A great blog I retrieved on the founding of Bruin Consulting

So today I accidentally found a blog post by my business partner Jun. It was a blog that he thought he had lost due to switching of url names and destruction of the wordpress database. I found it on Google Cache and remembered the good old days of how we founded Bruin Consulting, a premiere business group at UCLA. I was also gladened by the kind words he gave me. Anyone out there who seeks to start a student organization, here is a great example.

“Posted by Jun Loayza on Aug 28, 2007

Recruiting during the Fall of 06 was an eye-opening experience. I was able to get many first round interviews and achieve second round interviews as well, but I never received that phone call that I was impatiently waiting for. I interviewed with a myriad of companies: PWC, Deloitte, Triage, Cast, FTI, Gallup, and many others. My interviewing skills were top-notch, so I just couldn’t understand why I had yet to receive a phone call from these companies.

I came home early November to visit the family. In my room was a pile of letters, letters that were staring back at me, digging into my soul because I knew what each one of them said. Do you remember the feeling back in High School, when you come home waiting to get your acceptance letter in the mail? You know if you’ve been accepted by your dream school even before you open the letter. Big means that all your hard work has paid off; small means you just didn’t make the cut. Well, in the world of interviewing for a full-time job, a letter means that they had “too many qualified applicants” to give you a position.

Life has always been easy going for me. I work hard, get good grades, have great friends, and always get what I want. These letters hit me like a ton of bricks. They made me feel small, inadequate, and unimportant. These letters would be the turning point in my life.

A good friend of mine told me the reason I wasn’t hired at his company was due to lack of experience. My interview was great, but when it came down to making a decision, my resume was lacking the leadership and experience that other people had. To be honest, I felt depressed for a while. I didn’t care about school and I thought that my biggest fear was going to come true : I was going to be a failure.

A phoenix is a mythical bird that dies in flames and is reborn in its ashes. I was the phoenix. Yu-kai Chou was the fire. The most influential person in my life has been Yu-kai Chou. Because of him, I am who I am today. He was the one who encouraged me and made me pursue my dream of achieving a consulting job.

In one of our many long discussions about UCLA, we came to the realization that UCLA does not have a consulting organization. There was no club in UCLA that prepared students for the consulting world. I belong to Delta Sigma Pi, but the fraternity is mostly for the benefit of brothers, and it was at a professional low during the Fall of 06. I came up with the “crazy” idea about starting a company that does consulting work for small businesses. Yu-kai had the perfect book for me to read, E-myth Revisited and E-myth Mastery. I read these books while in Peru and was motivated and ready to start my company. My company was going to be called Loayza Consulting. I was so ready to start it, that I managed to overlook some very important facts that would make Loayza Consulting fail before it even got off the ground:

1. I had no consulting experience

2. The Loayza name is not attached to business prestige

3. My team was small, still in school, and had no consulting experience either

A brother by the name of Dave sent me a link to Berkeley Consulting. Berkeley Consulting is an undergraduate organization, supported by the HAAS business school, at UCB that does consulting work for companies in the Berkeley area. This was the perfect organization that I could mimic and implement at UCLA. I quickly contacted the president of Berkeley Consulting and asked him all about the organization and how it works. I also talked to Yu-kai about my idea and he said that he was on board. With Yu-kai on my team and UCLA Consulting ready to go, there was nothing that could stop me from creating a consulting organization on campus.

UCLA said no.We do not want students conducting a business with the UCLA name.” Even after I explicitly told them that it was not for profit, and that Berkeley does the exact same thing, they still would not let me create UCLA Consulting. I was upset, and ready to petition and argue this thing as long as it took me; however, an even better idea dawned upon me. My original idea was to create a for profit company that does consulting work for small business. I also wanted to create an organization that educates UCLA undergraduates about consulting and helps them get a consulting job. I decided to create both a company and an organization. Bruin Consulting (I got the name from my friend Jamie Lee) would be the organization on campus that educates students about consulting; Scholar’s Edge Consulting would be the for profit company that does consulting work for companies in the Westwood area. The most promising students from Bruin Consulting would feed into Scholar’s Edge Consulting, creating a synergy between the two organizations. It was a genius idea.

Bruin Consulting was founded with the vision to educate UCLA undergraduates about all types of consulting, create a stronger business presence at UCLA, and get the most prestigious consulting firms in the nation to recruit UCLA undergraduates. It’s crazy how life is filled with ups and downs. If I had never received those rejections letters from those companies, I would never have been motivated to create such an influential organization on campus.

By the way, recruiting turned out to be a success for me. I was offered a full-time position at Navigant Consulting as a Business Analyst. Good thing they didn’t give me the offer in October – I would never have been set on fire.”

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