Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA
College: New York University; Economics
Summer Internship: Investment Banking Summer Associate at Morgan Stanley & Co.
Post-Anderson: I am going back to Morgan Stanley as an Associate in the Los Angeles office.
Childhood dream job: I wanted to be an oceanographer. I love our beaches and oceans, and I also love to surf. Although I did not go down that path, I am still involved with various organizations, such as the Surfrider Foundation, that are dedicated to protecting our beaches and oceans.
Why business school? After two years in investment banking and two more in private equity, my career came to a transition point. I could have stayed with my job in New York, but I knew that I wanted to move back to the west coast. Business school is a great way to gain perspective, meet new people, and be exposed to new areas of business, and I thought that going to business school would be a good way to shift west. Also, while I do not think that an M.B.A. is a prerequisite for success in the business world, I do believe that it can provide opportunities that may not otherwise be available.
Why Anderson? I grew up in Los Angeles. After spending eight years in NYC, I was ready to be closer to home. From the beginning, I felt comfortable when I visited Anderson. I knew it was a school with a great reputation where I could learn a lot and be exposed to different things. Anderson has provided an excellent avenue to building relationships in Southern California, exploring new industries, and broadening my business knowledge. It's hard to beat going to school in Southern California.
Anderson Activities & Leadership: Student Investment Fund, Fellow; Anderson Investment Association, Executive Vice President; Investment Finance Association, Board Member; ACT Coach, Investment Management; Knapp Venture Competition, Judge
[Editor's Note: It seems like every weekend Zach is involved in and winning a case competition]
Southern California Association for Corporate Growth Cup, First Place Team; California Language Roadmap Foundation Marketing Challenge, First Place Team; Wake Forest Marketing Summit Case Competition, Second Place Team; Smith School of Business M&A Case Competition, Second Place Team; Key Bank Case Competition, Second Place Team
Favorite class and why? Professor William Cockrum’s course “Managing Finance and Financing the Emerging Enterprise” is a must-take class for anyone interested in investing, finance, and entrepreneurship. Professor Cockrum brings over 40 years of real world investing, entrepreneurial, and managerial experience to the classroom to teach students how to use financial statements to analyze companies and make strategic decisions.
Applied Management Research Project: My teammates and I worked with the management team of a company called School-Link Technologies to explore growth opportunities. School-Link provides payment processing solutions for K-12 schools.
Favorite Anderson Event: The inaugural UCLA Anderson Investing Conference held in February. Howard Marks from Oaktree Capital Management was the keynote speaker, and the event successfully brought together over 300 students, faculty, alumni, and industry professionals. I enjoyed working with my classmates to develop the format, line up speakers, and plan all of the details. I look forward to attending in years to come.
Anderson highlights (so far): I have two. The first is exposure to guest speakers. I have been fortunate to see a number of high profile executives speak at Anderson, including Jim Skinner from McDonald’s, Dick Costolo from Twitter, Susan Lyne from Gilt, and Bob Eckert from Mattel, among others. It has been incredibly interesting to hear about their successes and failures and how they got to where they are today. Second in my best Anderson memories is working with my classmates on various projects. Whether it is AMR, a case competition, or a class project, it has been a lot of fun getting to know my classmates through the work we have done together.
What helped you most in your interview preperation and career search? I think one of the most important parts of the search is figuring out how your interests and strengths align with different careers. Talking to alums in different industries helped me answer this question. I did not necessarily think I would go back into investment banking when I came to Anderson. After talking to a lot of people, however, and learning about different careers and roles, as well as thinking about my strengths and interests overall, I decided that investment banking is a great fit for me.
Hardest interview question you've been asked: “Tell me about a time you made a bad decision on a surfboard.”
How did you land your internship? I landed an internship at Morgan Stanley through the on-campus recruiting process. I met with a lot of banks prior to joining Morgan Stanley, and there were a number of things that drew me to the firm. Most importantly, I liked the people and felt that I could work with them not only over the summer but also long term. I also liked the types of deals and clients covered out of the Los Angeles office.
Why investment banking? I feel that now is a good time to get back into the industry. Bankers provide an important function in the economy: they connect organizations that have capital with organizations that need capital; this role is not going away. I like the fast paced nature of investment banking. I also like working with management teams to help them solve problems and grow their businesses.
Any other thoughts? Follow me on Twitter @zwf.
--Jennifer Hung, Parker CMC Social Media Coordinator