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Devon Dickau
Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Anderson MBA '15; Senior Associate Consultant, Deloitte
Interests: Corporate strategy; social impact; social entrepreneurship; media & technology
Recent Activity
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Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Inspired by the commercialization of the week after Thanksgiving (in the vein of Black Friday and Cyber Monday), Giving Tuesday asks us to donate to causes we care about, using our privilege to help organizations in need of financial support. For me, UCLA is - and always will be - one of the causes that I care about most. Many arguments against giving to universities seem valid. For example, we pay for the service of education (it is not free), and we often spend a decade repaying debt. I argue that we must give back to the schools that made us who we are today. As an Anderson student, I delivered a presentation arguing for giving back to one’s alma mater. Our professor made a quip in the beginning of the year about those pesky student telemarketers from university alumni associations asking for money he didn’t want to give, and the class heartily agreed. As the co-chair of the UCLA Young Alumni Development Council at the time, and an active philanthropic advocate, I took that as a challenge. I argue that giving back to our alma maters protects the value of an institution and concretizes a culture of paying it forward. By giving, we ensure that our degrees retain their value. And the generosity of alumni before us makes our institutions great for generations of students to come. Apparently, my classmates and professor were convinced (I was voted “Best... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
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During my first graduate program, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I studied the potential of leveraging media and technology to spark social change. Among my exploration of television and film as tools for activating people around important social issues, I studied the Twitter revolution in Egypt and the uncanny popularity of YouTube, integrating philosophy, sociology, education theory, and technical knowledge to develop my new understanding of how the world works - and evolves - in a new digital age. My most poignant take-away from my time at Harvard: The key to creating change is the ability to keep up with change. Constant waves in new technologies do the best job of illustrating this phenomenon. For example, any successful marketer today must understand the new technological tools that customers use to communicate. In this way, studying technology from the outside is nearly impossible - as soon as we have a grasp of a technology’s presence and impact, technology has evolved once again. This week, Dean Olian hosted Robert (Bob) E. Moritz, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC on campus as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series. As a member of the U.S. leadership team of the one of the largest professional services companies in the world and a well-published thought leader, Moritz shared insights on leadership style, new trends that traverse industries, and Millennials in the workforce. Throughout the conversation, his responses were anchored around a very familiar core concept: To succeed, we must keep up with change.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
Quick Prelude: What a two years it has been! It's a pleasure to be back on the UCLA Anderson blog, sharing my experiences as a bookend to my blogging days from summer 2013. I look forward to staying connecting over the next year as a I track my progress as an Anderson alumni in year one (now officially a #doubleBruin!). # When I accepted my offer from Deloitte Consulting last year, I considered all three start date options. July seemed awfully early, with just over one month’s rest between school and work. September would give me an entire summer off to rest and travel. The other option was quite far away - February. But when in my life would I ever again be able to take off so many months, with relatively few responsibilities and a supportive partner with a stable career, and know I had a secure, well-paying job at the end? Maybe never. So, I asked to start in February. Reactions from classmates range from Are you crazy? to What are you going to do with that time? Most alumni think I am genius. That is SUCH a good idea. Or, Why didn’t I do that? Originally, I chose the latest date to give my fiancé and I more flexibility to have our wedding in the months after graduation. Yet, beyond that, the decision was fairly simple. The opportunity to take a seven month sabbatical was a gift I had to accept. My time in business school was... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2015 at The MBA Student Voice
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Looking back at almost three weeks of Orientation, we can all agree on one thing: We are tired. But, really...we are. Like, really tired. The madness of Orientation never ceased. And we loved every minute of it. More importantly, we can hardly handle our excitement for the two years ahead. The Orientation magic worked as planned and we feel connected to the Anderson, overwhelmed by opportunity and - all things considered - pretty prepared for what is to come. We know what we can expect, but we also know that we can expect the unexpected. And we are most definitely Thinking In the Next (Two Years). [This post’s headshots courtesy of the post-Orientation 80’s Party extravaganza] Aimee Musil Thinking in the Next 2 Years….I’m exhausted! But in the best way possible. Even though my Ander-journey only began three short weeks ago, it’s been a wild ride. Coming to Anderson, I really wanted to focus on pushing my limits and working outside of my comfort zone. From a 5-day pre-Orientation trip venturing into the wilderness (more on that later), to a terrifying climb and leap off of a telephone pole, Orientation taught me that, with the help of supportive teammates, I can achieve more than I ever thought possible [insert groan]. Yes, it was cheesy and silly at times - running around in costumes, doing wheelbarrow races, and chanting “C-section!” in front of all of my classmates may have felt like summer camp - but I view orientation as a metaphor... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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Four days ago, we stepped foot on the UCLA Anderson campus with a few friends, some butterflies, and buckets (briefcases?) full of questions. Who knew in such a short time, we would already feel right at home? Four days of Orientation in, two weeks until classes, we can already feel that we belong here. I belong at UCLA Anderson because… Aimee Musil: I belong at Anderson because, even though my classmates are amazingly diverse, we’re already showing signs of the engaging, supportive, collaborative, and open-minded community they talk about in those shiny admissions brochures. What exactly does that mean? As for engaging, over the past four days we’ve spent more than 9 hours watching presentations on what some might consider dry material - ethics, technology services, and the Anderson library (I apologize in advance to my mom, former librarian). However, from Jackie Reynolds, the Chief Technology Officer (and Anderson alum!) who had us cracking up to the saucy Angela Horne, newly appointed head of the Rosenfeld Library, the staff consistently impressed with their charm, wit, and genuine interest in helping us succeed during our time here. Our collective open-mindedness came into play later, during our class photo scavenger hunt, when the accomplished and successful professionals of the class of 2015 literally ran around campus sweating profusely, planking, twerking, and screaming at tour guides/undergraduates, “Where’s the tree of knowledge?” All in all, I’ve been so impressed by the people I’ve met both on the staff and student side, and am excited... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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If you're like me, you spend a significant amount of time each day thinking about food. First of all, I'm a grazer. I am hungry all the time. Secondly, I don't eat everything. Actually, I don't eat a lot of things. As of last summer, for a variety of health and moral reasons, I am a proud (mostly) dairy-free vegetarian. I avoid meat completey and avoid seafood unless I know - and can most likely see - where it comes from. It's easier than going vegan, but pretty difficult nonetheless. Fortunately, there are few better cities in which to live than Los Angeles when it comes to eclectic vegetarian cuisine. So, for the others of you out there with morals (I kid, I ate meat for 26 years #nojudging), or for those who simply like the veggie option and want to expand your horizons, here is a sampling of some of my favorite vegetarian, vegetarian-friendly and vegan spots in Westwood and beyond. IN WESTWOOD Veggie Grill 10916 Lindbrook Drive When I went vegetarian, I realized I could no longer order fast food. As a an infrequent fast food connoisseur, I was mostly ok with this. However, then I discovered Veggie Grill! A rapidly expanding chain of all plant-based restaurants, Veggie Grill just opened a new location in Westwood Village. While much of the menu would disprove the false assumption that all vegetarian food is also healthy food, the entire menu is delicious. I highly recommend the Baja Fiesta salad with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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Last week, I was a man of the mountains. Though it's not what you might think. First of all, allow me to explain why I've missed a few (as in, many) weeks on this blog. Life has taken me by a storm: Specifically, a bit over one month ago, a nonprofit I have volunteered with in the past contacted me asking for help. Their annual summer program - a week-long arts camp for young people affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS - was coming up, and they were still missing an integral member of the leadership team. I was planning to volunteer for a day or two at the camp this year, but with my summer work schedule did not think I would be able to make it up for the entire camp. But, despite my best effort to avoid any additional commitments this summer, they needed me. So, I went. Starting in early July, I dropped everything (well, not everything, but unfortunately blogging was one of those things), rearranged my work scheduled and focused on preparing for camp. And it was worth it. Last week was magical. Camp Hollywood HEART is a week-long arts camp held in the high mountains of Malibu for young people ages 15-20 directly impacted by HIV/AIDS. The program is a partnership between two organizations I have worked with for many years as both an artist and AIDS activist: One Heartland and Hollywood HEART. This summer, as I have in the past, I led Creative... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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I know. It’s only the summer. Year 1 isn’t even here yet. Call me crazy, but I have already begun investing significant mental energy into contemplating the seemingly endless myriad of professional opportunities that lie ahead. (If it helps, I had sleepless nights worrying about college starting when I was 12…so, maybe this isn’t that bad?). Professionally, I have dedicated most of the last decade – including many workplaces and two degrees – toward pursuing the path I am happily on now. I have successfully merged my passions for education, social impact and media/entertainment in interesting, intellectually stimulating roles that have allowed me to authentically make a difference. In the long term, I know this intersection, somewhere at the nexus of media/technology/entertainment and social change, is where my path will continue to lead. However, in the short term, I am about to embark on a crash course in business and management. I am pursuing my MBA to magnify horizons, unlock opportunities and learn, learn, learn. And with that new knowledge in hand, I want to gain practical private sector and corporate strategy experience that I can draw upon in the next phase of my career. Perhaps it is starting to become clear. I have a conundrum: Do I dive head-first into the social impact space, leveraging my two years at Anderson to strengthen skills and expand my network in my current field, and learn how to apply lessons from the business world in real-time, re-entering social change work after graduation?... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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#RealTalk: Numbers can be scary. Especially for those of us who are a bit out of practice. Looking back on my past, you'd think I wouldn't have an issue. I was a member of my high school math team, a state champion in Science Olympiad and competed on the academic decathalon. I took calculus while in high school through a local community college while enrolled in college-level courses in statistics and physics. I did a lot of math back then. So, I entered my undergraduate career with all quantitative requirements fulfilled. And, being that I have a BA in literature (and a pretty non-quantitative professional history), I haven't done math since. This was my biggest concern when choosing to apply to business school. To be admitted to a top MBA program like Anderson I needed to demonstrate high proficiency in math. I knew it was just a piece of my application. But every admissions officer told me that - for someone with my profile - it was a big piece. But I had no record, and no practice. So, it was all up to the GMAT. The first time I took the GMAT, I self-studied, thinking that I could do what I had done for every other standardized test in my life: just become somewhat familiar enough with the test beforehand to ease any pre-test anxiety, and then just figure it out as I went. My score was good. But not great. I took it again, and really focused on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2013 at The MBA Student Voice
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Jun 12, 2013