Hometown: Akron, OH
College: Stanford; Computer Science
Pre-Business School: Non-profit at Servant Partners
Summer Internship: Brand Management at Nestle USA
Post-Anderson: After sitting down with my family and talking things through, I decided to accept the offer from my summer internship. After a really hectic summer that included welcoming our daughter into the world, I am excited for what is to come.
Elliot was the recipient of this year's Wooden Leadership Fellowship. Here is his story, as told by Justin—a youth from South Central L.A.—whom Elliot fostered.
Childhood dream job: A baseball player. Sadly my talent only took me as far as the varsity high school level. I do still plan on coaching my daughter's Little League team when the time comes. She's 2-months old and has hand-eye coordination like you wouldn't believe.
Why business school? After undergrad, I spent 8 years in the non-profit world in a variety of roles, most recently directing a program for disadvantaged teens. In this last role I saw the power of doing good with business first hand. A youth in our program had struggled for years to finish high school and get his life back on track. We found a social enterprise that combined employment with education, enrolled him, and within 2 years he had not only earned his diploma but also found full-time employment to support his family.
Why Anderson? So many reasons. But I'll limit myself to 3:
- It's here in LA. I could leave it at that, but let me expound. I grew up on the East Coast, went to school in the Bay Area and didn't care for LA when I arrived, but now I can't imagine leaving. LA is Hollywood, but it's so much more. It's mountains and beaches, it's the best tacos and gyros and Korean bbq you'll ever have, it's opportunity in industries from tech start ups to entertainment.
- People at Anderson are smart and the academics excellent. The professors are world class and I have felt fortunate to sit in class with peers who I learn from nearly as much. I've loved my classes and, particularly as someone with a non-traditional b-school background, found that they've set a great foundation for whatever I want to do down the line.
- The culture. You might hear this said of other schools, but it's the truth here - Anderson has a great culture that's all about excellence and collaboration. We work in groups all the time which teaches you things that can't be learned in books. We help each other while interviewing for the same jobs. Professors join us for lunch to talk about research and life.
Anderson Activities & Leadership: President - Anderson Christian Fellowship; VP of Finance - Net Impact; First Year VP of Ethics - Section D; First Year Director of Education - High Tech Business Association; First Year Director of Marketing - Net Impact.
Favorite class and why? Too difficult to pick just one.
I loved Operations with Guillaume Roels, Strategy with Phillip Leslie and Corporate Finance with Tony Bernardo. They span a variety of disciplines and challenge different parts of your brain, but were each incredible because of the commitment of our professors. I doubt that I'll go into either of these specific fields, but I'm certain I'll apply what I've learned in these courses throughout my career.
Applied Management Research Project: My awesome team and I are working with Princess Cruises to identify and improve friction points for their customers. There may or may not be a cruise involved.
Favorite Anderson Event: This will sound odd, but I loved 7 am Cross Fit at the Wooden Center. A handful of folks from Anderson would head to the gym 3-4 times a week to beat the hordes of undergrads and get our workout in. It was a great way to start the day, stay fit and get to know Anderson people with your lungs bursting.
What helped most in your interview preparation and career search? I visited the Parker Career Management Center a LOT! They helped me with everything from deciding which industries to pursue, how to prepare for interviews, actually doing mock interviews and how to evaluate the offers I received. I highly recommend using this resource and talking to a variety of the advisors there.
Additionally, 2nd years were incredibly helpful in my career search process. ACT groups (groups of first years led by 2nd years, organized by industry) shed light on how to prepare for the recruiting process and were led by folks who just went through it themselves. I found being part of a consulting ACT group, though I wasn't recruiting in consulting, to be quite helpful. The case question prep that is so much a part of consulting interviews was also very useful for my interviews in marketing, strategy and non-profit.
How did you land your internship? Lots of different things went into this.
First there was learning about Nestle and figuring out if it was the right for me. For this, I attended their company presentation, day on the job, store visits and talked to a dozen or so Anderson grads working there (a side note: I was doing this with other companies in other industries, as well as trying to stay on top of school and extracurriculars. No doubt, you're going to be busy in the fall and winter).
After realizing this is where I wanted to be for the summer, it was about getting and acing the interview. I had my resume and cover letter reviewed by Parker and spent quite a few hours prepping for interviews. I'd write out answers to questions on my computer, practice saying them in front of the mirror, and then did mock interview after mock interview. By the first round, I was ready. Two weeks afterward and hours more interview prep later, I was ready for the final round.
Why Brand Management? I didn't know much about marketing/CPG/brand management when I began at Anderson but it turned out to be a great fit for me. Talking through my longer term goals of running my own social enterprise with Parker, I realized that the skills and experience I could gain in brand management would be incredibly useful down the line. As a brand manager, your brand is your little business and you get to act as a mini-GM of that business. You're an entrepreneur/business owner within the context of a large and resourced corporation which is pretty cool.
-Sandra Nguyen, Communications Manager, Parker Career Management Center