Alumni Chat Session Leaders

Katherine Starros, Head of People Operations, ATTN:

Katherine Starros is the HR and recruiting leader for ATTN:, an issues-driven media company in Los Angeles that tells stories worth your attention. She has 10 years of recruiting experience in rapidly growing tech and media startups. Throughout her career, she’s read thousands of resumes, and interviewed and hired hundreds of candidates ranging from entry level to c-level. 

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology in 2006, Katherine began her career in executive search, ultimately moving into more strategic recruiting and HR program roles focused on attracting and retaining top talent in competitive markets. Katherine has extensive experience with 1-1 career counseling, management training, and sourcing passive talent for hard to fill positions. She has deep experience establishing recruiting and HR functions and has been a speaker at the Greenhouse Recruiting Optimization Conference and Roadshow in 2015 and 2016.


 Arik A. Ahitov, Partner & Portfolio Manager, FPA

Arik joined FPA in 2010. He serves as Portfolio Manager for the FPA Capital Fund, Inc.  From 2004 to 2010, Arik was Portfolio Manager of Shamrock Capital Advisors’ Absolute Value Fund.  He also has experience in consulting and investment banking.  Arik earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.  He served on the Board of Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSTR) from June 2008 to June 2013.

 

Siobhan Goodwell, UCLA Career Center Peace Corps Campus Recruiter

Siobhan Goodwell graduated from UCLA in 2008 with her undergraduate degree in History and Geography Environmental Studies. She went on to serve in the Peace Corps from 2010-2012 as a community health volunteer in Zambia working with local communities to establish programs that improved the health and wellbeing of those communities. Siobhan extended her contract with Peace Corps for an additional year to serve as a volunteer leader providing technical, programming and emotional support for volunteers. Upon completing her Peace Corps service, Siobhan continued on her path of public service as a communications officer for a conservation non-profit, and is excited to be back at UCLA providing career guidance to students and inspiring future Peace Corps volunteers.


Bethany Porter, Clinical Laboratory Scientist Supervisor, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

Bethany Porter works at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the Transfusion Medicine department as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Supervisor. She has worked in the blood bank laboratory for seven years, performing patient testing and providing safe compatible blood products for patient transfusion. The blood bank laboratory performs over 50,000 transfusions annually, and supports the high-usage trauma and transplant programs at UCLA. Bethany graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in 2007. In 2009, she completed the Clinical Laboratory Science program at CSU Dominguez Hills and was licensed by the State of California to work as a CLS. She is very passionate about the future of the CLS workforce and regularly speaks to high school and college students about healthcare careers.


Sahil Punamia, Senior Manager, Programming and Production Digital Strategy, Discovery Communications

Sahil Punamia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UCLA in 2013. Upon graduating, Sahil received the Chancellor’s Service Award for his contributions to the university by leading a number of student organizations geared towards professional development; these included the Undergraduate Business Society, Bruin Consulting, and Sigma Eta Pi. After graduating, Sahil spent several years as a management consultant for L.E.K. Consulting, where he helped major film studios, professional sports teams, and media investors pivot to the digital world of content creation, distribution, and consumption. Recently, Sahil left L.E.K. to join Discovery Communications, where he is helping lead digital and content strategy efforts for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. Aside from his entertainment career, Sahil is also the founder of The Aspiring Professional, a career-strategy company that helps college students across the nation build their careers in corporate America.

 

Liz Sczuldo, TV Writer

Liz Sczudlo is a television writer and karaoke enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Her writing credits include “The Following” (Fox), “Switched at Birth” (ABC Family), “Awkward” (MTV), “Reign” and “90210” (CW). Most recently, she wrote and produced an original pilot called “Sea Change” for Lifetime.

Liz graduated summa cum laude from UCLA’s School of Theatre Film and television with a concentration in directing. While at UCLA, she was a member of the nationally-ranked mock trial team, winning several first-place medals for her work on the stand. Prior to UCLA, Liz attended Brown University, where she studied Modern Culture and Media. After graduating UCLA in 2007, Liz taught high school English and Chemistry in downtown LA while doing graduate work at USC’s Rossier School of Education.

She is repped by the United Talent Agency and is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

 

Natalie Alameddine, Associate Attorney, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Soak & Stewart, P.C.


Natalie Alameddine is an associate attorney at the law firm Ogletree Deakins. She represents and counsels employers in a wide range of labor and employment matters, including federal and California wage and hour issues, discrimination, and wrongful termination. Ms. Alameddine represents employers in both single-plaintiff and class action litigation.

Natalie obtained her undergraduate degree from UCLA in 2009. She majored in Political Science, and minored in Global Studies. Natalie obtained her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2013. During law school, she served as a Volunteer Mediator at the San Francisco Superior Court and mediated Small Claims disputes through the Civil Justice Mediation Clinic. She also externed for the Honorable Bobbi Tillmon of the Los Angeles Superior Court of California.  Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, she clerked for the Judges' Division of the National Labor Relations Board. 

 

Jeffrey Dinh, Manager, Digital Marketing, Disney ABC Television Group

 

Jeffrey Dinh graduated from UCLA in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science.  He currently works at Disney/ABC Television Group where he helps lead digital content strategy for Radio Disney, Radio Disney Country and Radio Disney Junior. His dynamic position bridges the space between creative content development and data analysis to execute successful digital marketing campaigns. In addition to his passion for the entertainment industry, his career has spanned the tech, non-profit & government sectors.

 

While at UCLA, he worked as a counselor on the UCLA Orientation Program and was a member of the Student Alumni Association and Dance Marathon Committee. Since graduation he has been an active mentor in the UCLA Student Mentor program and has previously served on the UCLA Young Alumni Development Council as both the Vice Chair of Cultivation and a Regional Representative.


Yael Gilad Apt, Associate Director of Development at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Yael Gilad Apt is the Associate Director of Development at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. In this capacity, her main responsibilities include annual giving and alumni relations. Prior to joining the Fielding School in 2015, Yael was an independent grant writing consultant for 13 years, primarily helping small and medium non-profit organizations launch or grow their grant funding base.

A proud double Bruin, Yael holds a BA in Psychology from the College as well as a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the Fielding School. As an undergrad, she spent a memorable junior year abroad in Israel. Yael is a firm believer that everyone deserves a career they love and is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this forum.



Kimberly Rodriguez, Project Manager for the City of Los Angeles Budget and Innovation Department, Mayor’s Office

Kimberly Rodriguez serves as a Project Manager for Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo, and leads all special projects for the department. Last year, through her work with the Los Angeles Innovation Delivery Team, she created a series of empowerment/skill-building workshops designed to help youth and young adult leaders in the City of Los Angeles become equipped with the tools they need to represent and serve their communities, take action, and create change. 

Prior to working on the Mayor’s Budget and Innovation Department, Kimberly worked within the Garcetti administration as the Mayor’s Central and South Los Angeles Representative. This role allowed her to use her community organizing and strategic planning skills to work to best represent the communities under her perview, and vise versa for the Mayor. 

Kimberly holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicana/o Studies and History, as well as a dual minor in Urban Planning and Labor and Workplace Studies from the University of California Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, loves to spend her free time dancing, rock climbing and traveling.


Jonathan Silber, Purple Squirrel, CEO & Co-Founder

Jonathan Silber was the Senior Strategy Lead at Google from 2013 to 2015, where he directly supported the Chief Business Officer.  He worked on identifying acquisitions and investments, monetizing strategies for products, and developing partners in emerging markets.  Moreover, Jonathan's role was to anticipate opportunities and execute programs critical to Google’s short- and long-term growth.  Previously, he was the Lead Analyst at Forrester Research from 2006 to 2013 where he was helping B2B marketing professionals facilitate change in channel programs and sales models to support the next-generation partner ecosystem.  He executed strategies for tech clients in the fields of channel marketing, channel strategy and implementation, go-to-market planning, market entry, and business development. He holds a degree in Political Science and English from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Christy Ho, MS, Director for University Student Affairs, Western University of Health Sciences

B.A. in Psychology, minor in Asian American Studies received at UCLA, 2005  |  M.S. in Counseling, specialization in Career Counseling at Cal State Northridge, 2011

Christy Ho received a BA in Psychology with a minor in Asian American Studies from UCLA. After graduating, she, like many new to the working world, had no idea what to do with her life. After a series of jobs in sales and corporate recruitment, Christy decided to take a step in a new direction and began her MS in Counseling with a specialization in Career Counseling at Cal State Northridge. During her graduate program, she worked at West LA College, CSUN and UCLA, each offering their own unique and valuable experiences. Upon graduation, she began working as a University Recruiter at Western University of Health Sciences. She loved WesternU and when another position within the university opened up she transitioned to University Student Affairs. Currently, as Director for University Student Affairs, Christy works with WesternU students and provides leadership development and student activities advisement.