Anderson holds a special place in the hearts of Harumi Ikezaki and Steve Mollenkamp, both graduates of the class of '90. "Anderson not only launched our careers but also brought us together," says Steve.
Harumi, a native of Japan, had studied economics in Buffalo, New York, and liked the appeal of attending business school in a warmer climate. Steve had worked as a computer programmer for a few years and came to Anderson to broaden his business skills.
"Harumi used to sit way in the front and I used to sit way in the back, but I noticed her!" jokes Steve, explaining how he and Harumi met during their first quarter after being assigned to the same section. The couple married in 1991 and worked on Wall Street and in Switzerland before moving to Tokyo, where they have lived for the past 18 years.
"There was no way I could've made the jump from computer science to working with Wall Street clients without my Anderson experience," says Steve, who has worked in consulting as a partner at both Accenture and Deloitte. "Having an MBA from Anderson gave me self-confidence," adds Harumi, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs and recently started her own real estate business.
With a desire to give back, the couple recently established the Harumi Ikezaki Student Fellowship to support Japanese students and those with a Japanese background.
"We wanted to help international students because it's often harder to get financial aid and more costly to attend from overseas," says Harumi, who was active in the Japan American Business Association. "We also wanted to make Anderson more attractive for students coming from Asia because we think there is a natural fit given the school's location and entrepreneurial programs," adds Steve, who was involved with the Entrepreneur Association.
"We wanted to help international students because it's often harder to get financial aid and more costly to attend from overseas."
But the most rewarding part of the scholarship for both Harumi and Steve has been the knowledge that they are making a direct impact in a student's life. The couple was thrilled to meet their first scholarship recipient, Miho Goto '13, during her internship at Google Japan, and look forward to staying connected with her throughout her career. They also enjoy meeting with UCLA and Anderson alumni living in Japan, as well as sending off new students as they leave to study abroad at UCLA.
For the next year, Harumi and Steve will be the ones living abroad. Together, with their sons, 12-year-old Shoh and 14-year-old Takahiro - whose middle name is Anderson - they will reside in San Francisco, where they are looking forward to helping their boys experience America, visiting national parks and connecting with Anderson friends.