UCLA Pilipino Alumnus Bobby Rimas Spearheads Professional Development Series


From January 12, 2021 to February 2, 2021 during Tuesday evenings, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association (Lambda) held four professional development presentations for alumni and students via a webinar series known as the “UCLA Lambda Career Launchpad.”

Inspired by Bobby Rimas, a UCLA alumnus, Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and Past Chair/President of the UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association, the professional development webinars consisted of completing an interest profiler to better understand jobs that fit attendees’ interests, pointers on how to craft resumes for today’s economic landscape, strategies to create professional social media profiles, networking, strategic job searching tips in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to possibly address a variety of workplace issues facing LGBTQ+ professionals.  The Lambda Career Launchpad also consisted of speakers who detailed on how to set up strategic job searches, expanding professional networks, and tips to stand out in a very competitive job market.

UCLA Lambda Board Member Bobby Rimas indicated that “During these challenging times, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the job market as millions of jobs have been lost due to the pandemic. Our hope in organizing and assisting with the UCLA Lambda Career Launchpad series was to help our LGBTQ+ community develop and sharpen their professional skills and to facilitate entering the workforce, building on a current career, or beginning a new one.”

Jennifer Hill, author of “Stop Hoping Start Hunting,” a TV host and LA Talk Radio host who has years of recruiting experience, was featured during the 3rd UCLA Lambda Career Launchpad.  Ms. Hill, who presented for attendees via Zoom from Portugal, discussed the importance of virtual interviewing techniques, networking, interview preparation, conducive interview mindsets, and more.

The final Lambda Career Launchpad webinar featured a panel of LGBTQ+ alumni and professionals who offered advice on if, when, and how to come out in the workplace.  This particular webinar was unique in that it offered some very insightful information which gave attendees much consideration of the various situations that face LGBTQ+ professionals.  Such situations included, but were not limited to, how to search for employers that are LGBTQ+ friendly.  Panelists for this webinar included Attorney Steven J. Alves, Peter Gandolfo, MBA, ICF Certified Executive Coach, Patricia Chao Nguyen, M.Ed., Senior Director of UCLA Diversity Programs and Initiatives, and Divya Sharma, M.A., Academic Coordinator & Assistant to the Allston Burr Dean, Harvard University.

The planning of the Lambda Career Launchpad series initially occurred during the Fall of 2020 and was organized by Bobby Rimas, UCLA Lambda Alumni Board Member, Kaya Foster, UCLA Lambda Co-Chair Emeritus and Immediate Past Co-President, Fabian Primera, UCLA Lambda Co-President, Katie Russo, M.A., Director of UCLA Alumni Career Engagement, Gloria Ko, M.Ed., Senior Director of UCLA Alumni Career Engagement, and Patricia Chao Nguyen, M.Ed., Senior Director of UCLA Diversity Programs and Initiatives.

Formally established in 1989 by Doug Walters and Corinne Lightweaver, the UCLA Lambda Alumni Association is one of the oldest and most well-established LGBTQ+ alumni organizations in the United States. The UCLA Lambda Alumni Association sustains a network of LGBTQ+ alumni and friends to support one another, UCLA students, and the greater LGBTQ+ community through social and professional networking, student support, and external community engagement. For future UCLA Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association events, please contact lambda@alumni.ucla.edu.