A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

Landing a Career in Finance

During his academic career, Brandon La Bella ’21, ’23 MBA built a professional network, which led to a position with PIMCO before graduation
By Laurie McLaughlin |

During his studies, Brandon La Bella ’21, ’23 MBA, was laser focused on building professional connections both on and off campus. So, it comes as no surprise that he was hired by PIMCO while earning his MBA.

“After numerous job applications and networking, I received a recruiting email from PIMCO about a compliance role that I applied for months before,” he says. “I interviewed with other firms, but I felt that PIMCO was ultimately the best opportunity.”

La Bella is a portfolio compliance analyst at PIMCO. “What most attracted me to this role was being able to operate in a fast-paced environment and learn about asset management through a technical lens.”

Each of the opportunities La Bella seized while studying at UCR helped him with this decision, including volunteering with the CFA Society of Orange County, an association for financial analysts and investment professionals. As a graduate student, he also had two internships: “At Pacific Capital, I spent four months shadowing and learning from a wealth manager handling high-net-worth clients,” he says. “At Tuttle Ventures, I worked closely with an investment manager in a research analyst role. Darin Tuttle, the company founder, became a mentor to me and taught me a lot about portfolio analysis, equity research, and client-facing duties.”

La Bella transferred from Norco College to the School of Business as an undergrad, and he competed in the 2021 International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition serving as the UCR team’s chief accounting officer. As a grad student, his team placed first for Best Research Report and third overall at the 2023 CFA Institute Research Challenge, and he placed second for individual competition at the 2022 UC Davis Financial Times BizQuiz.

UCR participants 2021 International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition
Brandon La Bella ’21, ’23 MBA (left) is currently a portfolio compliance analyst at PIMCO


La Bella worked for three years with the School of Business Hylander Student Investment Fund (HSIF), where students manage real money. “I have been interested in the stock market since I was in high school and having a platform like HSIF allowed me to hone my research skills and explore various topics, from global macro events to the quality of a company’s balance sheet.”

All these opportunities were valuable prep for his role at PIMCO today: “Currently, I conduct research and think deeply about investment compliance issues,” he says, as he looks at future goals: “Over the long term, I intend to pursue the certified financial analyst charter and develop a career in portfolio management.”