In just under two months, it will have been a year since I graduated from UCLA Anderson.
Wow. Time flies yet again.
For those of you who haven't been introduced to me via this blog before, my name is Kyle Forrest. Here's a link to my first post as a student blogger during my two years at Anderson.
For those of you who have read my previous posts, it's good to see you in this space again!
I'm returning for a guest appearance to share my experience as an alumni thus far.
For a little about me - I work at Deloitte Consulting, in our Human Capital Practice, where I focus on advising clients on HR Strategy and HR M&A. While at Anderson, I had the opportunity to serve the student body as the ASA VP of Social Events, an Orientation Co-Director for the class of 2015, and a variety of other roles.
Below is a picture of the Orientation Board for the Class of 2015 having a fun group dinner.
The inspiration for this post came after I had been working at Deloitte for a few months. At Deloitte, in addition to working on a client project, people are encouraged to work on 1-2 additional activities that contribute to the firm in some form or fashion. For example, one of the activities I worked on was returning to Anderson as part of the recruiting team. Not only was this a great way to connect with Anderson alum at Deloitte, but a way to stay in touch with the administration, class of 2015, and meet new members of the class of 2016.
Pictured (from left to right): Me, Jacqueline Sutro, Geoff Hewitt, and Mark Joshua, all within Deloitte Human Capital in LA. Not pictured, two of our classmates also in Human Capital, Dan Kiernan and Fran Benjamin, and all of our classmates and colleagues in the Technology and Strategy & Operations groups.
Separate from recruiting, I became a co-lead of an initiative doing research about start-ups, and determining what types of human capital and talent related challenges start-ups face.
Given Anderson's reputation in the entrepreneurial and start-up world, I knew the best place for me to start my research was within the Anderson network.
Over the course of a couple of months, I spoke to fellow alumni, current students, and professors, of which a few are listed below:
- Prof. Jeff Scheinrock, who teaches Entrepreneurial Venture Initiation and Business Plan Development at UCLA Anderson, in addition to the number of other ways in which he supports Anderson's budding entrepreneurs.
In addition to proving incredibly insightful, every single person I spoke to personally introduced me to other contacts who they felt would be helpful for me to speak with. The support was incredible. While I had interacted with alumni and seen the strength of the Anderson network in action while I was in school, I had never seen it work to this degree for myself personally.
Since that time, I've been more active on the alumni list serves that students and alumni can join. I've seen alumni from all programs, full-time, fully employed, and executive, ask for questions, pitch investments, or seek contacts, and each and every time someone from within the Anderson network is able to help out or point someone in the right direction.
While I miss being on campus every day, knowing that I have this incredible network standing by has made me feel closer to the school than I realized.
Also, it doesn't hurt that Alumni Weekend 2015 is coming up, along with Tour de Strand, a major alumni attraction where I'll get to catch up with friends who have moved out of LA to pursue their careers.
I'll close with a comment for people currently considering applying to Anderson - don't hesitate to contact alumni. We're always willing to talk about our experience, if for no other reason than to reminisce about the unforgettable two years we had.
And with that, I hope everyone enjoys has a great day!
Mini-Anderson alumni reunion at Lake Tahoe catching a true snow day.