Bruin Career Insights

Produced by UCLA Alumni Affairs, The Bruin Career Insights YouTube live series features distinguished alumni in a unique Q & A style discussion covering a variety of professional development topics to provide insight into specific professions, industries or skill sets. As a YouTube live series, those watching have the opportunity to ask their own questions during the live stream. Past topics have included breaking into the entertainment industry, gaining insight into launching a start-up and preparing for your best interview.

MICRO LEADERSHIP

Establishing yourself as a reliable team member with strong leadership skills can fortify your position within an organization. You do not need to be in a position of authority in order to lead or make impactful changes. Join us and our special guest speaker this month as we discuss micro leadership and learn how you can be a leader without being the leader.

Alex Budak ’07 is the executive director of the UC Berkeley’s Center for Leadership, and a firm believer that anyone can be a changemaker. Budak mentors, coaches and advises social entrepreneurs around the world. He has given talks on the topics of leadership and social innovation all over the world and his writing has been published in FastCompany, The Guardian and Huffington Post. Recently, he was honored with the UCLA Award for Recent Graduate Achievement. He received his Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and his B.A. in Geography and Political Science from UCLA.

YOUR BEST INTERVIEW

Whether it’s a fresh start or a kick start for your career, the interview process can make or break your chances of landing the position you want. Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers seekers need to prepare for this all-important personal interaction. Bruin Career Insights: Your Best Interview explores the critical elements you need to know to make a great first impression. Learn the do’s and don’ts of how to present yourself, reduce the risk of rejection and increase the odds of getting an offer.

Brett Fisher ’00 is a management consultant and executive recruiter born and raised in Los Angeles. Brett’s depth of experience in building teams comes from working in two different nonprofit organizations prior to forming the Brett Fisher Group (BFG) in 2008, a business entity that pulls together an extensive network of talented and experienced professionals. Since 2008, BFG has successfully placed top talent with backgrounds in accounting, finance, sales, marketing, human resources and administrative professionals throughout Los Angeles.

THE INTROVERTED ENTREPRENEUR 

Starting a business requires being persistent and taking risks. Most people believe entrepreneurs need to be energetic and outgoing to be champions for their business, but introverts take note: you can be a successful entrepreneur and still protect your time and energy.

Rosie O’Neill ’00, M.B.A. ’05 is an entrepreneur with a major sweet tooth. In August 2012, alongside her co-founder and fiancé Josh Resnick, she launched her first company, Sugarfina. Inspired by a third-date screening of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Rosie and Josh dreamed up a “candy boutique for grown-ups” featuring the finest sweets from artisan candy makers around the world. Named to Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People” list, and Goldman Sachs’ “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs,” Rosie is disrupting the sweets space with an innovative approach to confections and retail.

STARTING OUT IN START-UPS

You are a creative big-thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit who is not afraid of hard work, can wear many hats and is always ready to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. Your talent, personality and passion could make working at a startup an exciting challenge and be a great fit. Watch this edition of Bruin Career Insights for a special session unique to the startup job search, facilitated by Vikas Gupta ’03, M.B.A. ’11, that will help you create a plan to unearth jobs, get noticed and grow your career.

Vikas Gupta ’03, M.B.A. ’11 has a B.A. in business-economics and political science. He recently joined Baby Box, a startup in the education and baby space, as the vice president of Strategy and Product. Prior to Baby Box, he spent six years at Factual Inc, growing the company from 30 to 150 people and oversaw marketing and strategy. Gupta also gained experience at Rustic Canyon Partners, LoopNet and McKinsey & Company. He is an avid traveler, voracious reader and is currently designing a board game.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS

In today’s competitive job market, employers have a thin margin of error in their search for the right applicant. When it comes to identifying the right job candidate, UCLA Anderson School of Management alumna Kate Pletcher M.B.A ’07 has got the eye for talent. As the head of a full-service recruiting firm, she shares her professional insights on what qualities rise to the top and what steps you can take to stand out from the crowd.

The speaker, Kate Pletcher, M.B.A. ’07, is the Founder and CEO of Treehouse Partners. Prior to launching the firm, Pletcher owned and ran a successful franchised staffing firm in Los Angeles, served as director of Global Brand Licensing for Skechers, and worked as director of business development for bsp (a brand extension consultancy). Kate received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and her M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is an adjunct instructor for both UCLA and Anderson on the topics of sales and leadership, serves as vice president of the business networking group UCLA Bruin Professionals, and loves helping fellow Bruins in any way she can!

NAVIGATING NONPROFITS

From small local charities to large international agencies, there are a many kinds of nonprofit organizations. This edition of Bruin Career Insights taps into an insider’s knowledge of how to navigate a career in the nonprofit world.

Mai Nguyen ’00 is the Director of Development, Special Events for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA, Nguyen began her career at an event production firm with clients that included the American Cancer Society, Avon Breast Cancer Walks and Los Angeles LGBT Center. She joined Planned Parenthood’s team in 2002 and has worked in a number of capacities including database management, annual giving and volunteer management. In her current role, Nguyen oversees a robust events program that raises more than $3.5 million annually.

BREAKING INTO ENTERTAINMENT

Entertainment can be a rough and tumble industry for a novice. In this edition of Bruin Career Insights, Brad Hall provides his insider knowledge and learn how to kick-start a career in entertainment.

Speaker Brad Hall ’91 is the founder of entertainmentcareers.net, the go-to website for careers in entertainment. Prior to launching the site, he had a successful career in film and television production with Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and others. Hall is also the co-founder of Reading to Kids, a nonprofit that hosts reading programs for Los Angeles elementary schools. He is a proud Bruin and passionate about mentoring young professionals and entrepreneurs.