- Triple Bruin Josh Kimmel is thriving in two UCLA master’s programs, with support from UCLA Anderson fellowships
- With advanced management and computer science degrees, the Class of 2021 MBA student seeks to develop leadership and science skills
- Kimmel is currently interning at Intel while working with classmates on an entrepreneurial venture
They say good things come in threes. For Josh Kimmel (B.A. ’12, MBA/M.S. ’21), that good thing is spelled U-C-L-A. Kimmel, who earned an undergraduate mathematics/economics degree from UCLA in 2012, is now completing both his MBA and a master’s degree in computer science. When he finishes next year, he’ll become a rare triple Bruin.
It’s not an easy path. Kimmel is taking three years to complete the typically two-year full-time MBA. So, not only are the academic requirements of two world-class master’s programs arduous, the longer duration takes its toll financially as well. A series of fellowships helped make Kimmel’s second UCLA experience possible.
“Going through two years of a full-time MBA is one thing, but I had the extra year on top of that. And, although the master’s program for computer science is nowhere near as expensive from a tuition standpoint, it’s still another year of forgone income,” says Kimmel. “These are things that I had to think about. It was Anderson that offered a fellowship [the Greg Bolin Fellowship, established in 2006] after I had mentioned that this is really why my decision is even difficult — because I have this extra year and I need to figure out what I’m going to do to account for it from a financial perspective.”
Kimmel is one of many UCLA Anderson students who rely on financial aid to see them through the program. Recently, Anderson’s Dean Tony Bernardo reached out to the community to create the One Anderson Student Relief Fund, and the community continues to respond.
In addition to receiving the Bolin Fellowship, Kimmel is also an Easton Technology Fellow. Easton Technology Fellows have the charter of advancing technology initiatives at UCLA Anderson. “Our project is very much focused on bridging the gap between Anderson programs,” Kimmel says. “We might zero in on entrepreneurship in other engineering graduate programs, and we’re going to focus on computer science because I know the department very well.”
As an undergraduate, Kimmel considered following his father in the world of finance. “I realized I was much more interested in the math side of things than the economics,” Kimmel says. “I was looking for ways to apply math in areas that interested me and I landed on computer science and programming toward the end of my undergrad.” After graduating, he sought positions as a software programmer and, despite lacking the traditional background, landed a position with Laserfiche, a content management and business process automation company. Kimmel, a Toronto native who expected to return to Canada after college, found himself settling down in Southern California.
“I realized toward the latter part of my time at Laserfiche that there’s much more related to computer science that interests me than just software,” Kimmel says. He cites a desire to steer his career into a leadership capacity as one reason he decided to pursue an MBA.
With a year to go before earning his dual degrees, Kimmel continues to explore career options. He’s currently interning with Intel while also serving as CTO of Sahara Cloud. The latter is a company he formed with several classmates (UCLA Anderson Class of 2021’s Jama Mohamed, Andy Chang and Annie Lu and Elaine Park, a Class of 2021 UCLA Law School student). Sahara Cloud will serve as the capstone project for the Anderson students involved.
“We are a software platform dedicated to the design and testing of hardware products, specifically projects with embedded computers,” says Kimmel. “These are hardware projects that run embedded computers with various peripheral devices hooked up to them like sensors.”
He says that it’s difficult to create such products from the ground up because it requires buying and testing different parts. “It’s hard to write software because your hardware is constantly changing under you. With our platform, it’s easy to switch out parts if you need to. It’s easy to write software, we’ll run everything for you.”