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Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Dru Chavez, UCLA (Anderson)

“Husband. Son. Brother. Friend. Los Angeles. Mixed. Pisces. Compassionate. Empathetic. Sensitive. Foodie. Bad golfer.

Hometown: San Pedro, California

Fun fact about yourself: I love ice cream and have a bad habit of Door-Dashing Cold Stone.

Undergraduate school and major: University of Southern California, public relations

Most recent employer and job title: Google, technical recruiter

UCLA Anderson is founded on the three pillars: Share success, think without fear and lead change. Which pillar speaks to you the most and why? Currently, it is the Think Fearlessly pillar that affects me the most. As I embark on this MBA journey, many questions still remain unanswered. There are days when I am still searching for my “why an MBA?” ” answer. This is difficult for me, because I prefer to have a plan and have the right answer. I am learning that there is no perfect time for anything and that not everything can be planned. With the right support system in place, with a clear set of goals and ruthless prioritization, any doubt about direction can be overcome.

What makes Los Angeles a great place to get an MBA? Besides the weather, I think you can find whatever you’re looking for in greater Los Angeles. You name it, we have it: thriving industry, food, nature, arts, beaches… And, if you’re lucky, you may find what you’re looking for. niche and community too.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key element of the UCLA Anderson MBA program that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I really appreciate how the student community participated in the admissions process and recruitment program. This has continued in the area of ​​guidance, as there is a culture of student-led initiatives. I appreciate this “for us, by us” mentality (in partnership with Anderson faculty and staff) that drives the culture on campus.

What class, club, or activity are you most excited about at UCLA Anderson? I am interested in the common core financial accounting course. I’ve never taken a finance class, but I love personal finance and check my bank account several times a week thinking it will help its balance grow. I promise you, that’s not the case. Also, I’m very worried about the USC vs. UCLA football game. I’m going to have an identity crisis.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I love back stories. My first performance review at Google was “needs improvement.” It really impacted my confidence at work and humbled me. I didn’t share with many others at the time and didn’t ask for help. Instead, I told myself I would have 1 week to feel bad about myself, but then I would take responsibility. I did just that, improving my performance and prioritizing metrics and work that the team valued. Ultimately, I jumped three levels higher on my next performance review and one step closer to what would ultimately be two promotions. I learned to be my own advocate and cheerleader. I also learned that a grade, a grade, a job, an achievement, an honor, or a degree does not define you. It’s what you do with it that counts.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I’m less focused on specific post-grad work and more on finding my place in Los Angeles for the next chapter of my life. If I stay in recruiting, that’s cool. If I take on a completely different role, that’s cool too. I’m more interested in the overall trajectory of working on more strategic, long-term impact and a role that will allow me to help develop others.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission to the UCLA Anderson MBA program? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to MBA admission. Visit the campus yourself and don’t look to others, or me, for your plan. Be the role model you want to be and lean on your support system to help you navigate. For me, that support system included family, friends, colleagues, mentors, management leadership for tomorrow (shout out, Coach K!) and ultimately some introspection and meditation to create a path forward and act upon it .