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UCLA Magazine Winter 2002
It's not your parents dorm anymore
Outside the Ivory Tower
A beautiful Mind
The Long March
The New Scientists
Critical Care

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Winter 2002
Outside the Ivory Tower
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Lawrence entered the program in 1996 and for the next eight months he and some 50 other Fellows — all working professionals — spent their Saturdays attending all-day seminars that incorporated lectures and case studies presented by Anderson faculty, visits from members of the L.A. corporate community, field trips to local companies and one-on-one mentoring from current Anderson School students.

Says Lawrence, "It's an environment in which you can ask someone from the corporate world, 'What do you do on a daily basis?' I could ask people in consulting, 'Who are the Big Five?' Unless you're in that industry, you hear all these terms being thrown around and don't know what they are."

The program today is coordinated by one of Lawrence's Riordan classmates, Ardena Bartlett. For many of the Fellows, the Riordan Program is the first opportunity they have to meet people in similar circumstances. Says Bartlett: "You have this diverse group from similar backgrounds, people who haven't ever had things just handed to them, and one might say, 'I'm the only African American at my mainstream company.' Or, 'I'm the only Latino,' or, 'I'm the only woman in my position.' It's tough dealing with that kind of issue, feeling like they always have to mind their p's and q's."

At the end, Lawrence felt confident in his ability to hold his own among the nation's best graduate business students. "I got to the point where I could say, 'Yeah, I can do this,'" Lawrence says. "I learned the way to go. Before, the whole process was pretty daunting."

Lawrence focused on general-management studies at The Anderson School, and today he travels the world as a management consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

"It was definitely important to have the program's support," Lawrence says. "I'm a very extroverted individual so I feel comfortable going into just about any situation. But it's always nice to be with people who look like me, talk like me. Being in the program felt like going home."

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