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37 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
Jeff Kryka M.A. '08, Ph.D. '11, Film and Television Composer
Los Angeles-based composer Jeff Kryka has been awarded by Turner Classic Movies, ASCAP, the RMALA, and the Henry Mancini Foundation. As both a composer and orchestrator, his work has been featured in major motion pictures, TV-shows, video games, and heard in concert halls across the globe. Jeff studied music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.M. 2006) and at the University of California-Los Angeles (M.A. 2008 & Ph.D. 2011). He has taught music theory, ear training, and composition at UCLA and the Colburn Conservatory of Music. In addition to his own composition work, he has collaborated with composers Michael Giacchino, Laura Karpman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, Nathan Johnson, Chris Tilton, Nami Melumad, Erran Baron Cohen, Morgan Kibby, James S. Levine, & Paul Chihara. Some of his recent credits include composing the score for the Disney+ original documentary series The Imagineering Story, and the documentary feature Traces of the Brush, as well as orchestrations on: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman, Lightyear, Nightmare Alley, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Vivo, Lovecraft Country, What If…?, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jojo Rabbit, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, Coco, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jurassic World, Star Trek Beyond, War for the Planet of the Apes, Inside Out, & Zootopia. For more information, and to listen to samples of Jeff’s music, please visit www.jeffkrykamusic.com.
39 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
Chelsea Moore '13 and Jenni Olivero '13 of BOXFOX
About Chelsea Moore: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chelsea is the CEO and co-founder of BOXFOX. After graduating from UCLA, she and Jenni moved to Venice Beach where the idea for BOXFOX was born after spotting a gap in the lifestyle and service space for elevated and effortless gifting. She is the driving force behind BOXFOX’s creative and aesthetic vision, ensuring we stay true to our customers’ needs and our belief in well-presented and purposeful gifting. Chelsea graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in English from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in marketing and business development for Brandy Melville, Ogilvy & Mather, and David & Goliath. She was selected as a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 class and helped secure BOXFOX's continued place on the Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Companies. About Jenni Olivero: Hailing from Half Moon Bay, CA, Jenni co-founded BOXFOX in 2014 and runs operations as COO. Jenni works closely with data, inventory, buying, and finance, driving the development of simple consumer solutions through the lens of data trends. She also packs most of the boxes you see in BOXFOX photoshoots with her keen eye for details and overarching brand vision. Jenni graduated with a B.A. in International Development Studies and a Minor in Anthropology from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in sports marketing at Sports Studio, helping facilitate authentic sports scenes in movies, TV shows, and commercials. She was selected as a member of Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2019 at age 28.
30 minutes | Jul 21, 2022
Rod A. Ponce '06 of First Republic Bank
Rod A. Ponce ’06 is Senior Account Executive with First Republic Bank. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he started his career in financial services as a financial advisor with John Hancock. In 2009, he left the financial advising business to become a Licensed Personal Financial Representative for Washington Mutual Bank, where he began to focus primarily on residential and small business lending. When Washington Mutual was acquired by Chase Bank, Rod moved into a supervisory role, and was involved opening a brand new office in West Los Angeles. In 2012, Rod accepted an offer as an Assistant Vice President with Bank of the West (BNP Paribas Group), where he developed a niche in stand-alone home equity lines of credit, and was a consistent Circle of Excellence qualifier for several years standing. Rod joined First Republic Bank in 2019 and currently focuses on financing for professional service firms and their individual partners. From 2011-2017, Rod was involved with Toastmasters International as an Area Director, where he acted as an advisor to several clubs throughout the Los Angeles area. With regard to UCLA involvement, he currently sits on the board for the Silicon Beach Bruins regional network as their Professional Development Chair, he founded a Bruin Professionals Chapter in Silicon Beach, and he is the current President for the overarching Bruin Professionals organization. For personal hobbies, Rod enjoys snowboarding, camping, and taking long walks with his wife and dog, Maverick.
28 minutes | Jul 11, 2022
Nikhil Gupta, J.D. '15 of the Golden State Warriors
Nikhil Gupta is Associate General Counsel for the Golden State Warriors. In this role, he advises the organization on a wide range of commercial, litigation, regulatory and compliance matters. He previously served as Associate Counsel for the San Francisco 49ers for two years. Prior to that, he practiced corporate and transactional law at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles. Nikhil received his JD from UCLA School of Law and his BBA from University of Michigan. Before law school, Nikhil did a year of service with City Year in Detroit public schools.
32 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Emily Baxt '92 of Baxt Consulting
Emily Baxt, career coach and principal at Baxt Consulting, specializes in professional growth and development for teams and individuals in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She has supported students and alumni at the University of San Diego (USD) Career Development Center for over 20 years. She particularly enjoys helping people find purpose and meaning in the workplace, and facilitating groups to promote increased self-awareness, team effectiveness, and workplace skills. An experienced presenter and facilitator, Emily enjoys working with groups of all sizes. As an adjunct faculty member in the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at USD, she developed curriculum around NACE’s Career Readiness Competencies and teaches emerging engineers. She is a popular guest lecturer in departments across campus and organizations in the community. Emily received a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Counseling from USD and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from UCLA. She is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Master Practitioner, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and a California Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC 314).
51 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
Ruben Garcia '08 of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Ruben Garcia is Co-Head of the Cultural Business Strategy Group at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In addition, Garcia works within the CAA Foundation to advise and consult clients on their prosocial and philanthropic initiatives. Garcia collaborates with company leadership to execute company-wide strategies and implement inclusive business practices that maximize creative and business growth opportunities for the agency’s diverse clients. In addition, he manages a custom slate of programs and initiatives, including CAA Amplify, a platform designed by the agency to leverage the collective influence of cross-industry thought leaders and cultural changemakers of color to create transformational change across business and society. Garcia also oversees CAA’s corporate partnerships and liaises with clients, businesses and organizations interested in promoting and building philanthropic activities connected to diversity in business and creative fields. His clients include Kendrick Sampson, Anthony Ramos, Becky G, Laurence Fishburne, Edwards James Olmos, Connor Franta, Ricky Martin, and Karla Souza, among others. He currently leads the Industry Advisory Board for the Latino Film Institute and serves on the regional advisory board for the Friends of the Museum of the American Latino. Prior to joining CAA in 2011, Garcia worked at Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. A native of San Diego, he is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Sociology.
46 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
Jenn Wells '07 of the Marlborough School
Jenn received her B.A. from UCLA in 2007 in American Literature and Culture and a minor in Education studies. While at UCLA, Jenn was an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, and a student leader in the Student Alumni Association. Jenn went on to receive her M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University and her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Change & Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation focuses on understanding the organizational influences on college chief diversity officers’ ability to impact institutional change. Jenn’s career in education administration focuses on student leadership with an emphasis on identity development and social justice education. Jenn developed a deep passion for the empowerment of girls, women, non-binary, transgender, and BIPOC students after her work at Mills College, Barnard College, and Scripps College. Her experience in higher education included emergency response, new student orientation, student support services, student government and organizations advising, residential life, and honors programs. Jenn served as a national leader in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as a Communications Co-Chair for the Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community and as a Co-Chair of the MultiRacial Knowledge Community. In the summer of 2020 Jenn transitioned away from higher education, and she currently works as the inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Marlborough School, a 7th-12th grade independent girls’ school in Los Angeles. In this position, Jenn serves as a chief diversity officer and member of the school’s senior leadership team directing campus-wide leadership, programming, and initiatives aimed at supporting the School’s commitment to inclusion, equity, and accountability. In addition to her formal role at Marlborough, Jenn is an independent consultant providing diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops for higher education and non-profit organizations. Her workshops focus on implicit bias, racial justice, multiraciality, and gender/sexuality inclusion. As a national presenter at conferences such as NASPA and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Jenn’s presentations include topics such as surviving toxic workplace environments and multiracial identity in higher education. As an alum of UCLA, Jenn participated as a host for Dinner for 12 Strangers, attended events hosted by the Bay Area and NYC Alumni networks, and served as an Outreach Chair for the Lambda Alumni Association.
42 minutes | May 26, 2022
Matt Wiener '10 of Innovative Partnerships Group
Mr. Wiener is a Partner, Managing Director and Head of Consulting & Business Development at Innovative Partnerships Group (IPG360), joining the firm less than one year into the company formation. Mr. Wiener oversees growth for the company, serving as a member of the Advisory Board and Executive Team with leadership duties across overall revenue, operations, strategic growth as well as leading property, brand and project-based consulting work including the overall sponsorship and naming rights division across domestic & international clients. Mr. Wiener manages a dynamic, high-performing team across the country and oversees the recruiting and hiring efforts for the firm. Prior to Innovative Partnerships Group, Mr. Wiener was a senior executive at Wasserman, responsible for long-term partnerships for the Fortune 500 and global rights holders. His diverse experience and strategic approach provide a foundation to execute complex, non-traditional partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all parties, building a reputation for his creativity in deal making and delivering win-win-win agreements. Prior to Wasserman, Mr. Wiener worked for the San Diego Padres ownership group as a member of the Front Office holding multiple revenue positions, quickly working his way up through the organization holding the top sales position in the front office every year during his tenure in Major League Baseball. Mr. Wiener is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles Mr. Wiener is actively involved with his alma mater’s Alumni Association, Sports & Entertainment Network and serves as an executive member of the Milken Institute’s global Young Leaders Circle.
33 minutes | May 19, 2022
Rachel Salvo, M.B.A. '15 of Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Rachel Salvo, MBA ’15, is a Director of Strategy and Business Planning at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. She currently leads the planning and strategic initiatives across the North America Products team, which includes overseeing and supporting the licensed category business and the owned and operated eCommerce platform. She works collaboratively with the international teams to ensure goals are aligned and efficiencies are shared. She has been with WBCP since graduating in 2015 but prior to attending Anderson in 2013, Rachel worked at Ernst & Young in their Transfer Pricing practice as well as in Finance at Walt Disney Imagineering. Rachel was born and raised in a suburb of LA, in La Canada Flintridge, and graduated from Haverford College (Haverford, PA) in 2010 where she was a volleyball athlete, majored in Economics and was pre-med. In addition to her professional experience, Rachel is a Haverford Athletics Leader (part of an athletics alumni group which helps lead initiatives to help the athletics department and current student-athletes), an alumni volunteer at Haverford College, as well as on the alumni board of her high school (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy).
38 minutes | May 9, 2022
Rafi Sands '18 of Pano AI
Rafi Sands '18 is an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he's exploring innovative ways to help communities better adapt to the challenges of the 21st-century, including climate change and economic insecurity. While not in class, Rafi works in Business Development with Pano AI, a wildfire technology company using cameras and AI to help communities better prepare for and respond to catastrophic wildfire events. Prior to Pano, Rafi was a consultant with Bain & Company, with experience supporting C-suite strategy and operations across a range of sectors including utilities, tech and media, and automotive. Rafi graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2018.
42 minutes | May 2, 2022
Kelsey Balance '11 of Scripted Programming at NBCUniversal Media
Kelsey Balance, SVP, Scripted for NBCU International Studios, oversees the Studio’s Scripted division in LA. She has been with International Studios for two years and has been the key executive in packaging and selling a number of shows, including Clickbait for Netflix, Lady Parts for Peacock, The Capture for Peacock, and Stateless for Netflix, as well as major development deals and creative on premium projects at SVODs such as Apple and Amazon. Together with the wider creative teams across the UK, US, Australia and Canada, Balance is charged with building on the company’s track record of creating premium scripted content with global appeal and with developing series with emerging and diverse voices. Prior to joining International Studios, Balance was Head of Programming at NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming venture Seeso, where she had oversight of all originals, acquisitions and co-productions, including the critically acclaimed Flowers, Take My Wife and HarmonQuest. Prior to NBCUniversal, Balance was at Participant Media where she worked on multi-award winning comedy (or critically acclaimed series) Please Like Me, (Emmy Award winning) Hitrecord ON TV, and Sky Atlantic's Fortitude.
41 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Lucy Tseng '12 of Resilientsee and UCLA Giving
Lucy Tseng is a Life & Resilience Coach working with folks who are experiencing major changes, particularly athletes of all levels who are transitioning to life after sports. Additionally, she is part of the development team that raised $5.49 billion during The UCLA Centennial Campaign and focuses on raising funds for scholarships and student support. With clients internationally, Lucy currently resides in Los Angeles, where she was born and raised. In 2012, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Asian American Studies, and Education Studies. At UCLA as a student, she was involved with several campus organizations including UCLA UniCamp, Pediatric AIDS Coalition, and served as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Residential Life. In 2014, Lucy graduated from the University of San Francisco (Southern CA campus) with a Master’s Degree in Sport Management. Her master's thesis was focused on building a comprehensive life skills program that included development training for student-athletes. Shortly after grad school, Lucy was recruited to work for Environmental Charter Schools (ECS), where she learned in great depth about the world of business development. After two years of being hands-on with almost every project at this growing charter school network, Lucy returned to her alma mater to contribute through the development team. To this day, she is a very active Bruin alumna and staff member. In July 2020, she was appointed as a Staff Advisor to the UC Board of Regents by President Janet Napolitano. Lucy's breadth of experience has helped her discover her passion: being a resource to all people. More specifically, her purpose in life is to inspire and support others in finding, pursuing, and living their own passions and purpose. Outside of working at UCLA and pursuing her passion as a Coach, Lucy is involved with several global and local nonprofit organizations including Rotary International (fighting human trafficking), NextLA (formerly known as Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce), and Delta SigmaPi International Business Fraternity. Lucy is passionate about living a lifestyle of natural healthcare and serves as a Wellness Advocate fordōTERRA, an essentials oils company. Lucy also enjoys staying active and spending time with loved ones, including her furry children named @Tunechi_Kobe.
34 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
Hannah Gordon '03 of the San Francisco 49ers
Hannah Gordon is the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of the San Francisco 49ers. Gordon is a Bay Area native who grew up in Oakland and attended Stanford for law school. She is a former board member of Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, among other nonprofits. Named by NFL.com as one of the most influential women in football, Gordon advises on all legal issues involving both the football team and Levi’s® Stadium and leads the ESPN Humanitarian Team of the Year-winning community impact division which includes the 49ers Foundation’s co-ed youth football programs and STEAM education program which serve tens of thousands of Bay Area youth each year. Gordon is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 and Game Changer, The Athletic NFL Forty Under 40, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Forty Under 40, 100 Women of Influence, Corporate Counsel Diversity Champion, ICA Cristo Rey Leader in Mission, and PureWow’s 20 in ’20 list honoring 20 Up-and-Coming Leaders Working to Better Our World. She is the author of SZN of CHANGE: The Competitor’s Playbook for Joy on the Path to Victory that has been featured by Good Morning America.
44 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Kristen Choi, M.S. '18 of UCLA and Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Kristen Choi is a psychiatric nurse and Assistant Professor of Nursing and Public Health at UCLA. Dr. Choi studies health services and policy approaches to promoting mental health among children and adolescents. Her current research projects include studies on adverse childhood experiences, developmental disabilities, and the intersection of homelessness and mental illness. As both a clinician and a scientist, Dr. Choi maintains a clinical practice as a registered nurse at a safety net psychiatric hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition to her role at UCLA, Dr. Choi is an Investigator with Kaiser Permanente Southern California and an Associate Director for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. She was the first and only nurse included on the US 'Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare' list in 2020 and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
52 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
Kal Penn '00
Kal Penn is an actor, writer, producer, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He is known for his starring roles in Designated Survivor, House, Mira Nair’s The Namesake, the Harold & Kumar franchise, and the patriotic immigration sit-com Sunnyside which he co-created for NBC. From 2009 to 2011, Kal took a sabbatical from acting to serve in the Obama/Biden administration, where he served as the President’s Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts community. In these roles, he worked on a range of issues, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act, Pell Grants, arts and culture programs, the DREAM Act, and rapid response to the BP Oil Spill and earthquake in Haiti. He was a national co-chair for the Obama/Biden re-election campaign in 2012 and served on the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, focusing on arts education and cultural diplomacy, including the first-ever US Government arts delegation to Cuba. Penn has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles. Originally from New Jersey, he received his undergraduate degree in sociology, theater, film, and television at the University of California, Los Angeles, and received a graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University. He has been a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Penn recently wrapped production on the CBS Drama, Clarice (based on Silence of the Lambs), and Freeform’s late night youth election format show Kal Penn Approves This Message. He currently stars in the animated Disney Junior series Mira, Royal Detective, is an Executive Producer on the Viacom/Paramount + comedy, Surina & Mel, and can be heard in Nickelodeon’s It’s Pony. His culinary competition series Money Hungry airs on Food Network. Kal’s first book You Can’t Be Serious released on November 2nd, 2021 from Simon and Schuster/Gallery Books. He also narrates the audiobook.
49 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
Matt Kaczmarek '04 of BlackRock
Matt Kaczmarek, Director, is head of sustainable investing and macro policy research for the global credit investment team at BlackRock. He also serves as a senior member of the firm's external affairs team and is co-chair of BlackRock's Los Angeles leadership team. He is a member of the firm's geopolitical risk and inclusion and diversity committees. Matt teaches public policy analysis as adjunct assistant professor of public service at NYU's Wagner School. He serves on the board of directors of the UCLA Alumni Association, the campaign board of the national LGBT Victory Fund, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining BlackRock, Matt held senior appointments in the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, including as senior advisor to the Deputy National Security Advisor for international economic policy in the White House. He served in the international finance division of the U.S. Treasury Department during the global financial crisis and later as Secretary of State John Kerry's White House liaison. Matt has managed or advised eight federal, state, and local candidate and issue campaigns, including as chief economic policy advisor to a leading presidential campaign in the 2020 cycle. Matt received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was president of the University of California Student Association, and MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he was editor-in-chief of the SAIS Review of International Affairs.
36 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Topology Planning @ Amazon with Izzah Khan '13
Izzah Khan is a UCLA alumna who is currently working as a Program Manager at Amazon's Last Mile business where she supports the expansion of Amazon's delivery network in the US and Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and with the right experience, has been able to pivot into the data-heavy field of Supply Chain and Capacity/Topology Planning. Prior to joining Last Mile, she supported Amazon's retail/Appstore teams responsible for catalog quality and risk mitigation for several years, developing scalable solutions to protect customers and sellers from fraud and abuse. Having been working at a Big Tech giant for 4+ years, Izzah attributes her growth to self-discipline, hard (but smart) work, and a career-focused, purpose-driven support network. In today's podcast, we sat with her to learn about how her career trajectory took shape and her advice to students on pursuing a career in the world of tech. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
23 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Jasmine Talei
Dr. Jasmine Talei is a California licensed Naturopathic Doctor. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Film Studies at UCLA and received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, California. Dr. Talei focused her clinical training on the skin-gut connection, autoimmune conditions, and mold-related illness. She has furthered her training in homeopathy, IV nutrient therapy, and craniosacral therapy. She currently also works with women and men to optimize their hormonal health and provides post-surgical naturopathic care. In alignment with her philosophy of treating the root cause, Dr. Talei understands the need for a holistic approach when it comes to achieving optimal health. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
31 minutes | May 25, 2021
Cybrarian @ Oracle with Tim Gallati '10, MLIS '13
Tim Gallati '10, MLIS '13 is a Cybrarian on the Virtual Library team at Oracle with responsibilities in data, user experience research, research services, and learning curation. Following his UCLA BA (’10) and MLIS (’13), Tim served in corporate, academic, and non-profit libraries. He also explored a career in Theological Librarianship and received a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School (’18). He recently taught a course in “Community Data” at the UCLA iSchool and looks forward to connecting with the next generation of UCLA students. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
35 minutes | May 18, 2021
Social Impact @ Participant with Nicole Starr '01
Nicole Starr '01 is Vice President of Social Impact for Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change. In her role, Nicole oversees the development and execution of impact campaigns that bring together art and activism to accelerate progress around the world’s most pressing issues. Her passion for leveraging the power of storytelling to inspire action drives her work at Participant, which includes the creation of social impact and culture change campaigns for numerous films, such as the critically acclaimed Judas and the Black Messiah, RBG, On the Basis of Sex, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power and Academy Award®-winning Roma. Most recently, the impact campaign around Roma helped shift the narrative around domestic workers and inspired the cultural conditions for policy change in the U.S. and Mexico. Nicole came to Participant with over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including a six-year stint at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment building corporate partnerships around film and TV properties such as Avatar, Life of Pi, X-men franchise, and Glee. In addition, Nicole is a founding member of Storyline Partners, an organization working in writers’ rooms to create authentic portrayals of underrepresented or misrepresented communities in pop culture. Follow Participant on Instagram and keep an eye on their job board here. Bruin Success is hosted and produced by Christian Chavez '13.
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