UCLA-Anderson Success Story
UCLA Anderson Social Media Updates
Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the admissions committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.
-Essay questions are listed below for both first-time applicants and re-applicants.
-You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.
-Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.
-Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.
-Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).
-Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.
-Style is a consideration too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English.
-We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.
-Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated below.
-All responses to essays must be on double-spaced pages that are uploaded as a document. We do not accept essays in any other media but written form.
FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS - ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:
What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)
The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
RE-APPLICANTS - ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:
Reapplicants who applied for the class entering in fall 2012 or 2013 are required to complete the following essay:
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
Just had interview. Was a very laid back atmosphere (interviewer was wearing a polo, and looked like he was skyping out of his bedroom, which I found cool). My laptop crashed, and there seemed to be a bit of lag which threw off the flow a bit. But regardless, he was very nice and well spoken, no surprises on the questions:
Walk me through your resume
How would your co-workers describe you
Strengths and weaknesses (asked for a 2nd weakness too)
Have I looked at who recruits at UCLA
What clubs would I join
short/long term goals
About 30 minutes long. He gave honest answers to questions, which I found refreshing. I'm really liking the Cali/UCLA culture. I got rejected from Columbia after interview, so UCLA is my first choice now.
Hi all--interviewed on campus at Anderson recently. It was quick and straightforward. Some questions I received were:
Why do you want an MBA and why now?
What is a significant leadership experience you’ve had?
What is a past failure you’ve experienced?
What clubs are you interested in at Anderson?
What is a past conflict you’ve had with a supervisor, and how did you solve it?
Nothing out of the ordinary. I thought it went fine; it lasted 30 minutes.
More at my blog: http://mbathenonprofitway.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/ucla-anderson-interview-recap/
Had my interview at Anderson in the past few days and my experience largely paralleled that of others on here.
Walk me through your resume.
Why do you want an MBA and why now?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
What is your leadership style?
What is a significant leadership experience you’ve had?
Which personal accomplishment or professional accomplishment that you are proud of?
What is a past failure you’ve experienced?
Any questions for me?
In addition to the above, I also got one industry specific question from my interviewer. He pulled it from a list provided by the admissions office. It was "what do you think about effect of X on the future of Y?" Where "X" is a recent trend and "Y" is the industry I've expressed a particular interest in pursuing after Anderson. It was a very easy question, however, and one that anyone interested in the field should be able to provide an opinion on.
Overall, a very relaxed and friendly experience.
Just wanted to share my interview experience.
Interviewed 12/9 and lasted 30-35 minutes.
Interviewed with Adcom, which surprised me since other prospectives in TW I met interviewed with 2nd year students. Makes sense though because right now Anderson students are taking finals.
Discussed the following:
1) Asked me about professional background and how I ended up in current job and other followup questions
2) Why MBA, Why UCLA Anderson?
3) Professional Failure
4) Teamwork example
5) Leadership experience
6) How would I contribute to class and community
7) My questions
Interviewed yesterday with a 2nd-year student. Overall I feel like it went really well. There were a couple areas I wish I would have explained a little better, but I am happy with how I did. The interview was very conversational, and for the most part, no unexpected questions. Here is a general summary of the questions I was asked:
-Tell me about yourself.
-Why an MBA now?
-Why are you looking to change careers?
-What do you envision yourself doing when begin working in X industry?
-What are your long-term career goals?
-How will you contribute to the Anderson community?
-What are your strengths as a leader?
-What leadership qualities do you want to work on at Anderson?
-Any question for me?
The interview was about 35 minutes.
I interviewed recently; it was very conversational- I think what Anderson is genuinely trying to get out of the interview is to get to know you, and make sure you'd "fit" in their environment. So I'd say to prepare for the Anderson interview, just make sure you can answer "Why MBA" and "Why Anderson" well (what you would do for any other MBA interview), know your story, and you should do just fine! Just be yourself.
I did an interview with a second year student last Thursday. It was pretty conversational. He spent 2-3 mins telling his backgrounds and explaining the interview process. Then he went with some standard questions:
- Resume walk
- Why Anderson?
- What will you contribute to Anderson community?
- Accomplishment at work? And conflict?
- Career goals
- Why do you want to this your career path?
- What did you for Habitat for Humanity? ( I mentioned this in the resume)
This process took about 15-20 mins, which was shorter than I expected.
Then, the rest was spent questioning him.
Hope this helps.
Why UCLA Anderson? - Thoughts from Admits and Current Students
"I had a great career in New York, and I wasn't sure I needed to go to business school, and if I did, I thought I wanted to go to one of the top five schools. When, I was introduced to Anderson, however, my perspective changed completely. The students were ambitious but supportive of each other, and were the happiest people of any business schools I had visited. From Ivy Leaguers to Iraq War veterans to former male models, the class was more diverse than I thought possible, and I knew I could learn a lot from these people. I decided to go to Anderson over other, higher ranked schools, because it simply felt right. I have never once regretted that decision.
"Anderson has been nothing short of a transformational experience. I became incredibly involved early on in my first year, and I have most enjoyed getting to know every one of my classmates through student government, professional organizations, and fun Anderson traditions like football tailgates, C4C Charity Weekend, and Lit Club. As I graduate, I feel lucky to have made such incredible new friends, and I know it is a network of impressive people that will help me for the rest of my life." - Kate Edwards, UCLA Anderson Class of 2014
First off, I am absolutely thrilled to be joining UCLA Anderson’s Class of 2016! Since officially accepting the offer, I have just gotten more excited about the program and what the future holds in store. From a hand-written note from the Admission Director to the outstanding Career Management Center, there are so many reason that led me to deciding to attend Anderson.
"One of the very first things that impressed me about Anderson was the quality of the students, starting with my interviewer. He had a very impressive background and I could feel his entrepreneurial spirit. Our conversation was engaging. I was excited to talk with him through the entirety of the interview. He was also extremely helpful in answering my questions regarding his experience at Anderson. If I was going to be classmates with individuals like him, I knew would be in a place where learn and grow because of my peers, not in spite of my peers. Throughout the application process, as well as since be accepted, I have found that Anderson students have been some of the most, if not the most responsive, friendly, genuine, and helpful students I have talked to. Of the students I contacted or was introduced to, 100% of them responded and took time to talk with me. The only other school that came remotely close to that was Tuck. All the students I spoke with at Anderson were down to earth and very friendly. A few even offered me a place to stay while I look for housing. I appreciated the fact that after I was accepted I was assigned a buddy by the admission office. I was also contacted by an alumni and spoke with him about his experience at Anderson. Another thing that really impressed me compared to some of the other programs was the amount of advice Anderson students gave me in terms of preparing for school and a career transition. The advice has been extremely helpful and will definitely help me hit the ground running. I am really looking forward to becoming a part of the Anderson family.
"One factor I didn’t think would be too important to me while I was researching programs, but has become increasingly so has been the location of the school. For my career goals, to transition into tech, aside from perhaps the Bay Area, I couldn’t have picked a better location. Plus, having grown up in California, I am looking forward to returning to my home state and enjoying the great weather! No more snow 2014!!! In relation to location, one thing I really like about Anderson is they offer academic internships. With the relatively strong tech start-up scene in the Los Angeles area, this will give me the opportunity to further gain and develop the needed skills and experience while in school to land a job in tech post-MBA.
"Along the lines of location and career, another big plus for Anderson was the strength of their tech club, the High-Tech Business Association, and the amount of different offerings for students interested in tech. With nearly a quarter of the students from Anderson going into the tech industry, the school has put a lot of resources into developing this area of their program. With some of the other schools, I felt like I would have to put a lot of personal effort into being able to get anywhere near the experience I would at Anderson. Another big draw to the program was that Anderson’s Career Management Center, Parker CMC, has consistently be ranked one of the top MBA career management centers. From all my conversations with Anderson students, the strength of the Parker CMC is one thing that came up in almost every conversation.
"Although there are a ton of other reasons I chose Anderson, the last one I will talk about is the community. I have kind of mentioned it throughout this post, but all of the students and fellow admits that I have spoken to have been very down to earth, friendly, and receptive. I initially really wanted to be a small town to make sure I got the tighter-knit, community feel from the program I attended. However, after the experience I have had thus far with Anderson, I am confident I will get the tight-knit community feel while being in one of the most vibrant cities in the world! Needless to say, (although I have said it a few times already) I am excited for the next two years." - James Huntington, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"I will be honest, Anderson was not my first choice school when I started my MBA applications. However as I learnt about other schools and went through the Anderson application process, I fell in love with the people, school and off-course the location.
"I was very fortunate to choose between top business schools both in US and my home country, India. I will share a little bit about myself, and how UCLA Anderson is a perfect fit for me.
"I am Indian by origin but grew up in Middle East. I have so far lived in 10 cities across 7 countries and my current home is Bahrain. Professionally, I have completed my undergraduate studies in Biotechnology from the University of Westminster, London and went on to work for an United Nations offshoot (MSME) to assist Life science entrepreneurs in India to secure mentorship and funding. Inspired by these entrepreneurs, I co-founded a personalized gifts company, which was operational for over 12 months. I am currently working in Business Development role for a Gulf multinational trading company dealing in oil and gas equipments and services.
"Although I enjoy the functional aspect (sales and marketing) in my current role, I wish to combine my people and sales skills with my industry of interest, which is healthcare. Post MBA, I wish to join the Commercial Leadership Development Program (LDP) at a global healthcare company such as J&J or Novartis to gain domain expertise and the relevant managerial skills. Long term, I see myself taking up entrepreneurial route in the area of healthcare delivery.
Why UCLA Anderson?
"UCLA is an awesome school with a global brand and which will give me a solid general management education, not to mention it's in southern California so the lifestyle and weather is outstanding. It attracts a broad array of industries in their recruiting including top consulting and Fortune 500 firms.
"I remember the email I received from a second year student. She wrote passionately about UCLA’s collaborative environment, which will allow me to intimately know my classmates and develop a sense of community. She also got me excited about events that the school hosts such as the Dean’s speaker series and EA conference, which will give me a unique opportunity to interact with industry leaders and build a network. I was instantly sold on the school after my interview with a second year student. Not only I was able to instantly connect with her but also really learn about her experience at Anderson. She was joining a medical device company and gave me good insights into recruiting at Anderson.
School’s focus on entrepreneurship
"Speaking to current students and following the Entrepreneur Association, I really got excited about skills that I will be able to pick up which will train me for my long-term entrepreneurship ambitions. The school has one of the largest student body interested in entrepreneurship and I am confident that I will be able to develop an influential network for my future company as well as contribute to the dynamic entrepreneurial environment given my startup background.
"No praise is enough for Los Angeles. I know I will have a tough time keeping my mind focus on schoolwork. However the Greater Los Angeles Area, with over 900 life sciences companies, is an ideal location for me to complete my MBA considering my goal of working with a biopharmaceutical company. It also gives me access to two of the world’s largest pharma/biotech clusters, San Francisco in the north and San Diego in the south.
"I am really excited and can’t wait to start my MBA at UCLA Anderson" - Piyush Jain, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"We’re pulling up to the second apartment on our L.A. Housing Tour as part of A-Days, the UCLA Anderson admit weekend for newly admitted students. It’s a (shockingly!) sunny and 72 degree day, and as we file out of the van and up the walkway to the next apartment the eight of us wrap up Getting to Know You 101. It’s what will become a very familiar song and dance of three basic questions: 'Hi! Where are you from? What do you do? What do you want to do? Wow, that’s cool.'
"At A-Days, there is a traditional fourth question that will become the great equalizer of the weekend, separating those that are to be heavily recruited over the next two days from those that are “the decided” (and therefore just get to eat, drink, and network to our heart’s content). “Have you committed to Anderson or… are you deciding among other schools?” It’s a little like Hunger Games – as a group of highly qualified, smart, innovative future MBAs will be divided among their districts that will in time shape their culture, identity, and future. Intense.
"Me? I’ve already decided. In fact, as soon as I was admitted I couldn’t submit my deposit any quicker. When my van-mates learn of some opportunities I turned down for Anderson, they are a bit shocked. Based on rankings alone, Anderson should have been my third choice.
"From my perspective, my decision to attend Anderson boiled down to a simple equation that permeated my thinking throughout the 20-month MBA application process. Business school is just that…50% business, and 50% school. All of the companies on my short-list are L.A.-based. Schools in the Midwest (where I call home) and the East Coast, regardless of the nominal rankings advantage, would only provide a small percentage of added value to my $200K investment. Anderson has the largest ROI (yay! B-school speak) in regards to the 50% business component.
"I urge applicants to consider, before you decide which MBA, to honestly answer the question why MBA. (Hint: it may be different than your admissions essay! Write the honest response to that prompt and the strategic response, and make your own decision whether you want to submit one or the other. Then, sign this liability waiver ________________, as I claim no responsibility as to your admission success based on which response you decide to submit). Lastly, visit the school to make sure the program checks off as many points on your why MBA list as possible.
"The Top-20 schools are all great programs and will make you more edumacated. But answer if the school will get you to where you want to be and if you will be happy spending 200,000 dollars (I wrote out the word 'dollars' for extra emphasis). Anderson blew all of these points out of the water, so it was a sure thing.
"I’ve written out my why MBA list below, and how Anderson met these points."
-Broaden my skill set with specific emphasis on marketing (any top program. Top professors and their research should be posted on the school's website. Anderson won on many levels in regards to professors and courses I wanted to take)
-Diversify my school portfolio/perspective (thus taking me out of the Midwest)
-Entertainment industry (Specifically L.A. over NY for my company short-list. I had multiple "wow" moments when I researched Anderson's class offerings in regards to entertainment)
-Learn from my peers and ideally know everyone in my class (thus, seeking a collaborative environment and smaller student body)
-Honestly, learn not to be so darn rigid. I was burning at both ends in my current industry and needed a chill pill. I felt Anderson could teach me a thing or two about the value of fun in leadership which, in my humble opinion and research, should not be taken lightly.
-Feel connected. My undergrad was very non-traditional (I also encourage future applicants to distinguish between non-traditional and unique. Focus not on how you’re non-traditional, but rather on how you’re unique. Everyone is special!) I wanted a student culture in which I felt as though I “fit”. When I interviewed on campus I felt like the students gave me a big ol’ proverbial hug. I was sold.
-Mike Leve, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"As I researched all of the various MBA programs and their particularities, I had two criteria that I would not comprise on.
"One, I was looking for a friendly and collaborative student body. This may seem obvious to everyone but through my experiences of visiting different schools this type of environment is far from the norm. A-Days confirmed my initial interactions with UCLA staff and students. I was struck by how open and genuinely interested everyone was in getting to know me.
"Two, I wanted to be part of a community that has been and would continue to be at the forefront of innovation and technology. Since my career ambition is to start my own tech company, I put a premium on schools that were highly invested in entrepreneurship and technology. Needless to say UCLA Anderson’s Entrepreneurship and High-Tech Business Associations weighed heavily in my decision.
"Lastly, it also doesn’t hurt that UCLA is in my home state. Anderson and the UCLA community's vast network in California’s tech-industry further convinced me that I would be wearing blue and gold in 2014." - Victor, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"The main reason I chose Anderson is the school's diversity when it comes to the industries students both come from and go to after graduating. The diversity of hiring companies at Anderson is unmatched; from entertainment and sports, to more traditional MBA jobs in finance and consulting. I also wanted to be surrounded by students with varied backgrounds and goals post-MBA. From my point of view, Anderson has more resources to support students with non-traditional post-MBA goals. Last but not least, the location can't be beat. The companies in the area, the weather and the beach are all huge pluses." - Chris H., UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"Like GMATClub legend Raabend (the-evolution-of-your-b-school-pursuit-56765-80.html#p588875
), I come from a family with a long line of Ph.Ds where it is only way you can be acknowledged at family reunions. I somehow strayed from that path, joining the military midway through college. However, I did come back and completed my degree before went out and served again for a few years. And to my surprise, I was actually on track getting my PhD, as after the military I was working in infectious disease research while completing my masters. Unfortunately, when I announced my plan to apply for PhD programs in epidemiology to my wife, she threaten to make me sleeping on sofa for the rest of my life. Liking my bed but trying not to be disowned by my family, I decided to be a good husband and applied to MBA programs (my logic was 3 masters = a Ph.D). In all seriousness, without a Ph.D. I cannot advance at my workplace; therefore I plan to move out of health research arena and into private sector (business intelligence or investment banking). MBA seems like a great help to make the transition. I also have another option of going super spy secret squirrel stuff but my wife nipped the idea also...ughhh...Where:
"Since my profile is really quirky (1st gen Asian-American, military, non-traditional background, advance degrees, not-so-glory undergrad GPA and a-not-so-flatter GRE-GMAT equivalent, etc) I applied to a wide range of schools both East Coast and West Coast, 8 total (2 M7, 1 top 10, 3 Top 16, and 2 Top 30) to hedge my bet. My choices were based on fit and career prospect (my wife wants us to move back to our hometown in the Rocky Mountain, sooo excited!). I was quickly accepted to the both top 30 schools with a hefty scholarship at one and a full-ride with full-housing award to another. I interviewed at both M7 schools (big fat dings) and 2 of the top 16 (admit from Anderson and waitlist at an East Coast school).Why Anderson:
"I quickly declined a top 30 school's offer with the hefty scholarship because the school is on the West Coast and very similar to Anderson. I know if I decide to attend a West Coast school, it would be Anderson (or the other two hippie schools up North but I guess I wasn't hippie enough for them). The other top 30 school is in Texas so my next step in the decision is to attend admit weekend at both schools to determine the fit. And I absolutely love everything I saw and experienced at both schools. I could see myself at both schools. However, I keep having the question of "if I can come back to my hometown" in the back of my mind at the Texas school. I didn't have that doubt while I was at Anderson admit weekend. Knowing that my goal is to come back to the Rocky Mountain, I did my diligent and research my option, which yield very limited prospective companies (banking and tech) that can afford my post-MBA salary demand. I would love to work for minimum wage but gotta pay them student loan extraordinaire ya know. Anderson has a really strong relationship and a great alumni base with all companies I am targeting, especially tech. Amazingly there is a 2015 student who will be interning at my top choice tech company in my hometown for the coming summer, doing exactly what I want to do. Everyone (current students and alumni) I reached out to response quickly and very helpful. Thus it comes down to my gut feeling that Anderson will be better at positioning me coming back to my hometown and more importantly maintaining peace for my marriage. Also, unlike other schools I interviewed and visited (East Coast ahem), Anderson students know how to enjoy life outside of classroom. Cherry on top, living in the sunny southern Cali and wearing flip flop and short for 2 years definitely don't hurt either. Thus for those reasons, I chose Anderson." - Phat, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
"UCLA is a top school that can help me reach my career goals -- but that can be said for many schools. What made UCLA stand out to me was the people. Meeting my future classmates and current students at the admit weekend sealed the deal. Everyone was really smart, motivated, and driven; equally important, they were also supportive, down to earth, and just plain nice. UCLA Anderson definitely has a close-knit community, with a good balance of work and play. I also liked the diversity of the group, particularly in backgrounds and career goals - every industry and function imaginable is represented. I'm quite certain I'm going to learn more from my classmates than I will from my books - and have a good time along the way." - Current student, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
My reasons for choosing Anderson:1.
"Its faculty and reputation, and the flexible curriculum. As in all top MBA programs, the faculty is excellent but what I really like about Anderson is the flexibility of its curriculum, I have a degree in business and I dont want to retake the same courses I took at college, the flexibility is an opportunity to go deeper in the areas I am more interested in. I also like the AMR project, it is great to have a class that consists in pure real business experience!2.
"Location. Los Angeles offers excellent opportunnities and, as I would like to be in SoCa after my MBA, it is the place I want to be, plus, as a native Spanish speaker, it is especially interesting to me in terms of competitive advantage in the job market there. And of course the sunshine doesn't hurt either 3.
"Fit. I have spoken with many students and alumni from different top MBA programs and Anderson people are the ones with whom I had a stronger connection. I also loved my campus visit, I felt really welcome. I also love the collavorative envirornment there." - lawgirl27, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016
Follow my reapplicant story at http://mbareapplicant84.blogspot.com/