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Britney Sussman
Kauai, HI
UCLA Anderson Class of 2016 Full-time MBA Student, most recently Director of Corporate Member Services at Business Forward
Recent Activity
One of the items that topped my business school bucket list was “participate in a case competition.” I didn’t have the opportunity to compete in one during undergrad and thought it would be the perfect avenue to apply the many skills that I’m honing at Anderson. Plus it’s a quintessential bschool activity, almost a right of passage. Luckily, Anderson hosts a range of case competitions on campus each year, so students have a lot of interesting challenges from a range of industries to cut their teeth on. During the fall, some of my classmates came up with the next big thing for Amazon during the HTBA Amazon Case Competition and solved a complex hypothetical growth problem for Smart Things during the 2014 Deloitte National Case Challenge. This winter quarter, my friend and fellow first-year, Dan Abbott, and his teammates took home the gold during the 4th annual Challenges in Energy Case Competition for their win-win solution for EV charging at commercial location. Another friend, Liz Prutting, competed in the Entertainment Case Competition during the annual MEMES Pulse Conference, sponsored by Paramount Pictures. Her team came up with a set of creative recommendations on how to move media consumers up the margin ladder for movie purchases. I, on the other hand, leapt into the case comp pool by way of the Net Impact Consulting Challenge (NICC), which took place last weekend. While most case competitions are just a few days, the NICC was a fascinating 2.5-week real consulting engagement with a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
“Recently I was introduced as a ‘female CEO’ and I laughed because I have never heard a man introduced as a ‘male CEO’.” Said Tory Burch during the 2013 Women’s Rule Summit. I stood with the 200 other women in the conference room who represented some of the most powerful individuals in Washington and clapped in agreement. While in D.C., I had the privilege to not only participate in, but also lead a number of women’s events. I was proud to bear witness to President Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, and inspired to work with my corporate members at Business Forward to lift up best practices for retaining, developing, and promoting women executives. Possibly my biggest take away (apart from LEAN IN!) is that the environment of a company or organization plays a critical role in a woman’s success. So, when I began looking at business schools, I knew that I needed a program didn’t just talk the talk, but actually walked the walk when it came to empowering its female students. Looking strictly at the numbers, Anderson has a similar ratio to most top business schools; women account for 34% of my class. But we have something no other business school has – Dean Judy Olian. Since being appointed the first female Dean of UCLA Anderson in 2006, Dean Olian has worked tirelessly to break through glass ceilings, benefitting all students, past present and future. She isn’t just a role model; she’s a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
I survived my first quarter!! No, I didn’t just survive; I flourished! But it wasn’t easy. Over the last three months, I was stretched and challenged in ways that change a person. I had 36 hours of things to do each day, and I had to bring my A-game to everything. First quarter classes are extremely rigorous and Google was recruiting on campus Day 1, so for 12 weeks I did a calculated dance between academics, recruiting, and social activities. It was intense and I’m a better version of myself because of it. Sometimes I would be on the phone to my parents and would have to stop myself and say, “It might sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I love this. Every email I send, every informational interview I do, and every hour I put into studying is all about me and my future. It’s not about my boss or the organization I work for. It’s about me. It’s a uniquely selfish time and I love every minute of it.” All of the hard work paid off, and at the end of the quarter, I accepted an offer for a summer internship (stay tuned for more about that in a future post). However it’s not about the destination, but the path you take to get there, and I really enjoyed the recruiting process. I recruited for human capital consulting and internal human capital management roles at tech companies. It is a field that is gaining interest at Anderson... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
When considering Anderson and making the move to Los Angeles, one of my worries was that I did not own a car. Coming from Washington, D.C., or any other walk-able, carless-commuter-friendly city, this is a huge consideration. Not only had I grown to enjoy not having a car and taking alternate modes of transportation, but I also wasn’t prepared to incur the costs of buying one. However, after living in LA for two months sans automobile, I can officially report that you really don’t need one. Here’s why: 1. Live very close to campus. I decided to live in the Hilgard Avenue Apartments offered through UCLA Graduate Student Housing. I live in one of the approximately 30 studio apartments, located on the eastern side of campus, just a 15-minute walk to Anderson. Electricity, water, gas, and cable/internet are all included meaning I have just one bill a month, which is great. Considering that I spend about 11-13 hours on campus a day (yes, you will spend A LOT of time on campus in your first quarter), living within walking distance has been a godsend. 2. The Big Blue Bus. As a UCLA student, when I show my Bruin card, a one-way trip on the Big Blue Bus costs me just $0.50. The Big Blue runs all over West LA and I take it to Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, etc. It is extremely navigable and I have a stop directly across from my apartment building. 3. Carpooling. Off-campus bschool... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
I dedicated this summer, between quitting my job and starting business school, to expanding my global perspective. Five countries in two and a half months was Southeast Asia 101. Luckily I’m just getting warmed up. I plan to continue my global education with the Anderson Center for Global Management, making global management one of my MBA specializations. During this summer’s adventure, I took a special, personal interest in Cambodia. While it is rich in natural resources and now offers cheaper labor than China, the recent and horrific chapter of Khmer Rouge has created a distinct business environment, both economically and culturally. On April 17, 1975, Pol Pot rode through the streets of Phnom Penh as the new dictator of Cambodia and leader of the Khmer Rouge, the Communist Party of Kampuchea. He was only in power for four years, but managed to kill one fourth of the country’s population, roughly 2 million people, in a societal experiment gone terribly wrong. I feel a unique connection to this genocide – my father's best friend in high school was one of only six Americans captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge during their reign. Chris Delance was a sailor in the wrong place at the wrong time off the coast of Cambodia in late 1978. He was taken to the infamous S-21 prison, tortured, and killed shortly before the Vietnamese liberation in 1979. When I arrived in Phnom Penh just over 39 years later, I had no idea what to expect from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
Ah, the b-school application journey... where to begin? As I explored business schools and weighed the merits of each program, location was a huge factor in my decision of where to apply. As I mentioned in my intro blog, I'm from Hawaii, but have been living and working in Washington, DC for the last four years. Based on my past experience, personal preference, & my future goals of switching careers and joining the tech industry, I came up with three simple qualifications for each school location: 1) in/close to a city 2) significant tech industry presence nearby 3) no harsh winters (I'm not a fan of the words "polar vortex") My short list included Stanford GSB, UC Berkeley Haas, and UT Austin McCombs. Soon after I started to think about business school, I was tasked with organizing a business roundtable series for Business Forward, the organization I worked for. Each meeting brought together 20-30 key business leaders from a specific city and 6-8 senior Obama Administration officials. Each group met at the White House to discuss a range of topics critical to creating jobs and promoting economic competitiveness in their respective cities. It was when I began to put the group together from Los Angeles that I first heard the term, "Silicon Beach." (No, not the plastic surgery kind of silicon... the Silicon Valley kind of silicon.) Foolishly, I had always assumed that LA was mainly entertainment and tourism. However, as I sat in that meeting, I realized that LA... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
Aloha Student Voice Readers! My name is Britney Sussman and I'll be moonlighting as an Anderson student blogger while I prepare to join the incoming full-time MBA Class of 2016 at UCLA Anderson this fall. I hope to share some stories, advice, bad jokes, and yet another Anderson perspective with you, but first a little background info: For the last three years I worked for a business-policy non-profit in Washington, DC, called Business Forward. Its mission is to bring more business leaders into the policy-making process because Washington's lawmakers need to do a better job at listening to business and the business community needs to do a better job at helping Washington on tough votes. I served as the organization's Director of Corporate Member Services, working with over 50 of some of the largest companies in America (think Microsoft, Google, AT&T, Walmart, Target, Visa, Comcast, etc.), who underwrite Business Forward. Each corporate member makes it possible for thousands of business leaders across the country to get involved without having to pay anything. This experience at the nexus of business and policy gave me invaluable exposure to a wide range of policy issues. I became especially interested in workforce issues as I designed many roundtable discussions focused on diversity and inclusion, hiring the long-term unemployed, the skills gap, immigration, and healthcare. While dialog is important, I realized that I wanted to work for a company that moves beyond talk and takes bold action - more specifically in the tech sector, in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
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Jun 16, 2014