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At Disney, Ryan works with the Direct-to-Consumer team to coordinate the business end of its television channels.

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"Take on opportunities to give presentations. You’ll encounter a ton of brilliant people who have trouble condensing their ideas into digestible main points that average people can understand. This skill is essential in the business world."

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Ryan Olstad
Class of 2016


During the Summer of 2018, I interned at Microsoft and completed a variety of projects regarding the company’s cloud computing revenue.


My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.

Joined UCLA’s chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, the largest co-ed business fraternity in the world. This was essential to understanding the different paths that fall under “pursuing business.” It also gave me a stellar group of friends and mentors.

Joined Bruin Asset Management, which (despite the name) focused heavily on investment banking. I learned a lot about crafting a story around seemingly meaningless numbers.

Interned at DoubleLine Group, a $100bn asset manager. I got really good at Excel and learned a lot about mortgage backed securities aka why the economy crashed in 2008.

Joined Bruin Consulting, a student-run management consultancy, after recognizing that investment banking wasn’t for me. This org gave me an opportunity to work on real projects for real companies and solidified my desire to start my career in the strategy side of a company. It also introduced me to a ton of smart people with diverse career interests.

Interned in finance at Microsoft. I got to see how a massive company makes decisions and reports financials. I also saw how uber-successful companies can still be inefficient. Ultimately came away as a Microsoft stan but wanting to be more of a driver of change (i.e. strategy) in an org rather than just doing a task (i.e. accounting) that the company needed.

Served as the head of client relations for Bruin Consulting, meaning that I was in charge of sourcing projects for our consultancy. I learned a lot about sales at the professional level as I was the one hopping on the phone to try to sell companies multi-thousand dollar projects completed by people age 20 and below.

Interned at LEK Consulting, a management consultancy that specializes in strategy and due diligence (the research that comes when a company buys another company). I learned about the dynamics of a professional services company and that I’d rather work for a company that makes stuff than for a company that helps other companies.



Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway


  • ASB (Junior VP and Treasurer)

  • Virtual Enterprise (CEO but not sure if it exists anymore)

  • Baseball via William S. Hart

  • Founded the Sports Club which tragically died young


  • EC 1: Delta Sigma Pi - professional co-ed business fraternity - President

  • EC 2: Bruin Consulting - a student run management consultancy - VP Client Relations

  • EC 3: Bruin Asset Management - student finance organization - Director of Recruitment

  • EC 4: Undergraduate Business Society - all encompassing business organization on campus - Consulting Director (taught people a year below me how to successfully apply for consulting firms)

  • EC 5: LA LGBT Center - Tutor/General Assistant


What I'm currently doing/hope to do

I accepted an offer to join the Direct-to-Consumer & International Strategy team at the Walt Disney Company. Essentially, starting August 3, 2020, I’ll be helping on the business end of Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney’s international television channels (not just the kids network!). The program is designed as a 2 year thing but I’m not sure what I want to do after. There’s a good chance I end up staying at Disney long term, but others in similar roles have gone on to work at competitors in the media and tech industry as well as startups. Additionally, I’ll probably get an MBA in 4ish years but it’s expensive to pay $200k and sacrifice 2 years of income.


How to maximize my time in high school?

  • Advice #1: Get comfortable talking to people for the first time. Both in school and on the job, you meet people constantly.

  • Advice #2: Take on opportunities to give presentations. You’ll encounter a ton of brilliant people who have trouble condensing their ideas into digestible main points that average people can understand. This skill is essential in the business world.

  • Advice #3: Read the news frequently. Wall Street Journal among other sources offers stellar discounts for students and doesn’t check if you split the login with someone. Additionally, TechCrunch is a great source for tech news and Matt Levine’s Money Stuff is a great and fun daily newsletter for finance.

  • Advice #4: Filling up a resume matters. Get experience and, although you don’t need a 4.0, get good grades.

  • Advice #5: Be 3-dimensional, meaning don’t just be all business or all schools. Having serious hobbies not only makes you a more fulfilled person, it also makes you more interesting to be around which will definitely serve you well. Also, whatever your interests are, read books about them.

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