Michael Vilardo (’21)
President and Co-Founder, Emile
LATAM Gold Medalist, Colombian National Hockey Team
Alumnus, Venture Accelerator at UCLA Anderson
Serial entrepreneur Michael Vilardo (’21) took the pulse of the TikTok generation to launch EdTech startup Emile, which has earned more than $5 million in seed funding. Vilardo and his Latinx co-founders, Felix Ruano and Jon Quiros, have made headlines for changing e-learning’s status quo.
EdTech Startup Emile Takes the Pulse of the TikTok Generation
Latinx-Founded Edtech Platform Emile Raises $5.3M in Seed Funding
Emile Learning bets it can make high school students study, not scroll
En Sus Palabras
“Many young people in our community don’t have someone in their lives who knows how to help them get on the road to success.”
“Even a small modification can have huge impacts on your bottom line.”
UCLA Anderson’s senior manager of academic services and operations Patty Gonzalez Johnson (B.A. ’99, Riordan Scholar ’02, CERT ’21) pursued Anderson’s Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management as part of her decades-long commitment to the MBA students she serves. “I knew that I would gain so much from the content of the course,” she says. “What surprised me was how much I learned about myself and my leadership style.”
“Think about the destination, but do not forget about the journey.”
Luis Alcazar’s (’23) journey to becoming auditor in charge at the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General entailed his service in the U.S. Army as well as work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Born in Long Beach and fluent in Spanish, Luis chose Anderson for his MBA experience because he wanted to become part of UCLA’s vast international network of highly driven professionals.
“The nuances of my culture can make it feel like I’m not ‘American’ enough.”
For Rosa Segura (’21), the expression “ni de aquí, ni de allá” (neither here nor there) sums up her cultural experience as an American with Mexican roots. As a b-school applicant, Rosa was invigorated to meet a critical mass of other Latinx students during UCLA Anderson’s Embracing Diversity Week and, when she became a UCLA Anderson student, she in turn helped orient prospective MBAs who straddle national identities like she does. In her second year, she served as president of the student-run Alliance for Latinx Management at Anderson.
“How great would it be if we unlocked each person’s potential?”
“Here at Anderson, we really are an ecosystem and we all support each other in different ways.”
Coming from the creative side of public relations, communications professional Marcella Thompkins (’23) enrolled in UCLA Anderson’s Fully Employed MBA program to fill in gaps in her knowledge about the business side. She is building a solid foundation in finance and strategy, but finds that Anderson’s challenging curriculum offers so much more, and she looks forward to continuing to take classes that are outside her comfort zone. “No matter how difficult the course is,” she says, “I have so many incredible resources surrounding me and so many brilliant classmates to learn from.” Now manager of fine wines at Constellation Brands, Marcella says, “I can honestly say this program has impacted my career immeasurably. This program is the very reason I have the job that I have today.”
“I always wanted to start a business ... Brewing is an alternative career in chemistry.”
What’s it like to come to the United States with no undergraduate degree, earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech, publish more than 45 peer-reviewed articles, pivot to brewing beer and then embark on your MBA? With credit for contributing to prize-winning research by two Nobel laureates, alumnus Diego Benitez (’19) founded Progress Brewing in South El Monte, California, in 2012. The former academic, now a successful full-time businessman, said as an Anderson student, “FEMBA is one of the best decisions of my life.”
Award-winning instruction in diversity and organizational behavior
“It is often said that perception is reality. My research explores the psychological motivations that underlie people’s perceptions of diversity-related phenomena in the present day.”
Senior Associate Dean of MBA Programs and Professor of Management and Organizations
From The Blog
¿Cuál es el Problema Exactamente?
His goal is not to teach students how to “win” every negotiation, but rather to identify what they want out of negotiations to achieve their goals, as well as to know when to walk away
Organizations Have Committed to Better Representation, But Really?
Founders: Jordan Dil ('19), Mikel Noriega ('19)
Elenita is America's first mezcal ready-to-drink cocktail in a can, giving consumers an entry point into the world of mezcal. The company won the 2019 Knapp Venture Competition, taking home the $50,000 grand prize.
Founders: Pablo Osorio Martini ('19), Joe Upchurch ('19)
Another Venture Accelerator success story, ClearClub provides teeth-grinders with custom night guards for 90% lower prices than dentists through its direct to consumer subscription service.
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Providing a pathway for underrepresented students to excel in business and leadership
Tomorrow's leaders emerge from a transformational experience with Riordan mentors, educational workshops and community service. The Riordan Scholars Program, College to Career Program and MBA Fellows Program provide leadership and management training to diverse individuals all over the country.