Raj Dalal

2008 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient Biography: Raj Dalal is a third year Business Economics major and Accounting minor student pursuing College Honors. He was born in Southern California and graduated from El Toro High School. In high school, he was very active in track and field and Associated Student Body. At UCLA, he works as a personal tutor for 4 high school students and is a member of the Undergraduate Business Society. He just completed a summer internship at Alacer Corp., which gave him valuable experience in managerial and operational accounting. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, snorkeling and hiking.

Future Plans: In the next two years, Raj plans to complete his B.A. and finish his College Honors program as well as complete a senior thesis for the Economics Department Honors program. He plans to intern for an investment banking firm in this upcoming year or over summer. After graduation, he plans to gain additional work experience in finance or accounting before returning to graduate school to pursue his MBA. He also plans to attain his real estate license so he can buy and sell houses as investments.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: It is a great honor to be the recipient of the John J. Peterson Scholarship. I greatly appreciate the financial assistance and moral support Mr. Peterson has provided me. I will be using this scholarship to cover my educational expenses for this upcoming year. This will greatly ease my financial burdens considering that I must work to pay for tuition and books. Now I will be able to greatly help my parents out by covering most of my living expenses. This scholarship will help put me on the path to financial independence but also provides me with renewed determination to further expand my academic endeavors.

Erik Emilsson

2005 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Erik grew up in the small town of Bjarred, Sweden located in the southwestern corner of the country. Sports have always been a big part of his life. Growing up Erik played golf, tennis, soccer, and track. Midway through high-school he realized his greatest potential would take place on the track and after successful junior and senior years he earned a scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans. After spending his freshman year at Tulane University he transferred to UCLA after discontinuation of the Tulane Track-program. At UCLA Erik received the opportunity to combine academics and athletics at the highest level. Erik will graduate this spring with a major in Business Economics and a minor in accounting. Erik is the son of Nils and Harriet Emilsson and the oldest of three siblings (Carl, 21 and Maria, 17).

Future Plans: Erik is currently doing an internship at the accounting and business-services firm of Gumbiner, Savett, Finkel, Fingleson & Rose located in Santa Monica. Having a true passion of finance and the stock market, Erik will to pursue a career in the accounting or investment-banking industry. Following a couple of years of work he intends to go back to school to pursue his MBA. Being a member of the UCLA track-team under coach Eric Peterson, Erik’s ambitions as a post-collegiate runner are high as well.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: As an international student the John J. Peterson Award allows me the ability to focus all my energy on my educational progress and my athletic training while still being able to meet financial demands. The award will also allow for more flexibility in traveling, both home to my family as well as abroad to pursue professional opportunities. I would like to very much thank Mr. Peterson for his generosity and for the opportunities it has afforded me.

Nicole Abranian

2005 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Nicole Abranian grew up in Glendale, CA. She attended Glendale Community College after graduating from Glendale High School in 2002. It is at Glendale Community College that Nicole began taking economics courses. After a couple of courses, Nicole saw that economics is what really interested her and knew that she would continue to study economics throughout her college career. After two years Nicole transferred to UCLA as a pre-business-economics major, she was then delighted to be accepted into the Business-Economics major last spring. At UCLA she is involved in the Regent’s Scholar Society as well as Alumni Scholars. She has caught bruin fever and enjoys attending various sporting and campus events to support UCLA. This fall marks the start of Nicole’s last year at UCLA. She is currently in Washington, DC participating in the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy Program. Nicole has truly enjoyed being a part of the economics department at UCLA and cannot believe that her time there is almost over.

Future Plans: Working in Washington, DC has sparked Nicole’s interest in public policy and government work. She currently is interning with the Food Research and Action Center and is working with their lobbyist to meet with Senators and members of House of Representatives to oppose budget cuts that would deeply hurt the Food Stamp Program and subsequently, victims of Hurricane Katrina. She has also been learning more about the Economic Research Service, located in Washington, DC, and how their works relates to both economic research and public policy. Nicole still has part of her heart in Los Angeles where she is interested in working on the business side of the film industry. Looking into the future, Nicole also has a goal of obtaining her Master’s degree in Business Administration.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am extremely grateful for the opportunities this award is providing me with. It has been incredibly helpful and is one of the primary reasons that I was able to participate in the CAPPP program this quarter. When I return to UCLA for the winter and spring quarters, this scholarship will allow me to work less so that I have more time to focus on classes and take a more active role with student groups on campus. I am very thankful for the support of Mr. Peterson, his generosity has truly made a difference.

Stephanie Cone

2006 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Stephanie Cone, of Fillmore, California, is a junior Business Economics major at UCLA. She is a member of Alpha Delta Chi sorority, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Regents Scholar Society. She also works as a marketing intern in the UCLA Athletics Department. She is a bright and joyful young woman who enjoys being with friends and cheering on the Bruins every chance that she gets.

Future Plans: Stephanie truly enjoys UCLA and all it has to offer. She will be going to Washington, D.C. in Winter Quarter 2007 with the Center for American Politics and Public Policy’s (CAPPP) Quarter in Washington Program. She will research and intern in the field of public opinion and voter behavior while in Washington,. Stephanie plans to pursue a career with a non-profit organization such as World Vision upon graduation,. She wishes to use her background in accounting, business, economics, and marketing to strengthen the global community.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: My family’s policy has always been that every child is responsible for putting themselves through college. Although it is not always an easy policy to live by, I have always respected it and it has taught me the true value of an education. I have been blessed enough to attend a university with alumni like Mr. John J. Peterson, Sr., who also understands the value of an education and wishes to help students like me with the associated costs. It is truly an honor to have been awarded this scholarship and I greatly appreciate the sacrifice that came in bestowing it. I strongly believe in using what God has given you to help others reach their full potential and Mr. Peterson has done just that for me. Thank you.

Nahuel Costilla

2007 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Nahuel Pedro Costilla was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of six, he came to the United States with his family. He attended elementary, middle and high school in the San Fernando Valley and, after completing his general education at Los Angeles Valley College, transferred to UCLA. Currently in his senior year, he is majoring in Business Economics and Psychology—to pursue his interest in business along with his curiosity of people—and minoring in Accounting—to provide a technical foundation for his entry into the corporate world. Nahuel is part of the Council of Student Members for Golden Key International Honour Society and a Vice President of the Society’s local chapter at UCLA. He has also been active in the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) at UCLA as both a tutor and tutee and expects to continue doing so into the coming year. In his spare time, Nahuel enjoys playing soccer, reveling in nature and experiencing the novelties of life.

Future Plans: Nahuel plans to graduate from UCLA in the spring of 2008. He then expects to begin working for either an Accounting or Consulting company. After a number of years, Nahuel expects to return to school to pursue his MBA and, once he has received it, plans to use it to leverage his entry into a management position in a private company.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: Thanks to the John J. Peterson scholarship, I will be able to continue my education without having to worry so much about how I will pay for my tuition each quarter. I appreciate the opportunity that’s been given to me and I am committed to make full use of it.

Daniel Agalsoff

2007 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Daniel Agalsoff, of Hacienda Heights, California, is a fourth year Business Economics major and Political Science minor pursuing College Honors. He has already had exposure to the fields of investment banking and public accounting through his internship experiences. He was part of a highly successful Mock Trial team for four years, and has conducted award winning research on the public policy issues surrounding the Central Valley Irrigation Project. He has also received countless awards for his service and leadership. In addition, Daniel was a three-sport athlete in high school. He wrestled and played baseball and water polo. He excelled in each of these sports, particularly in water polo. He was named All-League Varsity for three consecutive years and was also named as the Captain and MVP of his varsity team, leading them to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. While in college, he has continued to maintain his passion and involvement in aquatic sports. He attributes his athletic involvement as a crucial factor in his success as it has enabled him to develop a great talent for time management and instilled in him the value of teamwork.

Future Plans: In terms of Daniel’s personal career aspirations, his goal is to build a strong foundation in the business world and then to utilize his business acumen in order to help humanity. With a background in accounting and finance, his eventual plan is to work for a venture capital fund which raises capital for upstart biotechnology companies. He believes that there is tremendous potential for biotechnological innovations to improve and save lives. The work of Amgen demonstrates the enormous potential of innovative human therapeutics. However, he says that we need to see more upstart biotech companies contributing to this sphere of research, as these smaller biotech shops will be able to focus on developing therapeutics to fight less common, but equally devastating diseases. And he says that this is where biotechnological therapeutics are needed most. Biotechnological treatment offers the most promise in developing targeted “silver bullet” cures for the worst maladies that exist, and hence Daniel believes that we need to remain steadfast in pursuing such biotechnological research.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: The UCLA Department of Economics Scholarship Fund is investing in the future of individuals who are dedicated to driving change in our world. I am very proud and grateful to be a recipient of the John J. Peterson Scholarship. This award is a tremendous blessing for me as I remain committed to funding my own education independently of parental financial support. It has been a challenge to carry a full course load and to work hard to put myself through school. However, I believe it has built character and instilled in me a greater appreciation for my education. This scholarship will allow me to focus more time on achieving my intellectual and extracurricular pursuits. This scholarship is a gift that keeps on giving; not only will it ease my financial burdens, but it is an inspiring vote of confidence that tells me, “We believe that you can achieve and that you have a great potential to make this world a better place….” I am grateful for Mr. John J. Peterson, Sr.’s commitment to advancing the futures of students who are firmly devoted to making an extraordinary impact in our world.

Nick Rasines

2009 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Nick Rasines is a third-year Business-Economics Student from the small town of McKinleyville in Northern California. Nick was a decorated athlete in baseball and basketball at McKinleyville High School; however, after his attempt to walk on to the UCLA baseball team was ultimately unsuccessful, he began to focus more on academics and his eventual career aspirations. He has held internship positions at SBE Entertainment, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and completed a summer internship with Ernst & Young LLP. He is also Vice President of the Undergraduate Business Society at UCLA and a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.

Future Plans: Nick is planning to complete his B.A. in Business-Economics over the next two years and is looking forward to recruiting this upcoming Winter Quarter for investment banking internship opportunities. Upon graduation, he is hoping to become a part of a bulge bracket investment bank and work as an analyst. After his time in investment banking, Nick is looking to work at a private equity firm and then go back to school to get his MBA. Nick is watching the actions of many of his mentors, including investment bankers and private equity executives, in order to better plan his career path to accomplish his career goals. He is eventually looking to become a CEO or founder and president of a firm.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I feel honored to receive the John J. Peterson Scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. This scholarship will help lighten the financial burden of tuition, rent, books, and other educational expenses levied upon myself and my family. More importantly, this scholarship is important to me in that it recognizes my dedication to my academic pursuits. I am extremely grateful for this scholarship award as recognition for my continued commitment to my education and my extracurricular activities here at UCLA. I want to sincerely thank John J. Peterson for his support of my future educational endeavors.

Mateen Safaie

2010 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Mateen Safaie is a fourth-year Business-Economics student from Agoura Hills, California. After graduating from Agoura High School in 2007, Mateen attended Moorpark College for two years before transferring to UCLA. His primary academic interest is to study the feasibility and effectiveness of microcredit ventures in rural areas of developing nations. Outside of the classroom, Mateen is a board member for the Baha’i Association at UCLA and involved with the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program. He is also a resident assistant for the Rieber Terrace on-campus housing community.

Future Plans: As Mateen enters his final year at UCLA, he hopes to pursue research in the area of microfinance. After he completes his degree in Business-Economics, he plans to attend law school. He wishes to utilize a legal education focused on international business law. He hopes to establish and sustain a non-profit organization that encourages socioeconomic development projects in rural areas, which safeguards the commercial interests of developing nations in international trade agreements.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am honored to receive the John J. Peterson Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year. The financial award of the scholarship will allow me to focus more of my time and energy on pursuing academic and extracurricular passions. Particularly, it will allow me to be more engaged in the research I hope to undertake in the coming year. Furthermore, the academic recognition that the scholarship entails motivates me to pursue greater degrees of excellence in my studies. I thank John J. Peterson very much for this honor and scholarship.

Yang Zheng

2011 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Yang Zheng is a fourth-year student pursuing a Business-Economics major and Accounting minor. Born in China, Yang moved to Hawaii when he was four and later to Davis, California. Over the past year, he interned with UBS Private Wealth and Mulholland Financial Services. Most recently, he served as a Market Research Assistant at Hangzhou Longguan Industrial Co. Yang is a Founding Father at Lambda Chi Alpha and plays on the UCLA Lacrosse Team. He is currently studying Entrepreneurial Development and Project Evaluation at Fudan University in Shanghai, where he will also be continuing his work with Longguan. In his spare time, Yang likes to paint and write music.

Future Plans: While in Shanghai, Yang plans on interning at an investment bank or wealth management firm to gain international work experience. After graduating from UCLA, he would like to work for a couple years to accumulate capital and experience before returning to school to earn an MBA. Ultimately, Yang would like to take advantage of his bilingual and bicultural assets and open his own business.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am both honored and grateful to receive the John J. Peterson Scholarship. I want to thank Mr. John J. Peterson for his continued generosity that has helped students like me through tough financial circumstances. With the rising costs of tuition over the past three years, it has been hard to focus on my academics and at the same time pursue my extracurricular activities. The scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial burden and allow me to concentrate on what I love. More importantly, receiving the scholarship has reaffirmed my goals and strengthened my determination to obtain them.  

Bryan Chang

2011 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Bryan Chang is a fourth-year Business-Economics Student with a Minor in Accounting and Specialization in Computing. Bryan was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and came to St. Paul, MN at the age of fifteen. During his junior and senior years of high school, he studied full-time at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, earning both college and high school credits at the same time. Then at UCLA, in addition to his schoolwork, Bryan’s passion in real estate, finance, and technology entrepreneurship led him to internships and extracurricular activities. Since his first year at UCLA, Bryan has held numerous internship positions at RCLCO, premier real estate advisory firm in century city, ISBX, mobile apps development start-up, Harbor Ridge Capital, boutique investment bank focused in the IT industry, and most recently, UBS Investment Bank in Technology Banking in San Francisco. Bryan has also actively been involved in the UCLA Business Council, Bruin Real Estate Association (BREA), and Alpha Kappa Psi (Business Fraternity).

Future Plans: After successful completion of an internship at UBS Investment Bank, Bryan has received and accepted a full-time offer to come back upon graduation. Before starting to work full-time, Bryan wants to keep exploring the world of entrepreneurship. He would also like to spend time learning computer languages and meeting/working with other entrepreneurs in LA. After a few years in technology banking in SF, Bryan is interested in advancing to Venture Capital or Growth Equity firms in SF, which he feels will enhance his networks to meet and learn entrepreneurs vastly. As a long-term goal, Bryan wishes to run an international business that affects and helps the daily life of people in the world, possibly in the field of real estate and IT, or a mix of two.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am sincerely honored and grateful to receive the John J. Peterson Scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year. It is through such generous contributions and true altruism that I will be able to focus on my academics and career path. Due to my strong interest in business and entrepreneurship, this scholarship will not only allow me to continue my studies in this field, but will also further encourage me to explore this rewarding career path and unique experience with other aspiring business professionals. Particularly, it will allow me to be more engaged in entrepreneurship, which is what I hope to undertake during my last year at UCLA. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to John J. Peterson for this honor and support.