Excellence @ Anderson

Welcome Back

Dear Students:
Do you feel the energy that comes with a campus that’s – once again – teeming with people? Fall quarter 2014 is out of the gate, with more than 1,800 Anderson students across different programs charging full speed into another academic year. A warm welcome to our new students, and welcome back to those of you returning to campus. Summer was busy for us, as I’m sure it was for you. We celebrated a few commencements and sadly parted with graduates we won’t be seeing regularly on campus. And we put the finishing touches on new MBA, FEMBA and EMBA cohorts that are each comprised of remarkable individuals.

Judy Olian, Dean

Judy Olian, Dean

Your summer, I am certain, was also busy and interesting, whether working at internships or full-time jobs, or planning the transition into Anderson. Hopefully, there was also time to rest, relax, refresh and reconnect with family and friends. It’s now time to delve deeply into the learning process that is the hallmark of the Anderson experience. Learning covers many facets – exposure to conceptual frameworks and a knowledge base about the various functions of management, the discipline to analyze organizational or market challenges, increasing your knowledge of emergent trends in business, refining and structuring your own business ideas, and digging deeply into your values and disposition in order to become more self aware, and ultimately  a better leader.

These learning goals are front and center as we continuously innovate in our courses and programs. This year will bring several new developments including new senior associate deans for both MBA and FEMBA programs: Mark Garmaise, Professor of Finance; and Margaret Shih, Professor of Management and Organizations, respectively. We’ve hired five excellent assistant professors with PhDs from Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, Wharton and UT Austin. Spend some time getting to know them and their viewpoints.

For MBA and FEMBA, we are launching our new Google collaboration, a course taught by marketing Professor Sanjay Sood called “Digital Marketing Strategy”, featuring Google execs and new Google cases. FEMBA GAP program participants are working with their first companies from Sweden. Students also will have a new automated system for recording and documenting their research, the OSCAR System, thanks to GAP Fellow Oscar Rodrigues. The EMBA and GEMBA Asia Pacific students combined forces this summer taking classes together for the first time, during the August Elective Block.

On the career-search front, Parker Career Management Center has a new eBook version of their Parker Binder, which provides a wide range of information from critical steps in the career search process to industry-specific overviews, so you can take it with you wherever you are. We’re in the process of making major changes to our website. Over the next few months, you should see a total overhaul. The MBA and FEMBA sites are complete, with the rest on the way. You might also have noticed my new communiqué. We’re excited about our new look, so please check it out.

We talk about the character of the Anderson community – that we share success, think fearlessly and drive change. These are shared qualities that drew you here in the first place, attracted us to you, and create a natural connection to the 36,000 Anderson alumni who embody these qualities in their careers and communities. Let’s continue to realize these qualities in our actions, and in the plans we pursue – as a school and as individuals.

The faculty and staff are here to support you in your transformative journey at Anderson – to stretch your understanding and world view, and to discover and refine your life’s purpose. As always, I truly value your ideas and feedback and want to hear them. Connect with me, whether on email (judy.olian@anderson.ucla.edu), during my office hours, by scheduling an appointment, or when we bump into each other around Anderson. Some of our very best ideas come from you.

Here’s to a great year.
Judy Olian, Dean

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Jacqueline Sutro 

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Jacqueline Sutro

BY JOHN KAPTEYN, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

As most of us know by now, first-year classes can be rigorous. But behind the scenes, a lot of work goes into striking just the right balance between theory and practice so that students can maximize their learning experience, says Jacqueline Sutro, ASA academic vice president.

“Anderson is very much quantitatively focused – more so than other schools,” says Sutro, whose role involves liaising with students and faculty to optimize the classroom experience. In particular, Anderson has tried to keep its core classes broadly applicable, she adds.

Sutro has also spent her term pushing for more transparency to grading practices. As Anderson doesn’t exercise grade non-disclosure, it’s crucial for students to understand how they can improve their academic performance. As such, professors have voted and agreed to providing more interim feedback and additional information to allow students to assess their performance throughout the class.

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Brady Clegg

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Brady Clegg

BY JOHN KAPTEYN GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Brady Clegg (MBA ’14) likes to joke that his secret weapon to maintaining work-life balance at business school is that he’s married. “Sundays I can be working, not recovering,” he says, contrasting his typical weekend to that of his peers. Clegg says he found a way to balance involvement on campus with academic success by approaching school “like a job,” which enabled him to focus and prioritize his tasks. The first quarter is essentially a “crash course,” he admits, but students can succeed by budgeting their time wisely. “There’s no magic formula,” he says. “I just made sure that I allocated enough to do well.” Overall, Clegg says he enjoyed the core classes because they provided a framework to help solve a broad range of problems, but he’s also excited by Anderson’s increased emphasis on bringing in real life practitioners who enrich the curriculum by speaking about their experiences.

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The Parker Series: A Series of Iterations

BY EMILY TAYLOR (mba ’08) – ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, MBA CAREER EDUCATION

Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

I can hardly believe there’s only one class left in this year’s Parker Series. However, I’m already “Thinking in the Next.”

Many of you may not know it, but the Series has come a long way. Anderson launched the series in 2010, initially as a case-based course, to create standardized career preparation. While students found the class beneficial, they craved content tailored to their own job searches. That’s when Deans Andrew Ainslie, Rob Weiler and Susan Judkins proposed creating a new role at Parker and approached me for the position due to my experience both as a practitioner, overseeing a recruiting and HR team for a fast growth company, and as an assistant professor.

During my first year in 2011, I treated the Parker Series like an internal consulting project: I observed, assessed and devised a new strategy.  My goal: to create a class that I myself would have enjoyed and benefited from as a student.

Previously, each section’s weekly session was taught by a different mix of Parker advisors. I took over the lecturing in 2012 to streamline teaching, reduce lecture time and introduce new topics – for example, personal branding and navigating the “Circle of Death” at networking events. I was happy with the progress, but there was still a lot of work to be done.

I got some unexpected help along the way. Last December, Breeana Garrett Bey (MBA ’14) asked to meet as part of preparing her “Take a Stand” presentation for the Introductory Communications Course. The topic: “Why the Parker Series should be moved to Orientation.”  The concept wasn’t logistically feasible, but her suggestions – paired with the school initiative to embrace hybrid learning – did trigger some major strategic changes.

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Note 22% of the lecture time was online video

We adopted a “flipped classroom” by introducing online lectures for resume, cover letters and personal branding. Students learned new content through videos at home so that class time could be devoted to activities. We cut lecture time in half (with 25% occurring online) and doubled paired exercises like peer informationals, mock interviews, resume reviews, and cover letter editing. This strengthened connections across the first-year class and provided each student with the hiring manager’s perspective.

Assistant Dean of Career Services Regina Regazzi (MBA ’97) recently told me she has seen “a remarkable improvement” in the quality of resumes. “The students may not realize this when they’re sitting in class, but when I think about the quality of the resumes now versus a few years ago at this point, I am amazed at the progress. That is transformative for on-campus recruiting,” she added.

In 2012, we introduced advisor-led roundtables to give students exposure to the entire Parker team. Students told me they appreciated the instant feedback and learning from their peers, so we tripled the number of roundtables this year. This was an arrangement made feasible due to the logistical finesse of our new Communications Manager Sandra Nguyen. In addition, we brought our case interview workshops in-house, and they are now being taught by Parker advisors (and former consultants) Jennifer Bevan and Chris Weber (MBA ’09).

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MBA Class of ‘15 class practices their 30-second pitches for the first time (Photo courtesy of Parker)

I also have some of your classmates to thank. Kyle Forrest ’14 and I had regular discussions on how to better align content and deliverables with the flow of the first-year recruiting process. To address previous concerns about the overlap between the Parker Series and Anderson Career Teams (ACT), I met weekly during the spring with Parker TA and ACT Coach Chris Hatfield ‘14.  We identified redundancies and best practices across ACT groups and created a weekly curriculum that could be used by all industries and functions.

Due to my years working in startups, I know firsthand the importance of iteration, and will continue to refine the class each year based on feedback and market need(and no, not because I’m looking for “Situation-Action-Result” statements to bolster my resume).I want to make this course best in class and do my part to help get Anderson ranked where it should be, back in the top 10.

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Ed Moses

BY ERIC SMITH - FEMBA EDITOR

Ed Moses 3-AaEdit

Ed Moses poses with his Olympic Medals (Photo by Z. Davar)

You might know Ed Moses (FEMBA ’16) as the co-founder and co-owner of MoJo Marketing & Media, a creative content consulting company.
But what you might not know is that Moses is also an Olympic gold medalist. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he and his teammates nabbed the gold medal in the 400-meter medley relay. He also scored the silver medal and broke multiple world records in the 100-meter breaststroke.
His success didn’t end there. Moses continued his sporting career as a semi-professional golfer. He says his passions, experiences and international travels inspired him to start MoJo, where he currently serves as a Vice President.

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