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MBA Panelists

Asia Stuerznickel

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Investment Banking Associate, Goldman Sachs, New York | Sloan School of Management at MIT, '20

Asia recently graduated from MIT Sloan with her MBA ('20) and is excited to be joining the Real Estate Investment Banking group at Goldman Sachs in July. Prior to Sloan, Asia was based in Krakow, Poland, where she worked for Brown Brothers Harriman, an American financial services firm, focusing on technology projects as a business analyst.

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

“There's no single data point that will get you in or rule you out as a candidate, so don't obsess over any single component of your application that you feel is particularly weak or strong. The applications allow you to show a comprehensive picture of yourself, so take advantage of that - use every word well by not duplicating information across the different components of your app and by ensuring you highlight the things that make you unique, strong and compelling as a candidate. There's no single ideal MBA candidate, admissions are trying to build a diverse and representative class, so bring your true self to the process!“

MBA Clubs / Activities:

Black Business Students Association, Vice President of Admissions
Student Senate Executive Committee Member, Co-Lead of the Academics & Admissions Committee
Investment Banking Club, Member

David Reyes

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eCommerce Manager, Adobe | McCombs School of Business at University of Texas, '19

David is an eCommerce Manager at Adobe leading the Photography and Mobile businesses in the Americas region. He graduated in 2019 with his MBA in Brand Management & Digital Experiences from Texas McCombs in Austin, TX. Prior to business school he worked with Deloitte’s Strategic Risk practice and served in the U.S. Army as an engineer officer for six years in the rank of Captain. David graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from West Point in 2009 and a M.S. in Engineering Management from MS&T in 2014. He hails from Guanajuato, Mexico via sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida and in his spare time, David enjoys running, traveling, supporting local communities, and the outdoors.

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

“..to always be my most authentic self, take risks / be daring, and keep an open mind.”

MBA Clubs / Activities:

Consortium Fellow
ROMBA Fellow
McCombs Marketing Fellow
President of eQual MBAs
Vice President of the McCombs Tech Club
Semester Exchange with HEC Paris

Grant Brooks

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Senior Manager of Finance, Disney Direct-To-Consumer International | Anderson School of Management at UCLA, '20

Grant Brooks is a recent UCLA Anderson MBA 2020 graduate and is currently a senior finance manager at Disney's Direct-To-Consumer & International segment, which contains businesses such as Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney's international businesses besides the parks. He attended UCLA Anderson's Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program, which allowed him to be part of the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the Disney reorganization, and the launch of Disney+, both domestically and abroad. Before Disney, Grant was employed at Boeing and held a variety of positions in business development, strategy, and finance.

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

“Start the process early (2 years before you plan on applying) and take the GMAT / GRE as early as possible.”

MBA Clubs / Activities:

Entertainment Management Association
FEMBASSADORs

Pamela Burga

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Diversity Business Partner, Tesla | Marshall School of Business at USC, '14

With 15 years of effectively leveraging strong interpersonal and analytical skills to coach and advise executives and diverse stakeholders, Pamela Burga has driven individual and team performance in a variety of industries, including tech, government, entertainment, education, aerospace, and healthcare.

Pamela joined Live Nation in 2018 as the Manager of Diversity & Belonging and owns workforce analytics, drives ERG strategy, and is developing diversity training platforms and career development programs. Prior to Live Nation, she implemented talent development, performance management, and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives at SpaceX to support enabling life on Mars. Pamela has previously held leadership roles in compensation, talent attraction, and as an HR Business Partner at DIRECTV Latin America, McKesson, and AT&T.

While attending the USC Marshall School of Business, Pamela earned awards from and participated in fellowships in organizations such as The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), Nestlé, TELACU, and the USC Latino Alumni Association. Prior to getting her MBA, she served as senior policy director for the LAUSD Board of Education and also worked on staff for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Pamela began her career teaching kindergarten in the Bronx, NY while earning her MS in Education at Pace University through Teach For America. She received a BA in Public Policy Analysis/Politics and a Minor in Music (voice) from Pomona College.

Pamela is a first generation American and college graduate; she enjoys volunteering and has served as President of the UCLA Anderson Riordan Fellows Alumni Association. In her spare time, Pamela practices yoga, performs classical and rock music, and has been known to be a contender in a competitive karaoke league. Reach out to learn more about her TEDx Talk: "Building Creative Muscle in Business."

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

“A lot of well-intentioned people will be giving you advice during your MBA journey. Listen and take it into account, but ultimately trust yourself to filter what best applies to you; let your passion and personal values be your compass.”

Samuel Peprah

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Healthcare Strategy & Management Professional, Anthem Inc. | Yale School of Management, '18

Samuel Peprah is a healthcare strategy and management professional working for Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. Samuel commenced his career in healthcare and joined Anthem after completing his MBA at the Yale School of Management in 2018. In his pre-MBA life, he worked in global nuclear security consulting for Booz Allen Hamilton and as a strategy and development consultant for social enterprises and startups. During his time at Yale, Samuel was involved in the Healthcare club, African Business & Society club, and the intramural soccer team.

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

"...to not close any doors that you have not bothered to open, and to consider opportunities beyond your comfort zone."

MBA Clubs / Activities:

Healthcare Club
African Business & Society Club
Intramural Soccer Team

Shanae Davis

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Intern, American Express (Colleague Experience Group) | The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, '21

Shanae is a Wharton second-year MBA student with a concentration in Organization Effectiveness. Prior to Wharton, she pursued a BA in Classics and Communications from Stanford University. After brief stints at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Google, Shanae spent the last three years at Box creating recruiting strategies, where she discovered her passion for D&I programming as a leader in her company's Employee Resource Group. Shanae is interning at American Express in their Colleague Experience Group.

Best Piece of Advice During MBA Journey:

“An Admission Director from Berkeley told me this during an application workshop and it really stuck with me: MBA Admission teams aren't looking for reasons to reject your application. They're looking for reasons why an MBA from their program will help you reach your goals.”

MBA Clubs / Activities:

Human Capital Club, Vice President
Technology Club, Former Vice President of Careers
African American MBA Association, Vice President of Careers
Teaching Assistant Leading Diversity in Organization taught by Professor Stephanie Creary

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