Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Daniella Ryskina, UCLA (Anderson)

“An ambitious, results-oriented Russian-American who takes pride in helping others achieve their personal and professional goals.”

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Fun fact about yourself: My family is from Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 1993. I was the first in my family to be born in the United States and receive a college education.

Undergraduate School and Major: Loyola Marymount University, Double Major in Accounting and Finance

Most recent employer and job title: KPMG, Financial Services Management Consultant

UCLA Anderson is founded on the Three Pillars: Sharing Success, Thinking Without Fear, and Leading Change. Which pillar speaks to you the most and why? Share the success. I’ve always liked the concept of mentoring. As part of the Step Up Women’s Network, I mentored young women in disadvantaged communities to realize their potential and prepare to join the professional workforce. At KPMG, I was a leader of the KPMG Network of Women, where I championed company-wide diversity and equity by organizing events for professional women to build business relationships. In turn, I attribute much of my success to the incredible mentors with whom I have developed lifelong personal and professional connections.

A key facet of the UCLA Anderson School of Management that attracted me was the school’s partnership with the Forte Foundation. As a Forte Scholar, I have had the exciting opportunity to continue to build relationships with incredible women both within the UCLA Anderson School of Management and nationally. I believe that the ability to learn from each other’s successes and failures will propel us greatly in our careers.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to get an MBA? Growing up in Los Angeles, I witnessed the transformation of the city from being primarily entertainment-oriented into a technology and financial services hub. From some of the most innovative tech companies setting up shop in Silicon Beach to traditionally East Coast-based private equity firms opening in Downtown Los Angeles and Century City, Los Angeles has become a unique location for get an MBA because of the diversity of industries and career paths. now at your fingertips.

Aside from your classmates and your 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? The Parker Career Management Center played a key role in my decision to accept the offer from UCLA Anderson School of Management. Speaking with current students and alumni, it became clear that Parker truly goes above and beyond to help students understand and achieve their career goals.

Personally, I was drawn to Parker’s industry and functional information panels and immersion programs. As part of the Industry and Function Insights panels, Parker is hosting a series of sessions featuring Anderson alumni. These conversations aim to help students understand the current dynamics of specific industries, functions, career paths and recruitment strategies. The alumni’s willingness to come back and talk with the students and “share the success” stuck with me as I prioritized the school’s tight-knit community during my evaluation.

This year, Parker piloted three new industry immersion programs specifically designed to enhance recruitment experiences in finance, consulting and technology. The programs took place before the start of the fall term. I particularly appreciated Parker’s willingness to introduce innovative methods to prepare students for recruitment, given that conversations with companies are starting earlier and earlier each year. When selecting an MBA program, it was important to me to have a career center that was both proactive in helping students understand career opportunities and forward-thinking in keeping up to date. evolution of recruitment and interview tactics.

What class, club or activity are you most excited about at UCLA Anderson? I am very excited about the Capstone project where I will have the opportunity to apply the tools I learned during the program to a real business challenge. The Capstone Project can be completed in two ways: (1) the Applied Research in Management (“AMR”) program and (2) the Business Creation Option (“BCO”). While many of my classmates will leverage the resources of UCLA Anderson to build their businesses while still in school through the BCO, I am looking forward to the AMR in which I will work as a consultant to help a organization to solve a key business challenge, while advancing a pro-social cause and having an immediate and profound impact.

Describe your biggest achievement in your career so far: Most of my career I have focused on advising traditional banking and financial services clients. Recently, I had the opportunity to apply my industry experience to develop a new payment offering that KPMG could apply to growing financial technology (“FinTech”) companies in the local Silicon Beach area. As a young consultant, it was rewarding to see the offering I developed helping small businesses grow first-hand and contributing to the community I grew up in.

How has COVID-19 changed your outlook on your career and life in general? COVID-19 has shown me the importance of creating personal connections and fostering meaningful relationships. The virtual world has revealed that we often take for granted the ability to communicate with colleagues and clients while having a cup of coffee or bumping into each other in the hallway. The pandemic has pushed me out of my comfort zone to consciously nurture personal and professional relationships, a practice I hope to continue throughout my professional career.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Once promoted to a supervisory position at KPMG, it was my responsibility to manage and mentor incoming partners. Having taken on this role and knowing the roles I hoped to have as my career progressed, I realized that I needed an MBA to learn the fundamental leadership skills not explicitly taught in business. . After graduation, I hope to pursue my career in business strategy, equipped with the self-awareness and management skills to lead teams in achieving corporate goals.

What other MBA programs have you applied to? USC Marshall School of Business

What advice would you give to help potential candidates gain admission to the UCLA Anderson MBA program? Spend time thinking about what you want to gain from an MBA, how UCLA Anderson School of Management can help you achieve those goals, and whether the values ​​of the program align with your own. Applying to trade school is like applying for a job – it’s a two-way street. Not only do you have to want the school to accept you, but it’s also important that you believe the school is the right person to help you build the right relationships and achieve your goals. Once you understand WHY you want admission to the UCLA Anderson MBA program, the application process will feel more natural.

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