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Yu Chen
Boston, MA
UCLA Anderson Full-Time MBA student in the Class of 2017
Interests: education, nonprofits, social justice, basketball
Recent Activity
I recently had the opportunity to attend one of Dean Olian's Distinguished Speaker Series events this Monday with Jim Moffatt '87, the CEO of Global Consulting at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Jim joined Deloitte in 1987 after graduating from Anderson, became a partner in 1994, and has been a leader in Deloitte's global scaling initiatives, while focusing on the Energy and Life Sciences / Healthcare practice in particular. My classmate and outgoing president of Anderson's Strategy & Operations Management Association (SOMA) Amirali Ghasemipour had the honor of introducing Jim to a packed Korn Hall audience. The talk left several deep impressions on me, and challenged many of my assumptions: Go Where the Innovation Goes: We all have preset notions of management consultants' time tested routines- walking in with sharp suits, collecting data, and then implementing a framework analysis and delivering an impressive set of slide decks for their clients- yet Jim's description of the practice could not be any more radically different. A key point he made, for instance, was that management consulting is inherently about adapting as quickly as possible to shifts in technology, industry trends, and client preferences- Deloitte intends to go where the innovation goes (as its recent history of technology and digital agency firms clearly demonstrates); no matter what function or industry you are in, for example, you have to learn to speak the language and understand the underlying concepts of the 21st century technological revolution. Jim made an important point about being cognizant not to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2016 at The MBA Student Voice
Over the past few months, I have been helping my classmates Daniel Yokomizo '16, Chase Gharrity '16, Britney Sussman '16, and Lauren Yang '17 organize the 2016 T-Mobile Case Tech and People Strategy Case Competition. The planning and organization of this case competition was a team effort through and through- it was co-sponsored by Anderson's HTBA (High Tech Business Assocation), MCA (Management Consulting Association), and SOMA (Strategy and Operations Management Association). It was also facilitated by the Human Resources Round table (HARRT) at UCLA, which is a network of human resources executives from some of the top companies in Southern California. HARRT at UCLA played a significant role in helping connect T-Mobile with Anderson. This was the first human capital case competition held at Anderson- our goal was to bring human capital topics to the general Anderson student population, and emphasize how linked human resources is to overall business strategy. I'll be interning at Hewlett Packard Enterprise this summer within HR, hopefully focusing on workforce planning, and the case competition was a great way for me to share my enthusiasm and passion for human capital. The best part of the day was not only seeing teams collaborate, compete, and genuinely enjoy spending time with each other, but also listening to all the fresh new perspectives and ideas that were generated from their presentations. The case prompt revolved around quantifying metrics around T-Mobile's quality of hire to ensure that it had the proper workforce, talent pool, and skills inventory to deliver... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2016 at The MBA Student Voice
It's been essentially five months since I last posted, and yet it feels like that time passed in the blink of an eye. What have I been up to in that time? 1. The Recruiting Grind: There's no way to sugarcoat it- the task of securing a summer internship is no joke. I was lucky enough to find mine very early on in the process, but I definitely had more than my fair share of "what am I doing with my life" moments as I switched back and forth between management consulting, social impact, and human resources recruiting paths. But Anderson supports you the entire way: the Parker Career Management Center really prepares 1st years well for the rigors of the recruiting process. 2nd-years act as your career coaches and interview prep team leaders, and are generally available for advice, informational sessions, and venting. The best aspect of Anderson here is that almost everyone is looking to change at least some aspect of their career, so there is a feeling of mutual commiseration- everyone is in the same boat as you and can completely empathize along the way. 2. A Complete Business School Education: Learning at Anderson is like drinking water from a firehose. There's so many ways to learn- classes, Easton Technology workshops, academic internships, case competitions. Unlike a lot of other MBA programs where students will begin to specialize very early on, I've really come to appreciate the fact that Anderson prepares you to be successful in whichever... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2016 at The MBA Student Voice
Finally- the first blog post actually from Westwood! We arrived late Sunday night and spent this week getting settled in to our apartment (ie. building hordes of IKEA furniture). Here are some of my first impressions of LA: Anderson people KNOW their social media: Before I came to LA, I thought I was hip to the tech scene because I used Google Drive. How foolish and naive of me! I can barely count all the different ways Anderson 2017 people communicate, socialize, and organize events with one another: GroupMe, Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook groups (probably missing a couple other platforms here). Section assignments and fall class schedules were released late this afternoon via email and within seconds the Anderson 2017 GroupMe was blowing up my phone with classmates announcing their sections and talking trash about the best section (clearly Section B- so step off, Jordan Stone from Section E whoever you are). Take advantage of the days before orientation starts: Before we continue any further, let me just say that I'm an introvert. I spent the majority of my undergrad freshman orientation week squirreled away in my dorm room with the shades drawn playing online poker. And not going to lie- I enjoyed it thoroughly. But honestly, any academic on-campus experience is at its essence about the people you meet and the relationships you build. Not taking the time to get to know my neighbors, classmates, and hallmates really set me back a ton in me getting the full college experience,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
I'm writing this blog post from South Bend, Indiana, a few miles away from the University of Notre Dame campus. We started out in Boston Saturday morning on our cross-country road trip to LAand have been averaging about 450 miles a day. So far the Honda Civic has been holding up surprisingly well, even loaded full of suitcases and clothes. Apart from driving, audiobooks, iPod shuffle playlists, and lots of Starbucks coffee, here's what the first two days of my trip has looked like so far: Watching the Anderson pre-orientation Accounting modules: the Parker Career Management Center has provided all incoming 1st year MBA students with a pretty helpful primer on basic accounting concepts and financial statements. They are self-paced and include self-evaluations every few days, as well as a PDF workbook to follow along with Professor Henry Friedman's video instruction. 'So far, I've only got to Day 3 out of 10 of the videos, but they've been extremely helpful for someone coming from a non-traditional background with very little exposure to finance/accounting. Getting the keys to our new apartment(!): in relatively convoluted fashion, we finally got our apartment keys when we met up with our landlord at a Dunkin Donuts in New Jersey, where she had just finished helping move her daughter into college. Our landlord and her husband are definitely very old-school, "people-centric" property managers- they wanted to meet in person to sign the lease and even walked into UCLA Anderson's financial aid office to confirm with Ji... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
First of all, a big thank you to Petro, Ankit, and Rohan for volunteering their time and energy to craft insightful, meaningful responses to my interview questions- they're all cool dudes I'm hoping to get to know better in person! If there's one takeaway from interviewing fellow Anderson '17ers, it's that there is immense opportunity that arises from diverse and seemingly disparate perspectives. The three students profiled come from different countries (Russia, Australia, and India) and a variety of pre-MBA jobs/functions. I was astounded by how well-traveled and cosmopolitan- yet how distinctly unique- Petro, Ankit, and Rohan all were.They are all undoubtedly experts in many things, and they all hold key pieces of knowledge and perspectives I can (if I'm smart) take with me back to revolutionize the nonprofit / education world. Without further ado, the final installment in the Class of 2017 profiles brings us Rohan Bhatia, who hopes to use his Anderson experience to prepare himself for a management role and ultimately launch his own company in the field of healthcare technology. Name: Rohan Bhatia Hometown: New Delhi, India Prior to Anderson: Currently I am involved in my family business, which has distribution rights for various medical devices companies, such as Carefusion (BD) & Hillrom. In our business, I have been responsible for in-house product developments. To add some perspective, I come from a technical background and before joining the family business I was working in the semiconductor/hi-tech software space. So this is a position I naturally enjoy,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
This is a great post. Nice work!
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2015 on So you want an MBA? at The MBA Student Voice
1 reply
The next member of the Class of 2017 is a former management consultant from Australia looking- like many incoming students at Anderson- to make a slight career transition and to get back in touch with his inner tech side during business school. The man also takes some tremendous selfies, as you'll see below. Name: Ankit Pandey Hometown: Melbourne, Australia Prior to Anderson: I was a management consultant at Ernst & Young, within the Supply Chain & Operations practice. My projects and clients varied over my 4 years in the practice, giving me the opportunity to work across the following industries: financial services, mining & metal, telecommunications, consumer goods, construction, government and not-for-profit. Why Anderson: A key influence in me applying for business school for this Fall was to move into an industry where I could get back in touch with my engineering education. As such, California was very attractive, with the Silicon Valley and a rapidly emerging technology base in LA. Also, Anderson's reputation as a consistent Top 20 business school, a technology leader amongst business schools, and an institution with strong collaborative culture, made for a very strong case. Hence, when I received my offer call at 1:30am (won't be forgetting that anytime soon!) I was more than happy to accept. What is one cool/interesting thing about yourself that others would not be able to tell upon first meeting you? I'm Indian. Now, although my name may give this away, my 'fairish' skin colour, freckles, accent and red hair... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
Sometimes, the best way to get to know your future classmates is to just ask them. This week, I messaged several other Anderson '17 classmates to briefly answer some questions about themselves, their goals, and why they chose to come to Anderson. I'm sure we're all excited to find out more about the people we'll spending time with, so without further ado, our first '17 classmate profile hails from Russia and (no big deal) just a casual polyglot looking to learn Spanish and surf... Name: Petro K Hometown: Moscow (for the last 8 years); I was born in Ukraine. Prior to Anderson: I am (still employed!) a corporate finance senior manager at one of the largest Russian banks. My role and responsibilities from the financial advisory side include: financial restructuring (aligning debt repayments to company’s future cash flows), business valuation, financial modeling, due diligence and buy/sell side M&A (both debt and equity deals). From a consulting point of view, my responsibilities are: advising C-level executives on immediate and long-term remedial actions (identification of bottlenecks, hidden internal resources and market opportunities) required for turning struggling companies around and proposing to the bank's top managers the best exit strategies. The most exciting part of my profession is that it brings me much sought after satisfaction and meaningfulness (sometimes I even feel like a doctor!). Prior to that I worked at Deloitte (Transaction Services) and PWC (Financial Advisory). Why Anderson? I was most attracted by UCLA Anderson's three defining principles (Sharing Success, Thinking... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
Everyone's summer before business school is different. My future '17 classmates are doing everything from going on transcontinental road trips to simply working full time and saving up. Here's a little taste of what I am up to this summer: Soaking up as much knowledge as possible in my summer internship: I applied to Anderson planning on staying in the same industry (nonprofit education) but transitioning to management and operations post-MBA. I've been fortunate enough to be doing an internship that has been the perfect bridge between teaching and business school. I'm assigned projects that are definitely areas of growth for me. For example, one of my projects has been to help draft our school's annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Education, and the task requires compiling data and information from a wide range of staff members. The assignment has forced me to be intentional about networking with colleagues and following up consistently in my communication. Learning Excel: I knew almost nothing about Excel before this summer, but am getting a lot more experienced through tutorial videos and using it in my internship projects. I've been watching the Excel tutorials on Lynda, which is offered through UCLA for free! You can find the link here (scroll to the bottom of the page). Downsizing my belongings: It's always a strange experience- albeit a necessary one- cleaning out your belongings before any big transition. Below are some of the oddest things I found and likely parting ways with (and which may... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
Here's an interesting question to ponder: What would your Netflix watchlist and queue reveal about your personality, your priorities, your mood, and your interests? With the Breaking Bad chapter of my Netflix life finally concluded, I recently embarked on a summer documentary binge-watching streak, with the most recent one being Happy, a 2011 film directed by Roko Belic and focused on positive psychology and happiness. Belic's film features a variety of individuals from around the world (a rickshaw driver in Kolkatta, a Louisiana fisherman, a single-mother family living in a Danish housing cooperative, among others). At one point in the film, Knox College Professor of Psychology Tim Kasser explains how true happiness and life satisfaction is tied most deeply to four intrinsic human goals/desires: - close community of family and friend relationships - opportunities for personal growth - status and personal recognition - ability to help others and the world at large These goals seem relatively self-evident and almost obvious, but the film raised lots of questions that I had already begun to ask myself when I started the business school application process: how can you create a genuine staff culture in schools (and an organizational culture in general) that allows for employees to hit all of these four benchmarks of happiness without negatively affecting productivity, efficiency, or the bottom line, whatever that may be (profit margins, standardized test scores, win-loss records, etc.)? Can happiness and an optimal bottom line truly coexist? As I peruse the first year curriculum at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
Let me get straight into it and give you the lowdown on yours truly: My name is Yu and I am going to be one of your student bloggers. I was born in China and moved to the United States at age five. After doing the whole childhood / angsty teenager thing for a while, I headed off to college intent on studying history and becoming a hotshot lawyer. That's when everything went awry. After graduating from Penn in 2010, I taught/tutored as part of a service program called MATCH Corps. It was only supposed to be a one year gap in my master plan before taking the LSAT and heading off to law school, but urban education grew on me and ultimately become a calling. I've spent the past four years teaching a motley crew of subjects (World History, English Literature, AP English, Physics) and coaching sports at an alternative school called Phoenix Charter Academy. Phoenix is a Massachusetts charter school network that specifically enrolls and serves low-income students with behavioral, academic, or social-emotional issues that prevented them from being successful at traditional district schools. (BELOW) "Hey you! You gonna finish those Doritos? Cause Mr. Chen didn't eat breakfast this morning..." That's me dropping some knowledge in a Conceptual Physics classroom! So why business school? I can give you the whole speech complete with bells and whistles later, but the gist of it is that I want to make education- urban education in particular- a more sustainable, viable career... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
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Jun 22, 2015