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Chris Weber

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Associate Director of Career Advising & Corporate Outreach, UCLA Anderson School of Management

What are your best memories from Semester in Washington? What parts of the program did you enjoy the most?

"My best memories from the program include:

o   Meeting then-Senator Hillary Clinton at her Senate office, and speaking with her and her staff about how to build a career in politics and government.

o   Running around the National Mall with some of my classmates.

o   My team’s delivery of its campaign strategy to the panel of experts brought in by Program Director Greg Lebel.

I really enjoyed the practical education that the program provided through the practicum course. The simulation allowed me and my team to think critically about the issues facing a real campaign, and develop strategies to address those challenges. This hands-on learning experience solidified the concepts we learned in class and helped shape how I approached problem solving going forward."

Where did you intern during SIWP? What was that experience like? How did it help you get where you are today?

"I served as an Everett Public Service Intern in the Field Office at People for the American Way. During my summer, I created and managed PFAW’s summer Capitol Volunteers program, which brought like-minded individuals together to call registered voters in swing states and inform them about how the 2000 Presidential Election could affect the make-up of the Supreme Court. Additionally, I wrote newsletter articles to inform PFAW’s membership about the status of several educational voucher proposals and programs across the country. The experience with mobilizing communities towards action was something I utilized in several of my professional roles, especially as the director of development and communications at the DeFrank LGBT Community Center."

Please describe your professional history. How has your SIWP experience helped you along the way?

"SIWP helped me understand the areas of government and public policy that most interested me, and provided me with formative experiences with managing large, disparate stakeholder groups, developing and implementing communications plans, and building strategic campaigns for change. Most of my post-SIWP experiences have spanned across the education sector, including stints as an NYC Urban Fellow in the Office of the Auditor General at the Board of Education, a classroom teacher through Teach For America, a recruitment director at Teach For America, and as a career advisor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Additionally, SIWP and my internship prepared me to mobilize people towards action as both a non-profit executive and as a human capital consultant as well."

Please describe your current position. What is a day in your work life like?

"Currently, I work as the Associate Director of Career Advising and Corporate Outreach for the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In my role, I help the full-time MBA students with their career development process by helping to set office educational and outreach strategy, counseling individual students through the internship and job application process, and meeting with representatives from various companies to help them strategize on how to find top talent at UCLA Anderson."

How has SIWP helped you over the course of your career? Are there lessons you learned in class/the practicum/your internship that you still use?

"Understanding the motivations for each stakeholder group and developing alignment strategies that bring those often disparate groups towards a common goal has been a key part of every one of my jobs. Through the practical application of the academic concepts and from my internship, SIWP helped me understand how to identify who were the allies, advocates and opposition, determine what motivations could help me build compromise, and develop and implement strategies that produce the greatest outcome possible."

Anything else interesting? Any words of wisdom for prospective or current students?

"Take advantage of the access you are given during the SIWP. Networking isn’t a dirty word or concept, and should be something you actively do while in DC. You never know what opportunities exist for you to help others achieve their goals until you ask. Similarly, you never know who can open a door for you unless you ask."