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Experience: A Gift

Group of students in business attire leave the Luskin Conference Center.
A gift from alumnus Kevin Albert strengthens the Sharpe Fellows Program, which facilitates internships, mentoring, and other activities for economics undergraduates.

A UCLA education extends beyond the classroom. The university opens doors to hands-on opportunities that prepare students to flourish on their professional paths.

Generous donors help pave the way: UCLA College Department of Economics recently received $2 million from Kevin Albert ’74, MBA ’78 to establish the Albert Family Career Development Endowed Fund. The resources will strengthen the Sharpe Fellows Program, which facilitates internships, mentoring, and other activities to prepare economics undergraduates for finance and consulting jobs.

A Professional Pipeline

Launched in 2008, the Sharpe Fellows Program has equipped hundreds of students with real-world experience. Every Sharpe Fellow has secured a summer internship, with many going on to full-time employment at prestigious companies. For example, program alumnus Brandon Watkins ’10 serves as vice president for Goldman Sachs Group and was a Forbes “30 Under 30” finance leader in 2017.

The program also involves multiple generations of Bruins. Each year, 45 to 50 third-year fellows benefit from résumé and interview training, networking activities, guest speaker events, and industry exposure. Meanwhile, fourth-year former fellows coach the next cohort, and alumni volunteer as mentors and selection committee members.

Alumni Advance

“The Sharpe Fellows Program helped me secure an internship that led to a full-time offer and launched my investment management career,” says David Buck ’10, vice president of Oaktree Capital Management. “I’m grateful for Kevin’s ongoing support of the program, which — under his stewardship — has grown from a good idea into a robust program engaging alumni to propel the next generation of Bruins.”

Albert, too, is an engaged alumnus. A professional with more than 35 years of experience in private equity, he has given back to UCLA as a longtime donor and member of the UCLA Economics Board of Visitors.

His example — in career and contribution — leads the way for countless UCLA graduates to follow.

Published March 2019

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