“The friendships and contacts I’ve gained from LAA have really made a difference.”
Recipe for Success
Leland Coontz knows the ingredients for success include hard work and an excellent education like the one he is receiving at the USC Marshall School of Business. But even with the university’s financial aid packages, he was unsure if he could afford to finish his degree here. That’s when another ingredient was added: Leland received a USC LAA scholarship.
Since then, Leland has appeared repeatedly on the Dean’s List and produced the Trojan Vision cooking series Delish. For the show, he recruits chefs from Bacaro LA, Border Grill, M Café, Wood & Vine and other hot Los Angeles restaurants to serve as guests.
Upstate, Leland built valuable career experience by interning for TalentBin.com, a startup company that enables employers to search the web for prospective employees. “I built the company’s entire reporting process and managerial dashboards to track sales performance,” he says of his work for TalentBin, whose clients include eBay, Dolby and Facebook. “I also built the company’s blog, which generated 4,000-plus visitors.” Leland leveraged social media to promote the business, including Twitter and blog entries for the recruiting site SourceCon.com.
Leland says his work at TalentBin showed him a different way of doing business. “It’s more about valuing staff time and abilities than just placing people in various roles.” He brought this insight back to USC, applying it to the mix for Delish. He even uses it in his volunteer work for the student-run philanthropic group Troy Camp, for which he teaches physical education at Vernon Elementary School.
He appreciates the support and resources LAA has given him. “Without them, I would not be where I am today,” he admits. “The friendships and contacts I’ve gained from LAA have really made a difference.”
Leland adds, “I feel especially lucky to be a Trojan, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to give others the same support that made this opportunity possible for me.”