Alumni Spotlight: Wesley Garfield '11

Catching up with Wes Garfield, Class of 2011
Where have you been since SC Graduation? How was the college/university experience for you?
I really loved my time at UC Berkeley—I was lucky to go and wish I was still there. Cal is a wonderful place full of talented, open-minded people. I enjoyed the vibrant energy that comes with being the best public university in the world, and I even met my girlfriend of eight years there!

I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 and have stayed in the Bay Area. Work-wise, I spent the bulk of my post-college life, roughly three years, investing in private equity and venture capital for an Australian investment company. I worked out of their four-person satellite office in San Francisco and went to Australia probably too many times during that three-year stint.

I jumped from investing to operations about a year-and-a-half ago, working on Strategy for Uber Eats, focusing on differentiation, unit economics, and sales strategy. Unfortunately, I was impacted by their recent large-scale layoff in June, where they eliminated 25% of the company (roughly 7,000 people) to mitigate the effects of COVID on an unprofitable business. While unfortunate, it has allowed me to focus on what I am looking for next in my career. It has also afforded me with leisure time, which I have used to advise a few startups in the meal delivery/food space, and I have also become fairly active in organizing for the upcoming election.

When did you first come to Sierra Canyon? What was your SC experience like? Are there any classes, clubs, teams, or teachers that greatly impacted you?
I started at Sierra Canyon in 6th Grade when the middle school was on the original campus. It was a unique experience to be the third graduating class from the High School and to start on a temporary campus before the School was officially accredited. That probably had the most profound impact on my experience and created an early culture that is hard to replicate and maintain.

I do not want to single out any teachers for fear of leaving someone out, but I appreciated the hands-on and thoughtful direction from those who seemed to care about my development.

I would love to say that the Surf Club had a formative impact on the community and myself, but I think that would be a stretch. However, I am still surfing and an active ocean advocate.

Are you still in touch with anyone from Sierra Canyon?
Yes! I am still in touch with a handful of my friends I made starting in middle school. Despite some national spread, social media/messaging has made it fairly easy. I also used to travel a bit for work and would try to meet up when I was in their respective cities or back in LA.

Are there any other special events or stories you would like to share with us?
I am working with this really cool organization https://thecivicscenter.org/ focused on registering young Americans to vote, namely high school seniors, students in between high school and college, and college freshmen. While this organization is focused on the long game of improving youth civic engagement, it could have a large impact on the current election. If anyone is interested in getting involved, please reach out to me. I definitely recommend getting involved in any way possible this election (and for future elections)—it’s been very fulfilling.

Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.