Helping Students Pay it Forward

Prospectus: Students


Prospectus Student

It’s a business maxim: You have to spend money to make money. While that might be true, sometimes the capital-intensive nature of an investment can make or break a new enterprise — and business school is no different. Financial aid through fellowships can sway an applicant’s decision whether to study and where.

Fellowships by and, sometimes, in memory of alumni, faculty and friends, support our students and make it possible to attract top-tier candidates. The Betsy McLaughlin Endowed Fellowship, Alison Pincus Fellowship, the Helen and Charles Ziman Fellowship, Windreich Family Fellowship, Heiko Haskamp Memorial Fellowship Fund, Anderson African American Alumni Association/Alfred E. Osborne Jr. Fellowship and the John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowships (awarded as part of the John Wooden Global Leadership Program) are but a few examples.

UCLA Anderson’s fellows represent the school’s core qualities. For example, take this year’s JWGLA fellows, Derek Herrera (’15), Elizabeth Pratt (MBA/MPP ’16) and Nicole àBeckett (’15), who each received a $25,000 fellowship. The JWGLA fellowships reward deserving UCLA Anderson students for their exceptional principles-based leadership, academic merit and financial need.


Elizabeth Pratt

Elizabeth PrattElizabeth Pratt is gratified to receive a 2014 John Wooden Global Leadership fellowship because of its prestige and renown; but as a sports fan, she also feels a special affinity for the award and its namesake. “The thing that really resonates with me about him is the ethic of service,” Pratt says. “That’s my driving force.”

When Pratt earns her combined MBA and master of public policy from UCLA, she intends to apply new knowledge to the sort of community-based projects she’s always felt so passionately about.

After earning her B.A. at Stanford in 2008, Pratt taught at the Ouyang Yu Experimental Middle School in China and at the parent-owned nonprofit Iringa International School in Tanzania. She later ran a small NGO in Peru and led staff and volunteers to establish programs and partnerships across organizations, achieving more efficient and effective delivery of educational, health care and financial services to thousands of underserved citizens.


Derek Herrera

Derek HerreraCaptain Derek Herrera is a highly decorated Marine who has conducted humanitarian assistance in Haiti and has trained in several locations in the Middle East. He is now also CEO of an 80 percent military service member–owned business while finishing up his degree in Anderson’s EMBA program.

Herrera was shot by an enemy fighter in 2012 while he was leading his Special Operations Team in combat operations in Afghanistan. The blow to his spine left him paralyzed below the chest. Herrera made headlines as the first person in the United States to purchase a personal ReWalk robotic exoskeleton — the invention that allows paraplegic people to walk.

He’s proud to take the helm of RuckPack® Inc., a company that provides healthy, caffeine-free alternatives to energy drinks, founded by a friend and tested on Marines who needed to maintain proper nutrition under physically demanding circumstances. It’s especially important to him that the brand be steered by fellow service members. “I am looking to hire veterans,” he says, “because I really believe in the values and intangible qualities that veterans can bring to the business environment.”


Nicole àBeckett

Nicole àBeckett Nicole àBeckett is founder and president of Mercatura Global, a strategic advisory firm that assists small and mid-sized businesses in growing their overseas markets.

Before founding Mercatura, she served as the senior director of international trade in the administrations of Los Angeles Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Eric Garcetti, supporting engagement of Los Angeles companies in international market expansion and attracting foreign direct investment to the city, specifically through mayoral-led trade missions to China, Korea, Japan, Brazil and Mexico, among other countries. àBeckett previously lived in China, where she led strategy and development for, a global e-commerce site. She started studying Mandarin Chinese as an undergraduate at UCLA, and speaks, reads and writes the language.

With 10 years of experience in cross-border strategy, she hopes Mercatura will facilitate export opportunities for U.S. companies, as well as attract overseas business to Los Angeles. She says she’s committed to targeting women-owned and –led businesses to involve in global markets. “I’d like to instill in other women the great value of taking calculated risks in business.”

John Wooden Quote