Hometown: Encino, CA
College: UCLA; Economics and Psychology
Summer Internship: Brand Management Intern at Nestle
Post-Anderson: I will be going back to Nestle full-time.
Childhood dream job: I wanted to plan the Olympics because it was a world stage to find unity and showcase true unadulterated talent—and the most inspirational thing I had ever seen.
Why business school? I knew I loved marketing, but I wanted to have more influence over the brands that I supported. I wanted to work for a company where I could drive the strategy of the brand through understanding the nuances of consumer psychology and finding innovative ways to solve pain points.
Why Anderson? The truly honest reason is that when I came to Anderson, I only met people who impressed me. Not only had they accomplished so much, but they were humble, driven, and accepting. From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt like I belonged and could thrive here.
Anderson Activities & Leadership: ACT coach, Marketing Association (MA) Recruiter Relations Director, President of the Wine Club, President of the Admissions Ambassador Corps, Communications for Developing Leaders TA
Favorite class and why? Crisis Management by Bob Eckert, former CEO of Mattel and Kraft. This class quite literally blew my mind. Professor Eckert brought in a combination of his own experiences and theory to create an incredibly useful framework for dealing with crisis. Further, he applied every single case and learning to real life by bringing in his cohort of senior business leaders who had led companies through the crises in question. Our final was an application of all that we had learned to a pending crisis facing the food and beverage CPG industry. These are the only notes I have never put away and referenced for so many other experiences since.
Applied Management Research Project: My team worked with Chipotle to develop a marketing strategy for an impeding product change that will further Chipotle's Food With Integrity Mission.
Favorite Anderson Event: International Studies Trip to Santiago, Chile. This trip was the epitome of business school. We spent a quarter learning about the socio-economic state of Chile and then a week there learning from senior business and political leaders about the future prospects of the country. Not only was the trip highly enjoyable, but it gave me an international perspective that has served me well.
Best Anderson memory so far: Tour De Strand. Every year roughly 400 current students and alumni spend a Saturday biking from Santa Monica down to Hermosa Beach, stopping every couple miles to socialize, grab a drink and be merry. There is no better way to spend a Saturday!
What helped most in your interview preparation and career search? Anderson Career Teams (ACT) was by far the best thing that I was involved in. ACT showed me how to think, what to read, how to approach problems, how to determine corporate personalities and generally how to be the best version of myself in recruiting. It allowed me to get out all my silly questions and be prepared walking into networking sessions, informational interviews and job interviews.
How did you utilize Parker in your job search and interview prep? Parker was instrumental for actual interview prep. Talk about people who have seen it all! Each advisor can tell you when you are ready for an interview or what you really need to work on.
How many informational interviews have you conducted while at Anderson? A LOT. Maybe 60
Any particularly beneficial informationals? This sounds cliche, but every informational was beneficial to me, which is why I did so many. I found that I learned so much about the company through the flow of conversation and what certain people focused on. Equally as important, I found out how interested I actually was in the company by how easily the conversation flowed. The informationals were instrumental in both my search and final decision making.
How did you land your internship? It is hard to know exactly how I was able to land my dream job at Nestle. What I do know is that I loved the company from the first time they came to campus, and I talked to tons of Nestle employees because I was inspired with questions. I was fascinated by the work they do and the types of problems they solve. Food and Beverage is a passion of mine and I found myself getting lost in research and trends because I found them riveting. I can only believe this came through in my conversations and interviews and thankfully Nestle thought I was a fit! I feel honored to be working for such an incredible company.
Describe your internship. I was tasked with defining a go-to-market strategy for a brand new innovation project that will be launching in 2015. I worked on defining a brand authentic pipeline and a commercialization strategy for year 1. While the project at times felt overwhelming, it was not only a great indication of the work I would be doing as a first year Associate Brand Manager, but also it showed me what an impact I could have early in my career. As it turns out, many of my suggestions have made it through to the final version of the product!
Open box of personality: One of the biggest travesties in the food and beverage world (and because I am now a member of that world, I believe I have the right to assert this ;-) is oatmeal raisin cookies. Tell me one person who would not prefer that to be an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie instead? Be honest, if you had the choice between oatmeal raisin and oatmeal chocolate chip, what would you choose? EXACTLY! So why have we created an inferior cookie to dominate the coveted cookie market? It is a travesty and should be rectified. Thank you for your time and for never putting raisins in my desserts going forward.
-Sandra Nguyen, Communications Manager, Parker Career Management Center