Erik and Kate Pletcher have much in common: their home in Venice, their rambunctious toddler, their feisty poodle-terrier, and their passion for the Southern California lifestyle. They’re also both members of UCLA Anderson’s class of 2007 who evolved into entrepreneurs. Kate is founder of Treehouse Partners, a firm that is transforming recruiting. Erik is a director at Ferrazzi Greenlight, a rapidly growing boutique change management consulting firm.
Interviewed by Cheechee Lin
Q: Why did you choose Anderson?
Kate: Erik and I are originally from Minnesota. We were dating in college (Kate at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Erik at Bowdoin in Maine) and moved to Buffalo, New York, together after graduation. At the time, I was selling mattresses and Erik was working in banking while he prepared for the GMAT, and I had been helping Erik review the material — to the point where I just figured I would take the test and start exploring b-school myself.
We always knew we wanted to live in California and attend a top-tier business school, and the entrepreneurial-minded Anderson School of Management was the perfect choice. The California dream that embodied the spirit of being able to do anything we wanted out here was very appealing, as California offered a lot of opportunities to do cool things.
B-school for me consisted of three parts: social, academic and career. I gained a lot from each of these areas while I was here. I would say half of my business comes either directly or indirectly from Anderson alumni.
Erik: Coming to Anderson was also a lifestyle choice: Anderson is a high-caliber business school, but the lifestyle and culture of Southern California also suited us. After coming here, when I was thinking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to get there, I realized the alumni network was amazing.