As UCLA Anderson celebrates the 10th anniversary of the UCLA-NUS GEMBA for Asia Pacific Program, we sit down with Lucy Allard — 2006 alumna of the program and executive director of UCLA Anderson’s Center for Global Management — to learn more about how the program has evolved over the years and what fuels her passion for global business, travel and outdoor adventure.
Give us the basics. Where are you from? Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in the U.K., and received a British, U.S. and Asian business education. I received MBAs from UCLA Anderson and the National University of Singapore Business School through the UCLA-NUS Global Executive MBA dual-degree program, and was also honored with the C H Wee Gold Medal from NUS Business School.
Where did you work before going through the UCLA-NUS GEMBA program?
I was managing director of the Consulting Group at CB Richard Ellis in New York City after qualifying as a chartered surveyor in London, where I worked for two years before relocating to the U.S. I also worked for Deloitte Consulting in its Strategy & Operations Practice in Los Angeles after graduating from the UCLA-NUS GEMBA program.
I understand you took a nearly yearlong break from work to travel the world — what inspired that?
Yes, while I was working in New York City I recognized that there were other facets of my life that I wanted to explore further and nurture. So, I decided to take time off to explore the world — a nine-month sabbatical (initially nine months!) to pursue personal passions and interests, including traveling, philanthropy and learning.
I started my sabbatical in April 2004 by trekking to Mount Everest base camp. Years earlier, I had backpacked around the world, predominantly through Asia, and had spent eight days in Nepal. The extravagant beauty of the region and the cultural richness and openness of the Nepalese people were very enchanting, and I dreamed of one day returning to trek in the Himalayas. Reaching base camp was therefore a very pivotal and magical moment for me. I then continued on to Vietnam and Cambodia, and in the summer months, volunteered in Kenya helping a local hospital build homes for AIDS orphans. I also traveled to Argentina, Uruguay, Singapore and Thailand, and visited family and friends in the U.K.