law School and is now the largest graduate student body of over 120 graduate programs at UCLA.

Macro-Headline #2: UCLA Anderson hosts the 23rd Part-Time MBA Deans’ Conference

Story: You know MBA rankings? Those pesky creatures that we love and hate—that we hate to love, and love to hate? Well, 50% of the US News & World Report ranking for part-time MBA programs is based on peer-assessment: Deans voting on programs.

UCLA Anderson won the bid to host the 2016 Conference in October at the brand new Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center in the heart of the UCLA campus. Under the leadership of Deans Margaret Shih, Gonzalo Freixes and yours truly, in partnership with Dean Judy Olian and with the contributions of peer-school and industry leaders, and with a special sparkle brought by our FEMBAassadors, UCLA Anderson delivered a professional, high-quality, content-rich conference addressing the current state of part-time MBA curricula across the world and looking out into the 10-20 year future of professional MBA education.

The conference left a “10-year-plus good impression” on the attending thought-leaders of part-time MBA education. They got to see UCLA, Anderson, FEMBA, GAP, Flex, FEMBAssadors, Global Immersions, the new Accelerator, and more, and they liked what they saw.

Macro-Headline #3 FEMBApalooza 5 shatters all precedents: catalyzes whole new levels of community

What’s more to say? FEMBApalooza continued to evolve into a community-building, culture-enhancing moment in the annual FEMBA calendar, connecting new and current and alumni FEMBAs with family and friends and faculty.

Micro-Headline #1    All admissions team members experience robust professional growth and development

Micro-Headline #2    FEMBAassadors continue to evolve as the secret weapon in FEMBA’s recruiting excellence

Micro-Headline #3    Dylan writes a white-paper, or possibly a book, about the positive growth and development of FEMBA over the last decade

Athletes visualize making the pass, or completing the shot. I’m visualizing 2016 as a year that surpasses my small dreams and accomplishes much bigger goals. How I have access to bigger results is in sharing these goals with you: Building a great Class of 2019; Hosting the Part-Time MBA Conference in October; Delivering the best FEMBApalooza ever.

By sharing our goals, we find new synergies, we create new connections, we have better results and more fun too.

I invite you to take some time and write some of your goals for 2016. Give your 2016 a name. Or steal mine, “2016, the Best Year Ever” and then share your goals and your name with your friends and colleagues.

In my experience, this practice of naming the year and sharing my goals with powerful people, it has a lot more staying power than any New Year’s Resolution that I might make on my own. A New Year’s Resolution made on my own is only as strong as my will-power, just one chocolate-covered donut from disaster. But, a Year with a Name, and goals that are public, in community, that has a much higher degree chance of success.

Give it a try. Why the heck not?

See you on campus.

—Dylan, signing off from Culver City on a Monday evening

People of UCLA FEMBA, a magical place

What a few weeks! The Class of 2018 is the largest FEMBA class ever, with the most women, most military, most PhDs and a raised GMAT.  Kaboom!  We couldn’t be more pleased. Enjoy these photos from Leadership Foundations, including the Class doing the 8-Clap, plus some photos from around campus.

20150918_LF_PamelaDouglas18PhD_DeanJudyOlian_SusanFrancia18Olympian

Power Women of UCLA: L-R Dr. Pamela Douglas ’18, new FEMBA and Assistant Professor at UCLA, Dean Judy Olian, and Susan Francia ’18, new FEMBA and our second-ever Olympic Gold Medalist. At the cocktail reception at the end of Leadership Foundations.

20150918_LF_DeanMargaretShihwelcominginKorn

Senior Associate Dean Margaret Shih welcoming the Class of 2018

20150918 _LF FACULTY and TAs

The amazing Faculty of Leadership Foundations, and their dedicated TAs.

FULLY EMPLOYED MBA Class of 2018 Infographic

The record-setting Class of 2018!

The Flex section was taught by Professor Craig Fox.

The Flex section was taught by Professor Craig Fox.

Here's what it is like to be me, address you--all 345 of you--on Day One of Leadership Foundations in Korn Hall!

Here’s what it is like to be me, address you–all 345 of you–on Day One of Leadership Foundations in Korn Hall!

20150918_LF_Odyssey_LainToddBill

For 20 years and counting, Odyssey has on-boarded UCLA MBAs. L-R, the founders Lain Hensley, Todd Demorest, and Bill Johns. Rarely do we get all three the same week!

Change five things.

Change five things.

Change five more!

Change five more!

Our very own Matt Gorlick '13, leading all 345 new FEMBAs through the Birkman!

Our very own Matt Gorlick ’13, leading all 345 new FEMBAs through the Birkman!

Ready for Beams and Strings? Have you done your power warm-up today? Power Speech with Professor Eli Simon.

Ready for Beams and Strings? Have you done your power warm-up today? Power Speech with Professor Eli Simon.

20150904_LF2018_FEMBA201820150904_LF2018_DanceMove

Tuesday, Sarah listened to Professor Craig Fox speak about women asking for salaries commensurate with the value they bring. The very next day, Sarah received a job offer that she had been seeking with a new firm. Sarah immediately applied her learnings from the day before and counter-offered with a higher salary request. Sarah got the job AND the better salary! Congratulations to Sarah, new Senior Communications Consultant for Esurance. Sarah is commuting from San Francisco and is in FEMBA Flex.

Tuesday of Leadership Foundations, Sarah McIntyre 18 listened to Professor Craig Fox speak about women asking for salaries commensurate with the value they bring. The very next day, Sarah received a job offer that she had been seeking with a new firm. Sarah immediately applied her learning from the day before and counter-offered with a higher salary request. Sarah got the job AND the better salary! Congratulations to Sarah, new Senior Communications Consultant for Esurance. Sarah is commuting from San Francisco and is in FEMBA Flex.

Kyle was working in Boston when he applied to FEMBA. He planned on Flexing from Boston, but instead he left his job and came west. Working with Susan Cowell in FEMBA Career Services, Kyle connected with Chris Barrington ’15, who was the lead who connected Kyle to his new—in Los Angeles—job. Congratulations to Kyle: New job as a Lab Analyst for UCLA in the Department of Pathology and a new life in LA! Kyle is in all-day Saturday, Section 2.

Kyle was working in Boston when he applied to FEMBA. He planned on Flexing from Boston, but instead he left his job and came west. Working with Susan Cowell in FEMBA Career Services, Kyle connected with Chris Barrington ’15, who was the lead who connected Kyle to his new—in Los Angeles—job. Congratulations to Kyle: New job as a Lab Analyst for UCLA in the Department of Pathology and a new life in LA! Kyle is in all-day Saturday, Section 2.

Nothing bonds people like the Ropes Course, and In-N-Out!

Nothing bonds people like the Ropes Course, and In-N-Out!

Flexers on last day, with Professor Craig Fox

Flexers on last day, with Professor Craig Fox

Datra Oliver 18 and Dominique Akens 18, brought friends with them to the cocktail hour at the end of LF.

Datra Oliver 18 and Dominique Akens 18, brought friends with them to the cocktail hour at the end of LF. Datra, in addition to being in Flex and starting FEMBA, was also experiencing the first time away from her child during LF.

Janak Udiyavar 18 was so kind in his words. "Dylan, this was one of the best weeks of my life." We are humbled to hear acknowledgements like that.

Janak Udiyavar 18 was so kind in his words, reflecting on Leadership Foundations, “Dylan, this was one of the best weeks of my life.” We are humbled to hear acknowledgements like that.   L-R  Dylan, Janak and Associate Dean Gonzalo Freixes

The Leadership Foundations team: Michael, Itze and Kuni, we couldn't do it without you all!

The Leadership Foundations team: Michael, Itze and Kuni, we couldn’t do it without you all!

Some days I take a walk at lunch, and soak up the beauty of our campus. Royce Hall, summer 2015

Some days I take a walk at lunch, and soak up the beauty of our campus. Royce Hall, summer 2015

This week, walking out the front door, I met (l-r) Lisa Reyes 18 and Jennifer Khedr 15. I had the privilege of teaching Jennifer in summer of 2013. Jennifer and Lisa met through networking of a mutual colleague who's also a FEMBA!

This week, walking out the front door, I met (l-r) Lisa Reyes 18 and Jennifer Khedr 15. Jennifer and Lisa met through networking of a mutual colleague who’s also a FEMBA! I had the privilege of teaching Strategic Business Communications to Jennifer in the summer of 2013.

Today, during a fire drill, as we all stood outside we ran into Daniel Sacks 17, who had come by to get his parking permit. Daniel works for GG & A, a management consultancy focusing on higher ed. Daniel recently had a meeting with a UCLA Vice Chencellor! L-R Daniel, Christy, Vanessa and Matt of our FEMBA Admissions team

Today, during a fire drill, as we all stood outside we ran into Daniel Sacks 17, who had come by to get his parking permit. Daniel works for GG & A, a management consultancy focusing on higher ed. Daniel recently had a meeting with a UCLA Vice Chancellor! L-R Daniel, Christy, Vanessa and Matt of our FEMBA Admissions team.

It's so great to get out of the office. I went up to the balcony to eat lunch today and sat with Andrew Sharp, new 18, who was on-campus, working remotely. Daniel works for OPower, and his company educates utilities through smart-data to find huge savings.

It’s so great to get out of the office. I went up to the balcony to eat lunch today and sat with Andrew Sharp, new 18, who was on-campus, working remotely. Andrew works for Opower, and his company educates and motivates utility customers through big-data analytics to find huge savings.

The latest in the global F-E-M-B-A body spelling. This was from Brittany Blackamore 16 and friends.

The latest in the global F-E-M-B-A body spelling. This was from Brittany Blackamore 16 and friends.

Brittany Blackamore 16 is maximizing her FEMBA experience. In addition to Greece in September, she also was on the Hong Kong trip in March. Here she is when we visited UCLA Anderson alumni at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.

Brittany Blackamore 16 is maximizing her FEMBA experience. In addition to Greece in September, she also was on the Hong Kong trip in March. Here she is when we visited UCLA Anderson alumni at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

And finally...Peter Saephanh 18 sent me this photo, also from the Acropolis, of FEMBAs spelling out words during the September Greece visit. I am honored...

And finally…Peter Saephanh 18 sent me this photo, also from the Acropolis, of FEMBAs spelling out words during the September Greece visit. I am honored…

That’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Want more FEMBA?
Check out these photos from Leadership Foundations 2015, the Class of 2018, on Instagram.  https://instagram.com/explore/tags/femba2018/

Brian Thomas ’14, receives another $1.3M in funding for Clutter

20150807_BrianThomas14_CEOofClutter_35cbc2dBrian Thomas, FEMBA 2014, section 3, and CEO of start-up Clutter, just received another $1.3M in funding and is expanding his company to offer coverage to all of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Way to go Brian!  Keep us posted.

Read more about Brian here, at these  TechCrunch articles:

Clutter expands to Bay Area and raises another $1.3M

Clutter just made self-storage super simple

20150807_BrianThomas_Clutter_how-it-works

Classmates-to-Co-Founders: Meet Hanson Chang ’14

Dylan: Great connecting again Hanson. Last week, I profiled your former classmate and current and business partner Oscar Rodriguez ’14, MD. This week, I want to profile you, to show people how your FEMBA experience lead you two to co-founding your company.

Tell our readers about you.

Hanson: So my background is in mechanical engineering, and I also have a master’s degree in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering from USC (yea I know…). I did my undergrad at UC Irvine, and after finishing I joined St. Jude Medical. I know you’re probably thinking St. Jude Children’s Hospital, since they do a lot of fundraising in the public domain and we share the same “St. Jude” name, but St. Jude Medical is actually unaffiliated with the children’s hospital. We make medical device; pretty big company, about $5.5 billion in revenue and a Fortune 500 company.

In any case, I joined St. Jude Medical after finishing my mechanical engineering degree because I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare space. When I was 6 months away from graduating, I thought about pursuing med school but it was a pretty spontaneous thought since I hadn’t taken any pre-reqs for it. By then I had also done a few internships in a mechanical engineering role, so was really going down an engineering path.

I ended up taking the MCATs anyways just to see how I would do, but ultimately decide that developing healthcare products was the perfect intersection between engineering (which I loved) and medicine (at the time a new-found love). Great thing was that my MCAT didn’t go to waste since I used that to get into USC for my engineering masters in lieu of taking the GRE.

I’ve been at St. Jude Medical since, and currently am an R&D director there. St. Jude Medical is a great place, they’ve afforded me the opportunity to constantly grow and put into practice many of the skills I’ve picked up at Anderson over the last 8 years.

I started out in operations managing a group of folks on the manufacturing floor, and since then had stints as a quality engineer, development engineer, program manager, development and operations manager, and as I mentioned my most recent role as an R&D director. When I had started at Anderson, I was a development engineer, and since then have really grown professionally.

Dylan: What made you join Anderson and how do you think it’s helped you?

Hanson: When I first decided to apply, I figured that getting an MBA couldn’t hurt, and what was I going to do with my free time anyways? I hate to say it, but I came in with the perspective that I could probably learn a thing or two, and having the Anderson name would be a nice resume booster.

I’m happy to say though, that my perspective completely changed the first week in Leadership Foundations. After that week, I knew the experience that I’d be getting at Anderson would be invaluable, and I have to say I got so much more out of the program than I ever thought.

Today I tell all my friends and anyone getting career advice from me, that if they have any interest in business, they should get an MBA. It’s experience and learning that you’ll use the next 40 years of your life, and what’s the overhead to know if it’s really for you? Study for the GMAT and put together an application form. If you really don’t think it’s for you, drop out after leadership foundations. But I guarantee them they won’t after the week-long experience.

Dylan: And we now know you were working on a digital health product with another FEMBA grad? Talk about that, please

Hanson: Yea, would love to. I’m working on it with Oscar Rodriguez ’14, MD who I met shortly after we both got accepted to Anderson at a networking event before classes even started. As luck would have it, we ended up in the same section as well. We’re both extremely passionate about the healthcare space, and after working together in a number of occasions, most notably on our GAP project, we decided to work on this product together.

20150604 Hanson Chang 14 Gap Team and Oscar Rodriquez 14 MD

Above, l-r, Our GAP Team – Rachel (Alevy) Ferkel, Jim Best, Hanson Chang (middle), Nelima Das-Clark and Oscar Rodriguez, MD.

We started working on it shortly after graduating from the FEMBA program. It was something like 3 – 4 weeks after commencement that I found myself over at Oscar’s place, and I was telling him about an idea for a consumer product that could help monitor their loved ones. I remember Oscar’s wife walking by and saying that I really had too much free time now that we finished the FEMBA program, which I can’t say is too far from the truth.

I always want to do something productive with my free time, and after learning about the digital health space, I felt there was a huge void when it came to technology solutions for elderly care. So I wanted to do something for this space. Initially we kicked things around a bit and pivoted quite a bit since the initial conception of the product, but we’ve really settle on what it’s going to be and things have picked up quite a bit these last few months.

Dylan: Sounds like an interesting story that we’ll have to cover!

Hanson: Absolutely. We see this product really benefiting people out there, so frankly anything we can do to get the word out will be great!

Hanging in Hong Kong

Wednesday afternoon in Hong Kong, listening to overview presentation of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.   

  

Just arrived today from Chengdu, China. Last four days, in China, was behind the “Great Chinese Firewall” and couldn’t get out to Facebook, to Google, to WordPress. Fortunately, could still use FaceTime and get to ESPN…

Here we were, in Chengdu yesterday.