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Postgrad Life: Psychology ’14, Hon Hoang

Postgrad Life is a series in which we interview recent graduates in a variety of majors to find out what they’re doing now and what advice, both general and major-specific, they have for those still in college.

This week, we’re featuring class of 2014 graduate Hon Hoang, who graduated with a B.A. in psychology last June. Hoang was a transfer student from Mt. San Antonio College in the greater Los Angeles area. Now, he lives in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, and he visits Westwood from time to time.

Why did you pick your particular major?

I wanted a major that allows me to pivot careers because I was originally pre-med. After doing an internship at a hospital, however, I thought it would be better to go into business because it would potentially gear me toward philanthropy. I thought business would allow me to make more money and move toward entrepreneurship, which was something I was also interested in.

What do you do now?

I work as an assistant campaign manager at a marketing company.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis? What are the most challenging parts of the job?

On a day-to-day basis, I get daily reports of our revenues and other things that summarize how some of how our campaigns and offers are doing. For certain products I run analyses. Basically, I’m seeing what needs to be fixed and what we could do better. The hardest part of the day-to-day job is that everything is time sensitive, so you have to be on top of anything.  Dealing with different things such as clients and the media types that we have to run their advertisements through can be stressful. One little slip-up, one delay, can cost the company a good amount of money.

How do you feel like your major has helped you? If that’s not the case, why?

I think my major helped me quite a bit. I think marketing is a good intersection between business and psychology. Marketing was always something I considered when I chose to major in psychology. It helps me anticipate different things such as user acquisition and user flow – different things that can help optimize acquisition – which is very important in my job right now.

 Are there any particular UCLA psychology courses that have helped you in real life?

Social psych (Psychology 135) was a pretty fun class that helped me understand different hierarchies of human interaction. I think that one is the most useful and applicable one in my day-to-day life. Human Motivation (Psychology 178) helped me understand different connections, like why people do things, why do they want to do things and what drives people to do what they do.

Do you have any advice for current psychology majors at UCLA?

My general advice is to get work experience in both clinical psychology (applied psychology) and other academic psychology research. I had a job at a rehab center, which was the clinical side, and also did research.

How was your experience with your job search postgrad? Do you have any particular advice regarding finding a job?

My experience looking for work was fairly different because I started fall quarter of my senior year. I wanted to start early because I knew as soon as everyone graduated a huge flow of resumes would pour into companies’ inboxes. Starting early gave me an advantage as well as not giving up. Make sure to broaden your horizons. Apply to anything that is applicable or even slightly interesting to you. It’s always good to get work experience (during college); i.e. plan ahead prior to graduation to look good to potential employers.

Did you use any resources at UCLA in your job search? How do you feel like UCLA has helped you postgrad?

BruinView is a good resource for jobs everywhere. I remember I had an interview for a job in Singapore that I found through BruinView. I mainly used BruinView (in my job search). Besides that, I didn’t use any other resources. I actually got my current job through BruinView.

Where do you see yourself being in five years?

As of right now I am an assistant campaign manager, but as they told me, the position is temporary; they will spend a year training me. I feel like I would just continue working up the ranks while exploring other options in terms of entrepreneurships and different skill sets I can acquire. As of right now, I am learning to code and have gotten into photography, so my career in the next five years may be very different things. I can choose to stay here and continue to rise up the ranks, or I can take the big leap and move toward entrepreneurship using the skills I have and am currently learning.


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24 Famous UCLA Alumni

I remember last year, while waiting patiently for my chunky chicken salad sandwich at Bruin Cafe, Jordyn Wieber was just casually standing next to me. I didn’t know what to do. Do I say hi? No, that makes me seem creepy. Do I mention something about her gymnastics abilities? Probably not. She’s a regular student, just like me. Except she has a gold medal from the Olympics and arm muscles strong enough to beat me at arm wrestling.

Seeing Jordyn Wieber in everyday clothes and ordering regular food just like me, I wondered what other famous people might have attended UCLA. So, I have done some research and am here to give you a list of some of the most famous UCLA alumni. Not all of them graduated from UCLA (some peeps gotta pursue their dreams, ya know?), but hey, they were Bruins for a coo’ minute so obviously being a Bruin is something to brag about.


Famous UCLA Alumni (who earned a degree from UCLA)


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Professional basketball player

Honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Abdul-Jabbar is an American professional basketball player with a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player award. He played four seasons for the UCLA Bruins where he was twice named Player of the Year, was a three-time First Team All-American, played on three NCAA champion teams and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. A legend in both NBA and Bruin history, Abdul-Jabbar earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 1969 while being considered the most dominant player in college basketball.



Troy Aikman: Professional football player

As one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles, Troy Aikman began his rise to stardom as one of UCLA’s best quarterbacks. Aikman was the first quarterback in UCLA history to lead the Bruins to back-to-back 10-win seasons, along with two bowl victories, and is being honored on Nov. 28 with the retirement of his jersey number. The UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame member participated in graduation ceremonies in front of his mother and three daughters in 2009 after completing his degree in sociology.


448px-Sara_Bareilles_Alice_Fest (photo by Mirrorblade  / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sara Bareilles: Singer-songwriter

This American singer-songwriter who graduated from UCLA in 2003, blew up on the radio with her hit single “Love Song” and has kept a prominent place in the music industry, selling over a million records and being nominated for a Grammy Award five times. While at UCLA, Bareilles was a part of the communication studies program, sung with of the co-ed a cappella group Awaken a Cappella and won the Spring Sing talent show twice.


Linkin_Park-Rock_im_Park_2014-_by_2eight_3SC0285 (photo by Stefan Brending / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Brad Delson: Musician

Brad Delson is an American musician known for his role as guitarist in the Grammy Award-winning rock band Linkin Park. Delson was one of the founding members of the band and worked towards a degree in communication studies with a specialization in business and administration when he entered UCLA in 1995. Delson was roommate to future band mate Dave Farrell for three of his four attending years and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Delson graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1999.


465px-Mark_Harmon_1 (photo by Jerry Avenaim / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mark Harmon: Actor

An American television and movie actor known for his role in the hit crime TV series “NCIS,” Mark Harmon transferred to UCLA in 1972 and was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins football team in 1972 and 1973. Receiving the National Football Foundation Award for All-Round Excellence, Harmon accomplished an amazing 17-5 record and graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.



(photo of Kay Panabaker by John B. Mueller / CC BY 2.5, photo of Danielle Panabaker by gdcgraphics / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kay and Danielle Panabaker: Actresses

American film and television actresses, Danielle and Kay Panabaker came into the spotlight at a young age. Danielle Panabaker starred in Disney films as a teenager including “Stuck in the Suburbs” and “Sky High.” Kay Panabaker also starred on Disney with a recurring role in “Phil of the Future.” Both sisters later acted together on Disney’s original movie “Read It and Weep.” Astonishingly, Danielle Panabaker received her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 2007 at the young age of 19 while her younger sister, Kay Panabaker, completed her bachelor’s degree in history before she even turned 18!


GabrielleUnionFeb09_cropped (photo by Gina Hughes / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Gabrielle Union: Actress

An American actress and former model, Gabrielle Union is known for performances as head cheerleader of the East Compton Clovers in the original “Bring It On” and as the sister of Martin Lawrence’s character in “Bad Boys II.” A transfer to UCLA, Union interned at a nearby talent agency where she was later asked to work as a model. Union graduated from UCLA with honors in sociology.



Bill Walton: Professional basketball player

Two-time NBA Champion and retired basketball legend Bill Walton rose to superstardom playing under the coaching of John Wooden at UCLA from 1971 to 1974. During this time, he won three consecutive Naismith College Player of the Year awards as a Bruin. Bill Walton is regarded by some college basketball historians as the greatest player who ever played the game at the college level. Walton graduated from UCLA in 1974 and has been honored with the retirement of his jersey number at UCLA.


392px-Jaleel_White_at_the_2010_Streamy_Awards_(cropped) (photo by The Bui Brothers / CC BY 2.0)

Jaleel White: Actor

Jaleel White, famous for his role as the nerdy but charming Steve Urkel in the hit sitcom “Family Matters,” White attended UCLA after the completion of the show and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and television in 2001. He continued on with his acting career, starring in “Dreamgirls” alongside Beyonce, and has been featured as a guest on many shows including “Boston Legal,” “House M.D.,” “Psych” and as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”



Jamaal Wilkes: Professional basketball player

Former Los Angeles Lakers star and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Wilkes was a key player for the UCLA Bruins, helping the team win consecutive NCAA Championships in 1972 and 1973, and he contributed to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak. Wilkes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA in 1974 and left the school as a two-time All-American.


More Famous Students/Alumni (who did not or have not yet graduated)

Jack Black (Actor), “School of Rock,” Major: Theater

Nicolas Cage (Actor), “The Rock”

James Dean (Actor), “Rebel Without a Cause,” Major: Theater

Ryan Dusick and Mickey Madden (Musicians), Maroon 5

Mariska Hargitay (Actress), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Major: Theater (member of Kappa Kappa Gamma)

Anthony Kiedis (Musician), Red Hot Chili Peppers, studied writing

Heather Locklear (Actress), “Dynasty,” (Pledged Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta, also model and commercial actor for UCLA Store)

Steve Martin (Actor, comedian), “The Pink Panther,” Major: Theater

Jackie Robinson (Professional baseball player), first African American to play in MLB and UCLA’s first four-sport letter winner

Kristen Stewart (Actress), “The Twilight Saga,” Major: English Literature

Ben Stiller (Actor, comedian), “Zoolander,” Major: Film

Jordyn Wieber (Olympic gymnast), 2012 gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team, Major: Psychology


Now we can all sleep comfortably, dreaming of one day becoming just like these successful Bruins.

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