Student Perspectives: Making a Triple Pivot

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About Cody: I’ve lived in nearly every state on the west coast, but I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and followed my mom’s footsteps to become a Sundevil at Arizona State. I graduated with degrees in Economics and Supply Chain Management before I went to work for American Airlines as a Supply Chain Manager in Dallas for the past 4 years. After racking up close to 300 flights and visiting 25 countries, I got sick of airports and decided to follow my passion for the real estate industry. I decided on UCLA Anderson for its well renowned real estate program, the faculty, and incredible opportunities that southern California has to offer.


Wait, what’s a triple pivot?

We refer to a pivot in business school as transitioning industry, function, or location. Therefore, the triple pivot is when you transition industry, function, and location. Akin to Tony Hawk landing the 900, the triple pivot is legendary because you start out feeling like you have virtually zero transferrable skills when you are jumping between two very different industries, and then you layer on the fact that the new function requires an entirely different set of technical skills. Moving geographic regions is the cherry on top because your professional network might not be as strong as it is in the location where you began your professional career. After a few months of battling imposter syndrome, receiving incredible coaching from Parker, and leveraging all resources that Anderson has to offer, you realize that you are crushing it and on track to land the triple pivot.

Tell me about your pivot:

When I left American Airlines I had developed strong leadership abilities, negotiation skills, and analytical skills, but my financial acumen was limited and I wasn’t proficient at creating dynamic models in excel. Pivoting into the real estate industry, I had to create a compelling story of why I wanted to make the switch and what function I wanted to work in. After refining my 30-second pitch and carefully crafting my story, I had to acquire a whole new basket of technical skills such as creating proforma cash flow statements in excel and learning a new software (ARGUS Enterprise). Making the location pivot is probably the easiest of the three because you have the support of UCLA, your new classmates, and it is easy to explain why you want to live in southern California.

What advice do you have for someone making a double or triple pivot?

Buckle in, plain and simple. Big pivots are not for the lighthearted and you have to have the stomach to deal with rejection. I was rejected from probably 20 opportunities before I acquired my summer internship. Things didn’t start looking up until I started my academic internship and put some industry experience on my resume. You also need the discipline to miss out on many social events that your peers are attending. For me, that meant spending my spring break studying for the ARGUS Enterprise certification exam while my classmates were drinking mojitos on the beach. I also recommend taking advantage of industry resources and training programs if you feel really far apart on your technical skills. I took a course over summer focused on creating real estate financial models in excel because that is a baseline requirement to work in real estate finance. Most importantly, don’t give up. Don’t give into FOMO. You have worked so hard to get to where you are already, and you might as well ride it out. Your future self will thank you.


Student Blogger: Cody Kuhne ‘22

Undergrad: Arizona State ‘16

Pre-MBA: Supply Chain at American Airlines

[email protected]: President, The Association for Real Estate at Anderson; First-Year Director, Admissions Ambassador Corps

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