After ten years working on the East Coast, Michael Ross came out West to push his comfort zone as an MBA student at UCLA Anderson. With his first year almost behind him, we asked him how it’s going.
How did you end up at UCLA? And why Los Angeles?
It’s like the admissions interview all over again. I had about nine years of professional experience before I started. I graduated from UPenn with an undergraduate focus in computer science, and I took a couple of classes at Wharton, as well. I was interested in marrying business to technical applications.
I joined an incubation services and information technology firm backed by Kleiner Perkins called Silicon Valley Internet Partners. I was there for four years. It was 1998, and nascent Internet times. And you had a lot of start-ups with venture backing and large companies that wanted to be entrepreneurial and wanted to understand how to use the Internet.
So I was there for four years. I loved it. I was in a product management role, and I worked across disciplines, with strategists, graphic designers, interface designers, technologists. It was an incredible experience, and left me desiring to have that experience I progressed professionally. Unfortunately, those were anomalous times. I progressed, those experiences became fewer and farther between.