I am amazed (and a bit embarrassed!) to realize that my last post about my goings-on at UCLA Anderson was almost a year ago! But as graduation looms (what? where did the time go?!?) in a mere five weeks, it seemed a final wrap-up post about my time here at this awesome school was in order. To get you up to speed, when I last wrote I was one quarter into my tenure as president of the High Tech Business Association and about to head off to Seattle for a summer interning as a Product Manager in the Kindle division at Amazon.com. For a look back at all my old posts, you can click here.
So much has happened since then, it’s hard to know where to begin, but I will start by saying my experience at Amazon was fantastic this summer, and I am delighted to report that I will be returning there after graduation full-time as a Senior Product Manager! Over 12 other Andersonians will be heading there too, joining the many others already at Amazon, Microsoft, T-Mobile and Nordstrom, and continuing our Seattle reach!
I was lucky enough to work with the Kindle team in the months preceding the launch of the next generation (Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire HD) on September 6, 2012. Because the team was so busy, I ended up with some pretty cool assignments, the coolest being building out a product that I got to present to Jeff Bezos. Yes, that Jeff Bezos.
Back at school, the High Tech Business Association (HTBA) continued on the upward trajectory started by the board preceding me and launching into high gear since last spring. A good overview of some of our activites and other opportunities in Tech that Anderson offers can be found in my fellow blogger Alejandra Rodriguez's post Let's Talk High Tech. One awesome event we added this year was Anderson's first ever High Tech Case Competition, sponsored by Amazon. Among the prizes winners received was guaranteed interviews with the company for summer internships or full-time positions!
Our annual Silicon Valley and Seattle Tech Treks took us to some of the most sought-after tech companies in the world - for example, over 20 in the Bay Area including Adobe, eBay/PayPal, Facebook, Google, Medallia, Salesforce, SanDisk, Twitter and YouTube.
We teamed with sister club the Entrepreneur Association to get more involved in the LA start-up scene, also known as "Silicon Beach." We incorporated company and incubator visits and events on campus like our Mobile in LA panel with start-up founders.
There's lots more great stuff to say about HTBA but I will let that thread continue with fellow blogger Ashley Mallinson, who is the newly elected president for the 2013-14 school year! (Unless of course she gets so busy with that position she doesn't find time to blog anymore. Not that I know anyone this has happened to.)
There were lots of awesome events at school and around Los Angeles, as always. Just this weekend was the annual Tour de Strand, a day-long pub crawl on bikes from Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach along the beach paths. Things get pretty crazy by the end of the long, sunny, fun day, but here are two SFW pictures to give you an idea:
Also this spring, the annual AnderGLAM Fashion show completely rocked the house. Students moonlighted as models, walking the catwalk in hot fashions sourced by the Retail Management Association (RMA), to the delight of their classmates. Several administrators and professors participated in this popular event, including the school dean, Dean Judy Olian!
A few other events from the year, in pictures:
My AMR Team made our final presentation in March after working on this project, the Anderson capstone experience, for six months. As professional and poised as we appear here, we were sooo excited to finally be done! (From left: Rob Michlovich, Jesse Pemstein, Matt Cautero, me, Uros Pajic)
On top of HTBA presidency, WBC vice presidency, classes, and all the rest, I still managed to run a few marathons in my free time, including Seattle in June, Santa Barbara in November (after going to New York only to have the NYC Marathon be cancelled in the wake of devastating Hurricane Sandy), Los Angeles in March, and Boston in April. My friend Dave Masterson and I took this picture at the finish line the day before the race - so chilling to think of what happened there under 24 hours later. I was so grateful to my wonderful Anderson classmates for all the support and love they showed me in the aftermath of this scary event.
And that is an extremely high level overview of my second year of business school. Anderson has been a wonderful experience for me - well worth the time and money involved. That said, now it's time to start making some money again so I can pay off those loans! Next stop: SEATTLE!
Thanks for joining me for the last two years, I hope I've helped more than a few of you realize that UCLA Anderson is definitely the place to be. And now it's off to the real world again, this time as an officially MBA'ed professional:
-Charlotte Baxter Maines, Full-time MBA Class of 2013