Entrepreneurship @ Anderson: Q&A with Julia Egan and Michael Vilardo


MP Guru
This summer, join current MBA students, through our Summer Liveguide Series, as they share their favorite Anderson moments and experiences recruiting across industries.

Meet Julia!
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Julia Egan started her career as a kindergarten teacher in New York City and later joined a San Francisco education technology company, AltSchool, where she most recently served as Chief of Staff. Julia came to Anderson to pursue a career in big tech but quickly found herself drawn towards LA’s startup and venture capital scene. Today, she is the President of Anderson’s Entrepreneur Association and is spending her summer interning at Bonfire Ventures, a firm investing in early stage B2B software companies.

Meet Michael!
Michael started his career at Uber, working on their Freight and New Mobility teams in San Francisco and his hometown of Chicago. Coming to Anderson, he knew he wanted to explore entrepreneurship and quickly launched his own company VHolmes in his first year. This summer, Michael is continuing to work on his venture while also serving as a Product Manager at Nike Digital.

If I have a startup idea and need to develop it technically, what kind of resources can I get at UCLA to make it a real thing?
Something we work really hard at is to create opportunities for you to meet people. We have combined events with the Engineering school if you don’t have the skills to be able to build a tool yourself. There are also very talented undergraduates who are looking for internships. We are constantly working on new ways to connect you with other students at UCLA. Finally, there’s also a possibility that you join an existing start-up and meet your future co-founders there.

What was your favourite elective other than EVI and BPD?
There are some really great off-the-wall classes from professors who are actually in the field. Technology Entrepreneurship features two rotating professors who are partners at a VC. They are able to not only provide insight into how to invest in a company but also share their deal flow so students can really understand how they invest in companies. The class also featured a great speaker series.

What resources were helpful with your start-up VHolmes?
The most helpful things were the Accelerator and the competitions. Extracurriculars are so important here. Get to know Julia — the Entrepreneur Association (EA) is by far the most important club to get involved with. The newsletter is priceless, with opportunities for internships and competitions all over the world. I did every UCLA competition and then I did any competition that Julia and the EA sent around. That was the biggest opportunity for growth. And then, I recommend at least trying to apply for the Accelerator in your first or second year. As an alumni, you are also welcome back at any time to apply for the six month program.

To learn more about Entrepreneurship at Anderson, check out Julia and Michael’s webinar here.


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