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S Vaman89
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On the morning of April 14, I wrote a blog post about the numerous conferences going on on and off campus, and inviting the broader community to join in on those conferences. Until now, this was my last blog post, because something that afternoon occurred that has changed my life. Forever. In one of my previous posts, I talked about Sari Closet, an online nationwide rental service for saris (formal South Asian women's apparel). To recap: Sari Closet started as a class project in our Business Plan Development class. At the end of the class, our "final" was to present our business to the class and to a group of guest venture capitalists, whose commentary / Q&A compromised the bulk of your grade for the quarter. The feedback we received was tremendous, to the point where one of the guests contacted us to help us get started. We launched the business in January and went live in May. So on that fateful afternoon of April 14, I was in a pod at Rosenfeld Library with my classmates-turned-business partners, preparing for the Knapp Venture Plan competition that evening. This is a business plan competition across Anderson, with the winner getting $30,000 in prize money, presumably to launch the business (although that's not a requirement). Nisha and I were going to present, so we dressed as best we could like fashion executives. Patrick was dressed like an MBA student in his last quarter: a t-shirt from a band nobody has ever heard... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2011 at The MBA Student Voice
It's Spring Break here at UCLA Anderson! Many classmates have disappeared from Westwood. One collection of students that aren't going anywhere this Spring Break, however, are the students who were signed up for the annual trip to Japan. UCLA Anderson historically attracts a significant number of Japanese students, who move... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at S Vaman89's blog
It's been a while since the blogeteers have posted, so let me give you a bit of a fill-in as to what's happening: * The International Business Association is busy planning the International Food Festival, where we transform Alumni Plaza into a street market atmosphere with students running food stalls from a variety of different cultures. I'm a step removed from the planning this year versus last year, but there are already more tables lined up than last year - which means more cultures represented, more food, and more fun! The festivities will be on April 8. * Jason Arnott has made an instant impact on the Capitals. On the ice, he gives the Caps something that they haven't had since Sergei Federov retired: a second line that draws defenses away from Alex Ovechkin's line. Off the ice, he's been an instant mentor to Alex Semin, and has been a vocal leader in the dressing room. Great move. * Dennis Wideman doesn't have Mike Green's Norris Trophy ability, but can fill in very nicely while Green is on injured reserve. * If the Football Association really wanted to incease the development of English players in the Premiership, they should turn the Carling Cup into a competition for English players only. This doesn't violate the EU's labour laws because the clubs can still employ anyone from the EU for their other competitions. Plus, it would give a deeper meaning the Carling Cup, which in my eyes struggles for relevancy compared to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2011 at The MBA Student Voice
Lots to talk about so let's get right to it. * For all of the controversy surrounding Wayne Rooney earlier this season, he seems to have settled back into life at Carrington. He's been relatively out of the spotlight, with United piling on points and Berbatov and Chicharito handling the bulk of the goal scoring. And then he struck this masterpiece against City, giving United the badly-needeed three points. Beautiful. * United and Chelsea were off from Champions League duty this week, but Arsenal and Tottenham represented England very well. I loved that Tottenham played their usual, aggressive, attacking style even though they were in the San Siro. They needed Gomes to make some big stops especially in the 2nd half, but were rewarded with Crouch's late winner from Aaron Lennon - that's two English players that bring home a 1-0 Tottenham win in Mlan. * Given how well Barcelona has played this year, a 1-0 defeat for the Gunners would have been respectable. But full marks to Arsenal for bunking that logic and going for the draw, and then the win, in the final 12 minutes. Makes me wonder about Barcelona: La Liga has been almost too easy for them this year, with just a modest Real Madrid challenge to contend with; switching to the more intense Champions League is really difficult. * This summer might be the end of the line for both Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee. It is clear that the Caps players are no longer... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2011 at The MBA Student Voice
Here is a unique twist: I have a class this quarter that encourages us students to use our mobile phones during class. The class is called Brand Management and is taught by Professor Sanjay Sood and co-taught by Jim Stengel, the former Global Marketing Officer of Proctor & Gamble. It is a really exciting class because Mr. Stengel is a world-famous and highly accomplished marketing executive, Prof. Sood is renowed as being one of the best professors at UCLA Anderson for marketing and entertainment, and together they have assembled a fascinating array of guest speakers in the field. Further, a whopping 20% of our grade will be based on "social media"; we are tasked with tweeting our reactions to the presentations by the guest speakers. We've only had one class with this component thus far, but I thought it was a unique take. It was interesting to see what my fellow students found poignant from the presentation, and to give and hear our reactions. In the first class, we mostly quoted what we felt were the highlights. I tried to highlight some parallels to other facets of industry, and asked a question or two. I think as we get more comfortable with the concept, we'll have a broader dialogue, where perhaps the twitter feed will be almost like a separate conversation to the presentation -- ideally an interesting debate. Definitely a unique way to change the classroom experience! * * * * * * * * I need to bring... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2011 at The MBA Student Voice
Happy New Year! This is week 2 of three great weeks for us Andersonian puckheads. The Winter Classic -- where my beloved Capitals defeated the Penguins, 3-1 -- was fantastic, and the HBO 24/7 series featuring the two teams was captivating. Tomorrow is the final installment of the series, which no doubt will focus on Eric Fehr scoring two goals for my Capitals en route to the 3-1 win. But nothing will beat Monday late morning, when Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be on campus here at UCLA Anderson! We at the Sports Business Association are very excited at the chance to hear insights from one of the most accomplished executives in sports. Then on Tuesday morning, we've been invited by our colleagues at USC to a breakfast hosted by Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League. He surely must be thrilled at the runaway success of the sport in 2010, as well as this year's Winter Classic. Hockey''s resurgence has given us cause to put a greater emphasis on the sport in our programming for the SBA, which is exciting for me both professionally and personally! * * * * * * There are two myths about the Penguins that I hope are finally being exposed, either by HBO in 24/7 or by NBC in its own Winter Classic coverage. Myth 1: The Penguins are an offensive team. This couldn't be farther from the truth. When they have the lead,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2011 at The MBA Student Voice
Here's the punchline of this post: first quarter of Year 2 blows. There's no other way to say it. The problem -- and in fairness, it's a high-quality problem -- is that there are too many things that come up in the first quarter. Because 1/3 of my 2011 classmates are abroad, and none of the first years are bidding for electives, it's the perfect quarter to take any of the professors or courses that you are eager to take. Plus, most of us still here in Westwood started our field study projects (the acronym here is AMR, for Applied Management Research). On top of that, most people are now involved in some sort of club leadership. So yeah, it gets to be a busy quarter. I'm happy to see the back of it! I'll confess that I overdid it. AMR takes up a lot of time. I also took Real Estate with Professor Sussman, as well as Business Plan Development. Both classes were rewarding - Sussman is one of what I call the five rockstar professors here at UCLA Anderson, the others being Alderton, Cockrum, Osbourne, and Sood, in no particular order. It's not just that they were a LOT of work, it's that I wanted to gain a lot from each of them. In hindsight, I wouldn't suggest over-doing it. Do as I say, not as I do! * * * * * * Not at all happy with this past week for the Capitals. To me, there... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Fellow blogeteer Jesse Ferlianto reminded me today that it has been a long time since I've contributed to the blog, so you can thank him for the fact that I'm going to tell you all about how I spent the US Thanksgiving holiday. Last weekend, while most of you were enjoying the turkey and the NFL, a motley collection of 21 UCLA Anderson students went to London for the 7th annual career trek there. This year, I organized it alongside three classmates of mine. The trip is in conjunction with five other US MBA programs and is cut across three verticals: finance, consulting, and the newly-created sports / entertainment. Across all of the schools, we were approximately 80 students. The trek was a success all ways around! Personally, I was on the sports / entertainment verticals, and the companies were extremely receptive to us being there. We got to meet some very senior people from a variety of exciting firms, including the NBA, NFL, IMG, ESPN, Harrah's, Disney, Paramount, Fox, and NBC Universal. Above all else, I learned that while they all work for US-based companies, they have loads of opportunities to expand their business in Europe - in many cases, moreso than their US-based colleagues, who are facing a fragmented saturation of the American sports market. I'm also really happy that the finance and consulting verticals came out really well, too. On the finance vertical, we saw Prudential M&G (the asset management arm of the UK's largest insurance company),... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Team, I need your help! A few weeks ago, I told you about my classmate who started edilex, a company offering professional grade business contract templates to legal professionals and business people over the web. (My regular readers probably did this already, but if you haven't, check it out at www.edilex.com). Well, this quarter, I'm taking a class called Business Plan Development, which is exactly what it says on the tin. My classmates who registered for the course came with some fascinating business ideas. The final project for the class is a fully fleshed out business plan for a new business, plus a presentation to a panel of venture capitalists. Many Andersonians use this class as a stepping stone to launching their business! I'm working with one of my classmates who is looking to launch a sari rentals business. The idea is similar to tuxedos: rather than buy something that you are only going to wear a couple of times at most, you can rent them, look fabulous, then return them back at a fraction of the cost and without the hassle of having to deal with them. The business is still at concept stage, so you can give us a major boost by filling out the survey at this link and giving us your views and opinions. It will take you about 10 minutes, so I greatly encourage all of you to do this - men and women, South Asians and non-South Asians. Oh and feel free to pass... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Mrs. V. surprised me with a belated birthday gift this weekend. I didn't know what it was until we got there. She told me to keep this weekend free, leaving Friday midday and returning to LA Sunday morning. Driving distance, no passport, some general weather - that was it. So we got in the car and headed south. A few hours later, we were at the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego, waiting for none other than Craig Ferguson to appear on-stage! He is a comedian who hosts the late-night talk show after David Letterman. My friend Suman from New York switched us on to him (quite literally - after telling us about him, he left an episode on our DVR) and we've been avid fans ever since. So a few months ago, she saw the tickets online for his show in San Diego and bought them. She tried to do the same surprise in May, nearer to my actual birthday, when Ferguson was in Las Vegas, but I had planned to go to Vegas three times in May, and that was the one weekend I was planning to be in LA. Plus, at that point I had accepted the summer internship offer to work for Harrah's, so I knew I would spend a lot more time in Vegas after that. Needless to say, she was extremely disappointed. And also needless to say, he saved my proverbial bacon last night by being at his absolute best last night. I was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Firstly, I apologise to all of my regular readers for not chiming in sooner. So much has happened since I last posted that I really don't know where to begin. Second, a hearty thank you to my fellow first-year blogeteers for picking up the slack! Hopefully they have entertained in my absence. So you are probably wondering...where have I been? First quarter of Year 2 is the meatand potatoes of the MBA experience. Networking and career hunting take top billing; our field study projects -- the Anderson acronym for this is Applied Management Research or AMR -- heats up; classwork is all through electives which have a significantly different culture to the core classes. All three of these have soaked up all of my time over the past couple of weeks. More than anything, everyone in my year is at a high level of stress. We all have come to realize that our MBA experience is drawing to a close, and the end product now has to justify the $200,000+ that we have spent on it. I wish all of my fellow second years the best of luck in their career processes. The better that each one of us does, the better it is for our entire program. For me personally, this all means one thing: Time to get to work! ****** Having to get to work is something that my career shares with Wayne Rooney's. The Rooney fiasco was painful to watch. Ultimately, it is now clear that (a)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Many people assume that I want to be in the sports business because I'm an obsessive sports fan that never made it as an athlete. That's not entirely accurate: I definitely am an obsessive sports fan that never made it as an athlete, but I'm not trying to be in sports to recreate a dream that never happened. What appeals to me about the industry is the connection with fans on an imperceptible level, a bond that unites us with a bunch of strangers who toil for an impersonal company we have no direct connection to. Sports is one of the few markets where the end consumer actually drives the business. We at the Sports Business Association got to see this first-hand last week when our colleagues from USC Marshall invited us to a behind-the-scenes day with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. We started with a tour of Angel Stadium by Clyde Wright, who pitched for over 10 seasons in the big leagues, primarily in Anaheim. You could tell by his enthusiasm that Clyde had that he loved the ballpark and being a representative of the team - both on and off the field. Then, we spent an hour with team president Dennis Kuhl, who gave us his insights on the club, the business, baseball, and the industry. Most interesting to me was his dedication to every detail of the fan experience. He wanted his stadium to be the cleanest in the majors - and by my count, it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
When we think of "diversity", we typically think of what I would call demographic diversity: race, age, gender, nationality, religion, etc. However, during my summer internship at Harrah's, I had the chance to be a part of a diversity training program, where I learned that there are over 50 ways to measure diversity. (Yes, I know I said this last year. But last year I just wanted an excuse to make fun of my fellow blogeteers John Park and Matt Kerbel being fans of the Toronto Major Laughs Maple Leafs. This time I actually have more to say.) Applying that logic, here are a few different ways that you could measure the diversity here at UCLA Anderson: * Career Aspirations: One of the reasons I decided to come to UCLA was that while there are healthy contingents of people looking for careers in finance or consulting, these two fields represent a much smaller portion of the total UCLA Anderson population than they do in other schools. Nothing during my time here has dissuaded me of this opinion. There are many other career aspirations on campus, including sports, entertainment, healthcare, non-profit, and education. * Entrepreneurship. I had heard a lot about UCLA Anderson's commitment to entrepreneurship, but I never appreciated that until i came here. Many of my classmates are actively looking to start new businesses after graduation, and the school encourages and actively supports these endeavors -- as evidenced by the projects that came to fruition during the summer and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Hope springs eternal -- first day of school and first week of NHL training camp! * Great to be back on campus, and now in classes that I really am excited about since they are all electives. But the pressure is on to have a job -- and at least a shell of a career path -- lined up by end of the school year. * Maket participants will always push the market rules to the limits for their own gain. Thus, it is unreasonable to expect the NHL -- or any governing body in any industry -- to create rules that account for every possible circumvention attempt. Rules must constantly evolve. * We've created a cohesive message and mission for the International Business Association, and are already seeing the fruits of that through increased buzz on campus and exciting new possibilities. Exciting! * For the Sports Business Association, it was clear that we took a tremendous step forward last year, so this year we will be building on the same momentum with more events, more opportunities, and more brand recognition. Equally exciting! * Do you know who was most excited about Dimitar Berbatov''s incredible third goal against Liverpool this past weekend? Howard Webb. Takes the spotlight off the fact that his two controversial refereeing decisions led to Liverpool goals. * Two darkhorse White House candidates for 2012 that are getting more attention lately: Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. Imagine having to decide between two Indian-American candidates in the GOP... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Like most of the entertainment industry, my blog has been on hiatus for the second half of the summer. I wish I could tell you that this was intentional, but sadly, it was down to pure laziness. A lot has happened and since my audience this summer has been limited thus far to go-go dancers in sultry lingerie Mrs. V, it’s time to catch you all up. In honor of my lifelong mentor and former boss Stan Fischler, here are my “impertinent thoughts on pertinent subjects”: DirecTV is offering a promotion where new customers get five months off of service if they sign up for the NFL package -- essentially a 100% discount; customers like me who signed up for DirecTV over the past few months get a 0% discount. Any wonder why DirecTV has to give away rich promotions to get more subscribers? Last year, prior to the start of training camp, I predicted that the run to the Stanley Cup goes through Philadelphia. Sure enough, the Flyers were the last team to be eliminated. These aren’t my official predictions (yet), but my early thoughts are that the LA Kings will represent the West. 

 When healthy, Willie Mitchell is a better, younger version of Sean O’Donnell. Though Alexei Ponikarovsky has more baggage than Heathrow, he’s still an upgrade over Alex Frolov and Fredrik Modin. I’d be surprised if the Kings didn’t re-sign Potomac native Jeff Halpern. 

 Meanwhile, the rest of the West has gotten worse. Chicago has... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Many people have asked me this summer, what’s it like to live in Las Vegas? I’ve struggled to find a way to describe it. I think I would explain it like this. Living in Las Vegas and being employed in the industry in Las Vegas is a completely different experience to being a customer here. Things that happen in other industries happen here, too, but in an entirely different environment. I met a colleague for a coffee at Starbucks at 10 AM – just as you would if you worked at, say, Dunder-Mifflin – but in the line are families with young kids just getting their day started, drunk partiers taking a breather from the perpetual nightlife, and lingerie-clad go-go dancers whose shift just ended. (Yes, they are kind of everywhere. Like I said, surreal.) (No, we didn’t pick our table based on where they were sitting; it was just coincidence that those were the only available seats.) (No, I really wouldn’t call it an “added bonus” or “perk”. Certainly not if you are Mrs. V. and you are reading this post!) Another surreal sight: if I drive a couple of blocks west of the Strip, such as on my drive home from the Harrah’s gym across the street from the Palms, the streets become homogenous; I can’t tell one from the other and invariably drive past the one that I need to go on because the sign is shielded by the sun. But you know what? I’m really enjoying... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
It's been awhile since my last post. Lots to talk about. * The Class of 2011 is off on summer internships. I started a couple of weeks ago with Harrah's, the gaming company in Las Vegas. It is a tremendous opportunity to see the gaming industry from the inside, and to get some experience with the entertainment firm that is best known for marketing and customer loyalty. There are three Andersonians in three different divisions there this summer which also helps because we'll be able to share experiences and insights. * Most Andersonians have internships in Los Angeles, but quite a few people have scattered to the winds, including Europe and Asia. It feels as though the big investment banks and consulting firms have started to hire MBA talent again. Other classic MBA hirers have also increased ranks - the market feels more positive. * A lot of Andersonians are starting businesses this summer, or working on business plans. I'm really excited about these opportunities for them. They are really engrossed in their businesses - which is what it takes to make a small business successful. I'd love to start a business as well but I don't have that one idea that I would dedicate myself to. Don't make the same mistake I did this year - you can go to the Fast Pitch 101 seminars held by the Entrepreneur's Association even if you aren't presenting yourself, you can just go and listen. I didn't realize that and regret not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Yours truly learned a new lesson yesterday: don't use the twitter when agitated. Yesterday was the culmination of an excited Premiership season and it took the entire schedule to determine a winner. Chelsea needed to win to take the title and that's exactly what they did, thumping 10-man Wigan 8-0. The big scoreline was exactly how dominant Chelsea were yesterday. My beloved United won as well, but came up a point short in the tables. Disappointment became agitation after Chelsea's sixth, seventh, and eighth goals. I was not impressed by how the goal-scorers celebrated those goals. I will never begrudge a goal-scorer from celebrating when the score is close, or when a goal puts a game out of reach i.e. a goal that gives a three-goal lead in the later stages of the game. But (Ashley) Cole and Drogba went too far with their celebrations after goals 7 and 8. Cole jumped around screaming and running back to the touchline and nearly to his own half of the pitch. Drogba played air guitar with the corner flag. Completely unnecessary and disrespectful to the opposition. (My regular readers are probably thinking this is contradictory to my support of Alex Ovechkin's celebrating after his goals. The difference is that Ovechkin celebrates when his goal is the difference-maker or game-changer in the game - not in a blowout. Remember when the Caps tied the franchise record for consecutive wins in Boston earlier this year? Ovechkin scored the empty-netter and barely flinched afterwards. Wigan... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
This Friday, May 7, UCLA Anderson will be hosting its annual Entrepreneur's Conference. This is the 25th year of the conference, bringing together budding entrepreneurs, small businesses, financiers, and established businesses under one roof to discuss entrepreneurial ideas in various industries. Because so many of my classmates here at UCLA Anderson are eager to start their own business either now or in the future, this conference has become the signature event on campus each year. There are some incredible speakers coming to the event from all angles. It's open to the public as well -- you can get your tickets online -- so if you are planning to be in the Los Angeles area this weekend, it's definitely worth checking out. I'm organizing a panel focused on new media technologies in the sports business. The panelists include folks from the NFL, ESPN, a division of CAA, plus a consultant and a digital media venture focused on the sports industry. The other panels are also very fascinating for their industries as well, from finance to green tech to entertainment to fashion! As a first-year student here, there are many opportunities to be involved in organizing the conference. It also is a great opportunity to meet people in the industry that you want to work or start a business in -- UCLA Anderson has many opportunities for that, but you can never really have too many. * * * * * * * Thank you to everyone for their kind condolence messages... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
It's no Stanley Cup, but winning the Golden Briefcase for UCLA was a thrill. A small army of Andersonians, including me, have just returned from the Challenge For Charity (C4C) Weekend hosted by Stanford University. C4C is actually a year-long competition amongst the west coast business schools to see who can raise the most money and donate the most hours for charities. The culmination is a mini-Olympics hosted by Stanford. The winner of C4C gets the coveted Golden Briefcase, which is just what it says on the tin. Inscribed on the side are all of the schools in each year of the competition. The Olympics consisted of typical sports like (American) football and basketball, plus things like dodgeball and Trivia Bowl. I contributed a small part to the Trivia Bowl team, which consisted of second-years David and Kevin and fellow first year Erin; we brought home a silver medla for UCLA - but this was serious stuff, like 18th century physics theories and 13th century British poets. I wish I had studied! This year, we split the title with USC, which thrilled USC but bothered us as we thought we had won it outright. Next year's competition is bound to be more intense! * * * * * * * * * Speaking of athletic competitions, two of my favourites are well underway. My beloved Manchester United got a massive gift from Spurs this week, who took home six points from Arsenal and Chelsea - that puts us just one... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Loads to talk about since I last posted, so let's get right to it (in no particular order): * This past Thursday was our annual International Food Festival, which is a massive street food market as you would expect to see in Asia, with performances, dancers, and loads of food from 14 different ethnicities. Along with my classmate Anthony Barber, I was in charge of organizing the diverse cuisine. Each food stall was either run by an Anderson cultural club or by Andersonians who wanted to highlight a culture -- and in a few cases, not necessarily their own! Our student body president, Kevin Morris, and Anthony Pu ran the Vietnamese table and did a tremendous job. Your favourite Manchester United supporter teamed up with several Canadians, including blogeteers John Park and Matt Kerbel, to run a Canadian table whilst wearing hockey sweaters -- I donned a vintage Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky shirt, a gift I received from Mrs. V a few years ago. The dancing went on well into the night, until we were all kicked out by the Dean of Students, who we soon realized was supported by ... the LAPD. Oops. * The hockey playoffs start today and my beloved Washington Capitals have drawn the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. I'm not sure how happy I am with this matchup: this is the first time ever that the Caps have played Montreal in the playoffs, and only the second time that the Caps have played a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
The fire hose of opportunity that we drink out of here at UCLA Anderson continued to spew at a brilliant pace this week. Last weekend, a few of us from school went to the MIT Sloan Sports Business Analytics Conference in Boston. It was an incredible thrill to meet and hear speak some of the people in the sports industry that I greatly admire. The icing on the cake was that we had the chance to meet with them after the panels and at the networking reception. Just to name a few: we had the chance to meet Brian Burke (Toronto Maple Leafs), Adam Silver (NBA), John Collins (NHL), Daryl Morey (Houston Rockets), Mike Forde (Chelsea FC), Bill Simmons (ESPN), and Rich Gotham (Boston Celtics). They were all really accessible and engaging. I learned so much about the industry just from the conference. Simmons recapped the conference on his blog. And then just like that, another Finals Week came upon us. To recap our progress: there are ten classes in what we call the Core, which are the classes that everyone has to take and that everyone takes within the same section. We took five of those classes last quarter (I placed out of one and got to fill it with an elective). Heading into this quarter, we were halfway through the Core. So here's what is upcoming (Capitals fans like me will recognize this as the Mercedes Benz of Alexandria Road Ahead) Starting tomorrow, we have three straight days... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Last weekend was A-days weekend, where UCLA Anderson admits are invited to campus to meet the dean, professors, fellow students, and get a small taste of life at UCLA Anderson. There is a weekend for the Round 1 admits, and a weekend for the Round 2 admits sometime in May. I had the chance to participate in the Meet The Class of 2011 panel organized by my fellow blogeteer John Park. Of all of the questions we received, there was one that really stood out in my mind about being married during business school. I think this is a critically important component of business school and I wanted to highlight it further here. And to give it justice, I have to give both the bright side and the dark side. Important Note -- this applies not just to UCLA Anderson, but to any top-ranked business school around the world. All facets of the business school life, including the socializing, is focused entirely on you, the student. That's very different from the situation when both partners are working, where the home life is focused on both people jointly. So you have to decide before starting the MBA program how active your partner is going to be. One of my closest friends from London put it this way: you and your partner have to decide whether the partner is involved in everything at school (bar classes and recruiting, of course), or whether the partner is completely uninvolved in school. Both are equally... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
When I was six years old, it seemed quite clear to me that I would be playing professional hockey for the Washington Capitals. I was undaunted by the fact that I had never skated before, I did not actually own a hockey stick, or that my hometown of Frederick, Maryland did not actually have a hockey rink. Thus, I was thrilled when, just six months after my 21st birthday, I stepped onto the ice at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. It was my first taste of professional hockey in my hometown. Of course, I wasn’t actually playing in the game. I was a sportswriter, and I had snuck away from my duties before the game to sit on the Capitals bench and then step onto the ice in my suit and shoes, not skates. Even worse was that I was there to cover the game for the visiting team, the New York Islanders -- an outsider in my own city! Sitting on the bench, I knew then that I wanted to be in the sports business. This is the only industry in the world where otherwise rational people will voluntarily spend, in aggregate, billions of dollars and completely alter their lives in support of corporations that they have no connection to. Sports is big business. In the US alone, sports is a $410 billion industry; some estimates put the global figure at double that, putting it on par with the auto industry in size. The entertainment industry is currently... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice
Over the past two weekends, I've had the opportunity to leave Los Angeles on trips organized by my fellow students. In both cases, they turned out to be fruitful both from a career perspective and from a social perspective. And I'm sure it is pure coincidence, but Mrs. V. wasn't on either trip with me (!) I. MBA Poker Tournament, Las Vegas During MLK weekend -- we get a bank holiday in January in the US for Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who was assassinated in the 1960s -- my beloved Section B went to Las Vegas, coinciding with the MBA Poker Tournament, sponsored by Harrah's and held at Caesar's Palace. The whole weekend was an absolute blast. Just great fun in the clubs, dinner, and on the tables. I organized a section dinner at Pampas, and everyone had a great time. Except for me, because I never made it. Here's what happened: the poker tournament started on Saturday at noon -- actually, there were three tournaments, starting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at noon, but the Saturday one was the main event. After a heavy Friday night, I slept just a couple of hours, then went to the brunch hosted by Harrah's before the tournament (more on this later). Then the tournament started with 202 players. Each Through some combination of luck (99%), stamina (0.99%), and poker skill (0.01%), I managed to stay alive, and worked my way past the first few rounds. All of a sudden,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at The MBA Student Voice