Do you ever wonder how Bruins like you have gone on to achieve success after college? Now you have the chance to find out as UCLA alumni discuss their careers, what has helped them most in their journeys and their tips for personal and professional success.
Jeff Kryka M.A. '08, Ph.D. '11, Film and Television Composer
Los Angeles-based composer Jeff Kryka has been awarded by Turner Classic Movies, ASCAP, the RMALA, and the Henry Mancini Foundation. As both a composer and orchestrator, his work has been featured in major motion pictures, TV-shows, video games, and heard in concert halls across the globe. Jeff studied music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.M. 2006) and at the University of California-Los Angeles (M.A. 2008 & Ph.D. 2011). He has taught music theory, ear training, and composition at UCLA and the Colburn Conservatory of Music. In addition to his own composition work, he has collaborated with composers Michael Giacchino, Laura Karpman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, Nathan Johnson, Chris Tilton, Nami Melumad, Erran Baron Cohen, Morgan Kibby, James S. Levine, & Paul Chihara. Some of his recent credits include composing the score for the Disney+ original documentary series The Imagineering Story, and the documentary feature Traces of the Brush, as well as orchestrations on: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Batman, Lightyear, Nightmare Alley, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Vivo, Lovecraft Country, What If…?, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jojo Rabbit, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, Coco, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jurassic World, Star Trek Beyond, War for the Planet of the Apes, Inside Out, & Zootopia. For more information, and to listen to samples of Jeff’s music, please visit www.jeffkrykamusic.com.
Chelsea Moore '13 and Jenni Olivero '13 of BOXFOX
About Chelsea Moore:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chelsea is the CEO and co-founder of BOXFOX. After graduating from UCLA, she and Jenni moved to Venice Beach where the idea for BOXFOX was born after spotting a gap in the lifestyle and service space for elevated and effortless gifting. She is the driving force behind BOXFOX’s creative and aesthetic vision, ensuring we stay true to our customers’ needs and our belief in well-presented and purposeful gifting.
Chelsea graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in English from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in marketing and business development for Brandy Melville, Ogilvy & Mather, and David & Goliath. She was selected as a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 2019 class and helped secure BOXFOX's continued place on the Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Companies.
About Jenni Olivero:
Hailing from Half Moon Bay, CA, Jenni co-founded BOXFOX in 2014 and runs operations as COO. Jenni works closely with data, inventory, buying, and finance, driving the development of simple consumer solutions through the lens of data trends. She also packs most of the boxes you see in BOXFOX photoshoots with her keen eye for details and overarching brand vision. Jenni graduated with a B.A. in International Development Studies and a Minor in Anthropology from UCLA in 2013. Prior to starting BOXFOX, she worked in sports marketing at Sports Studio, helping facilitate authentic sports scenes in movies, TV shows, and commercials. She was selected as a member of Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2019 at age 28.
Rod A. Ponce '06 of First Republic Bank
Rod A. Ponce ’06 is Senior Account Executive with First Republic Bank. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he started his career in financial services as a financial advisor with John Hancock. In 2009, he left the financial advising business to become a Licensed Personal Financial Representative for Washington Mutual Bank, where he began to focus primarily on residential and small business lending. When Washington Mutual was acquired by Chase Bank, Rod moved into a supervisory role, and was involved opening a brand new office in West Los Angeles. In 2012, Rod accepted an offer as an Assistant Vice President with Bank of the West (BNP Paribas Group), where he developed a niche in stand-alone home equity lines of credit, and was a consistent Circle of Excellence qualifier for several years standing. Rod joined First Republic Bank in 2019 and currently focuses on financing for professional service firms and their individual partners.
From 2011-2017, Rod was involved with Toastmasters International as an Area Director, where he acted as an advisor to several clubs throughout the Los Angeles area. With regard to UCLA involvement, he currently sits on the board for the Silicon Beach Bruins regional network as their Professional Development Chair, he founded a Bruin Professionals Chapter in Silicon Beach, and he is the current President for the overarching Bruin Professionals organization. For personal hobbies, Rod enjoys snowboarding, camping, and taking long walks with his wife and dog, Maverick.
Nikhil Gupta, J.D. '15 of the Golden State Warriors
Nikhil Gupta is Associate General Counsel for the Golden State Warriors. In this role, he advises the organization on a wide range of commercial, litigation, regulatory and compliance matters. He previously served as Associate Counsel for the San Francisco 49ers for two years. Prior to that, he practiced corporate and transactional law at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles. Nikhil received his JD from UCLA School of Law and his BBA from University of Michigan. Before law school, Nikhil did a year of service with City Year in Detroit public schools.
Emily Baxt '92 of Baxt Consulting
Emily Baxt, career coach and principal at Baxt Consulting, specializes in professional growth and development for teams and individuals in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She has supported students and alumni at the University of San Diego (USD) Career Development Center for over 20 years. She particularly enjoys helping people find purpose and meaning in the workplace, and facilitating groups to promote increased self-awareness, team effectiveness, and workplace skills.
An experienced presenter and facilitator, Emily enjoys working with groups of all sizes. As an adjunct faculty member in the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at USD, she developed curriculum around NACE’s Career Readiness Competencies and teaches emerging engineers. She is a popular guest lecturer in departments across campus and organizations in the community. Emily received a Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Counseling from USD and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from UCLA. She is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Master Practitioner, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and a California Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC 314).
Ruben Garcia '08 of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Ruben Garcia is Co-Head of the Cultural Business Strategy Group at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In addition, Garcia works within the CAA Foundation to advise and consult clients on their prosocial and philanthropic initiatives.
Garcia collaborates with company leadership to execute company-wide strategies and implement inclusive business practices that maximize creative and business growth opportunities for the agency’s diverse clients. In addition, he manages a custom slate of programs and initiatives, including CAA Amplify, a platform designed by the agency to leverage the collective influence of cross-industry thought leaders and cultural changemakers of color to create transformational change across business and society.
Garcia also oversees CAA’s corporate partnerships and liaises with clients, businesses and organizations interested in promoting and building philanthropic activities connected to diversity in business and creative fields. His clients include Kendrick Sampson, Anthony Ramos, Becky G, Laurence Fishburne, Edwards James Olmos, Connor Franta, Ricky Martin, and Karla Souza, among others.
He currently leads the Industry Advisory Board for the Latino Film Institute and serves on the regional advisory board for the Friends of the Museum of the American Latino.
Prior to joining CAA in 2011, Garcia worked at Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. A native of San Diego, he is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Sociology.
Very thought-provoking questions and engaging conversations with so many accomplished professionals. Katie is a fantastic host! Looking forward to more episodes. Go Bruins!
Really enjoy the insight of these accomplished Bruins! Love the variety of industries represented as well.
Love this podcast! As a proud Bruin, I love hearing the stories of fellow Bruins and how they’ve navigated the personal and professional journey post college.