Hometown: Chico, CA
College: UCLA; Business-Economics
Summer Internship: Brand Management at Nestle
Post-Anderson: Brand Management at Nestle
What did you want to be while growing up? Boring answer, but I always wanted to be in "business" – even though I really had no idea what that meant (I only have it sort of figured out now). Both my mom and dad worked in big office buildings for big companies, and as a kid it seemed like whatever they were doing was pretty cool. Now, I wish I would have aspired towards professional athletics (I'm clearly cut out for it...)
Why business school? I loved my job, but grew tired of NYC, and I knew that it would only get harder and harder to leave as I progressed in my career. I’d always wanted to go back to B School, and it seemed like a perfect way to come back to the west coast and take some calculated risks with the next steps in my career.
Why Anderson? I went to UCLA as an undergrad and loved it. It’s also where I met my wife. I love the campus, the people, and LA – and Anderson is a great school – so it just made sense to us all around. It was a great decision!
Anderson Activities and Leadership: President of the Wine Club and EA (Entrepreneurship Association) Outreach Director, to name a couple. I had a blast in Wine Club last year, and wanted to play a part in carrying on Anderson’s finest institution. On the EA side, I benefited a lot my first year from reaching out to alumni, local entrepreneurs and even high level industry executives. They were all tremendously helpful and willing to provide advice about my start-up ventures. I wanted to share this experience with future “generations” at Anderson by establishing a more formal network of resources for student entrepreneurs to utilize.
Have you had a 'favorite class' so far? Dr. Bob McCann’s core Communications course. Since taking Bob’s class, I’ve been blown away at how powerful and influential a strong presentation can be. He gave students a very practical set of skills that we can apply in almost any walk of life, and I’m very grateful for that.
What was your Applied Management Research Project? Last August I co-founded a business called Greenbotics with some childhood friends. My buddy Marc, an engineer, developed a robot that cleans solar panels at large scale solar power plants. I found three classmates that were just as excited about the idea as I was, and we’ve been leading the charge on the business side ever since. Check us out at greenbotics.com!
[Editor's note: Kyle and his team--Aviv Eyal (’12), Todd Morris (’12), Caleb Tommasini (’12)--took 1st in Knapp Venture Competition,California Cleantech Innovation Conference Fast Pitch, EA Conference Fast Pitch and 2nd in U.S. Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition].
Favorite Anderson event? I thought the TED Takeover this year was amazing. I’ve never seen Anderson students be more collectively engaged around one theme than they were with the events from TED week. Also, the student and professor TED talks knocked my socks off – it was an awesome representation of the intellectual horsepower we have here on campus.
Best Anderson memory so far: I loved Anderson Afternoons (AA) [Weekly tradition: students, faculty and staff socialize on North Lawn at the end of the week. Often sponsored by companies recruiting on campus]. Especially during first year, when classes were really taxing, having AA gave me something to look forward to. There is not a better way to start your weekend than enjoying a beer while catching up with friends right there on campus.
What helped you most in your job search? I was super resourceful in finding ways to meet with company recruiters and hiring managers individually. The Parker team does a great job of putting you in a position to succeed (thanks advisors Jenn & Jess!), but in the end I feel it’s up to each student to stand out. So, I set up coffee dates, phone calls and even my own “DOJ’s” to make sure that I had cheerleaders inside each company that I interviewed with. Getting a foot in the door was half the battle.
Hardest interview question you've been asked: You know that little bullet at the bottom of your resume that says "proficient in Spanish"? Well, be ready to speak Spanish at any moment... my interviewer switched from English to Spanish in the middle of a pretty intense interview.
How did you land your internship? When I came to school and narrowed down my recruiting preference to brand management, I started filtering OCR (On-Campus Recruiting) companies to those based in California that I felt some kind of connection with. In the end, I focused on a handful of CPG companies (Nestle, Clorox, Del Monte and Gallo) and just worked hard with my ACT Coaches and Parker staff to network and rehearse for interviews. Luckily, at the end of a rigorous recruiting season, I ended up with an offer from Nestle.
Describe your internship: This summer I worked as a Brand Management Intern on Coffee-mate. I had three very different projects:
- Exploring and assessing a new product development opportunity
- Managing the design of a trade coupon for Coffee-mate’s seasonal product line
- Evaluating retail performance of one of Coffee-mate’s SKUs to recommend changes to the marketing mix and sales strategies.
It was a very interesting summer, and just this little bit of practical experience really solidified a lot of the marketing concepts we learned in class last year.
Why brand management? I’m probably the poster boy for MBA career switchers. When I started Anderson, I completed all the career self-assessment modules. Brand management emerged as what I should pursue. I explored it more and found that it was a great next step in my career: I wanted to learn how to manage a business day-to-day and make decisions that would directly impact a company’s products, employees and customers. I'm hoping that developing these types of skills will allow me to step into a much broader leadership role down the road.
What are you doing post-Anderson? After a great summer at Nestle, I’m headed back full-time after graduation. I’m not sure what brand I’ll be on yet, but I really look forward to going to a place with so many Anderson alumni! It was a great support network over the summer, and I expect the same to be true full time. Meanwhile, I’m sure I’ll continue to tinker on entrepreneurial projects at night and on weekends; self-employment is a long-term goal!
Last thoughts? Most of the best business lessons I've ever received were from Michael Scott on the office. For example, this is his simple synopsis on how business works:
There are four kinds of business: Tourism. Food Service. Railroads. And sales. And hospitals/manufacturing. And air travel.
-Emily Taylor '08, Associate Director of MBA Education & Communication