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Expert advice for Anderson from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for Anderson from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2017, 17:11
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The UCLA Anderson School of Management  essay questions for the 2017-18 application season remain unchanged from last year

First-time applicants are required to respond to one 750-word response; they can also submit  a brief 250-words optional essay, but no preference is given to candidates who submit an optional essay. The  re-applicants are required to address a separate question detailing improvements in their candidacies.

First-Time Applicants (Required Essay):

We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase your fit with the school. Often applicants make the mistake of approaching it like a regular goals essay. True, they are asked to provide information about their short term career plans and long term career plans as well as their plans to achieve them at Anderson, but they also have to demonstrate their ‘fit’ with the three core values of UCLA.

From Anderson Website:

“At UCLA Anderson, we are a community defined by three core qualities - we share success, think fearlessly and drive change- so the Admissions Committee is looking for these same qualities in prospective applicants.  While there may be evidence of these qualities throughout your application, this essay question is an excellent opportunity to communicate how you fit into our Anderson community.”

When brainstorming ideas for this essay, you will need to reflect on what you have done in the past (stories/ examples) to show that Anderson’s values -‘share success’, ‘think fearlessly’, and ‘drive change’- are your values, too. The first half of the essay should discuss how your pre- MBA career (stories from academic, professional and community area) demonstrate some alignment with these principles. You will need to highlight the ways your career objectives are aligned with the Anderson’s defining principles of collaboration (‘share success’), bold and analytical thinking (‘think fearlessly’) and innovation and thinking outside the box (‘drive change’)

The second half should explain how UCLA’s principles and the environment they create will help you fulfill your career goals as well as interests. Please note that in addition to demonstrating how UCLA’s various offerings and resources will help you realize your career goals, you also need to show how their offerings will provide you an opportunity to pursue your interests and hobbies. This will help round out your candidacy to the ad Com. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you do your homework of Anderson’s offerings (curriculum, faculty, clubs, and organizations) attend information sessions, and  connect with students and alumni to gain their insights about the program.

You may wrap up your essay by explaining how you plan to contribute to the Anderson community by immersing in its culture of sharing success, thinking fearlessly, and driving positive change.

Lastly, don’t forget to go through the excellent guidelines that UCLA Anderson provided in their admissions blog last year.

Optional Essay:

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? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

As directed in the essay prompt, applicants should use this essay to address a weakness in their profile (low GPA, choice of recommender, employment gap etc.) Explain your situation in a clear and concise way without making excuses. You may not use this essay to provide additional information. Please note that the admission committee asks you  to submit this essay only if you need to.

Re-applicant Essay:

Re-applicants who applied for the MBA program starting in 2016 or 2017 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)


  This is a straightforward reapplicant essay. Through this question,  the Ad Com would like to know that your need of UCLA is as strong as it was last time. Hence you should demonstrate your continued interest in UCLA by explaining how you have enhanced your application since you applied last time.  You may answer this by focusing on the areas you have improved upon since you applied last. Whether you have taken extra classes, boosted your GMAT score , received a promotion, led a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on a personal challenge, the key here is to demonstrate that you are now a better and a stronger candidate since your last application. Your conscious efforts to strengthen your profile and to work on your weak areas will prove how determined you are about your UCLA MBA.

The school also asks reapplicants to comment on ways they have refined their career goals, and to highlight the additional research they have done into the UCLA MBA program over the past one year. You may mention any meetings you have had with alumni/ professors/ad com, or any information session you have attended. Since you are allowed 750 words, you can provide a detailed account of enhancements in your resume and additional steps you have taken to learn more about the school, and your 'fit' with the school’s culture.

Lastly, and most importantly, you should use the feedback you received from the school on your previous application and focus specifically on those areas e.g. clarity of goals and improved essays with clarity of message.   

This post first appeared in  myEssayReview  blog                  

For questions, email me at myessayreview.com">poonam@myessayreview.com.

Web /Blog/ Free resources/LinkedIn/Facebook/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optional Essay:

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? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

Re-Applicant Essay:

Re-applicants who applied for the MBA program starting in 2016 or 2017 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)

Please note:
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.

****

The online application will be available starting August 1, 2017. For more information about applying, please visit the UCLA Anderson MBA admissions website.

Please note:
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.
  • » 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 above.
  • » All essay responses are to be entrered directly in the text box provided in your application.

 

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:02
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Round 1 or Round 2 – that is the question…
There is definitely a frenzy around trying to submit applications in round 1. So much so that you might wonder what the other rounds are for. If everyone needs to submit applications in round 1, who exactly is being admitted in round 2? The answer: a lot of people are admitted in round 2, and if your application is not ready this October, you should not be afraid to slide to round 2.

UCLA Anderson School of Management has shared its own perspective with prospective students struggling to decide in which round to submit their application, which we’ll summarize here:
Round One
Pros: All seats available; early application shows you’re serious about an MBA; waitlisted applicants can still be re-evaluated in rounds two or three; ample time to apply elsewhere in later rounds if not accepted.

Cons: applicants might rush, creating lower quality application; less time to prepare for and take the GMAT or GRE; less time overall for self-reflection, school research.
Round Two
Pros: Most popular round at Anderson; allows ample time to prepare your application; allows time for a retake of GMAT or GRE if not satisfied with your score; more time to attend admissions events and learn about the program; allows time for a campus visit while classes are in session.

Cons: Competition is highest; if waitlisted or denied, you may not have time to reapply elsewhere until next year.
Round Three
Pros: Allows the most time to pull together your best application possible; you’ll already have acceptance information if you applied to other schools in earlier rounds; allows the most time to enhance your application profile with additional promotions at work, new leadership experiences, etc.

Cons: Stiffest competition of all rounds, as the majority of spots in the class have already been offered.

At SBC, we say: All things being equal, round 1 may be a smarter strategy. At the beginning of round 1, all of the seats in the class are available. At the beginning of round 2, a bunch of seats have already been given away, and you are also competing with those on the waitlist. But then of course, there are those who say that all of the top candidates are applying in round 1 – and you are up against the toughest competition. So then, maybe it is best to apply round 2?

This is getting confusing, right? The truth is that the admissions committees know what they are looking for. They have become pretty good at estimating numbers, and evaluating and accepting applicants that fit their criteria. The best strategy is not to play the game of which round, but to submit your application as soon as, but not until, it is ready.

I recently spoke with a client who believes she can raise her GMAT from 650 to 700, but it will mean waiting until round 2 to submit applications. My advice? Go for the 700 in round 2. Always make sure all aspects of your application are the strongest they can possibly be, and then submit. Never sacrifice quality just to get in to round 1.

And with all of that said…there are very few instances when I would recommend round 3. Only the strongest, most amazing candidates make the cut, so if your applications didn’t generate sufficient interest in earlier rounds, they certainly won’t amid the exceptional candidates at the end of the season. Instead, you should regroup, restrategize and apply again next year.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 22 May 2018, 11:20
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Poonam, founder and president of MER (myEssayReview), is publishing   interviews of her successful students as well as first year and second year students.  This is the latest in the series. Here is a chat with Saurav , a first-year student at UCLA FEMBA (Fully Employed MBA) program .

In a video interview with Poonam, Saurav shares his application experience, his amazing experiences at UCLA, reasons of his preference of UCLA over Kellogg,  and offers valuable advice for the prospective applicants, regarding application process,  campus life, work life school balance and networking opportunities .

The transcript of Saurav’s video Interview will be  published in 2 parts.  In Part 1,  Saurav  talks about his background, his preference for UCLA over Kellogg, the challenges he faced during the application process, his favorite aspect of the program and the learnings from the program that he is applying to his work and day- today life .

And now introducing Saurav…..

Poonam: Hello Saurav. How are you  doing?

Saurav:  Hello Poonam. I am doing well.  long time.

Poonam: Yes, it’s been a year since we chatted. Last year at this time, we were working on the applications and now you are almost ready to complete your first-year at the fully employed MBA program of UCLA.

Saurav: Yes. It feels different. A lot of time has passed. It was worth the effort.

Poonam: Saurav, can you tell us something about yourself, where are you from? Where and what you did you study as an undergrad?

Saurav: Yes, sure. My name is Saurav Das. I was born and raised in India. I am a Bengali. My father is in army, my mother is a retired school teacher. We moved a lot because my father used to be transferred to different places. I did Mechanical Engineering from Hyderabad, and then I worked in India for 3 years before moving to the USA in 2009. I have worked all over the east coast and have been in west coast, SFO, for the last five years. I work with Oracle as Principal Product Strategy Manager.

Poonam: Last year, you had applied for part time programs of Booth, Haas, UCLA and Kellogg, and you were accepted into UCLA and Kellogg. You finally chose UCLA. Can you tell us how is UCLA the best school for you?

Saurav: Kellogg was very difficult to say ‘no’ to. It is a big school. But I chose UCLA because of multiple factors. My first reason was definitely the financial aspect. I am an international student, and Kellogg did not have great financial aid programs without a co-signer, and I was looking for a loan program without a co-signer. UCLA had one which really helped me.  If I had accepted Kellogg, I would have to literally pay the whole tuition from my pocket. Secondly, I live in SFO and Chicago is 4 hours flight, so I  felt that the amount of time and effort I would  spend in travelling to Chicago will not leave me enough time for family, for studies and for the work. And another thing was my instinct that UCLA was a better fit for me. I didn’t get a chance to visit UCLA, but I did see videos online, and I did speak to a lot of people, and based on their feedback, I learned that UCLA is a very social school; it has Californian effect. I live in California, and west coast culture is very different, a little laid back. When I visited Kellogg, I felt the culture was slightly different, and having lived in California for five years, I thought I would be better ‘fit’ at UCLA than Kellogg. Also, I did inquire about a lot about the networking events and found that networking is a big plus in all Californian schools. That is important for me because lots of your jobs are going to come through networking, and it is easier for me to fly to LA than to Chicago because Chicago is a four hours flight.

Both UCLA and Kellogg are great schools. But considering all angels, at this point of time, UCLA was a better ‘fit ‘for me than Kellogg.

Poonam: Absolutely.  UCLA was certainly a better ‘fit’ for you. Looking back, what was the most challenging part of the admission process? How did you overcome that challenge? What advice you have for the applicants who are facing similar challenge?

Saurav: I think my situation was a bit different. I was working full time and was desperate to get into MBA program. It was kind of my last shot. My GMAT score was not competitive; it was in the low 600’s, and with low 600 score , it is very difficult to get through top  schools such as Haas, UCLA, Kellogg, and Booth, even for part- time MBA programs. I was facing an uphill battle, I was preparing for GMAT retake and was working on applications simultaneously. At the same time, I  was constantly negotiating my deadlines with schools, and  these four schools  allowed me to write my GMAT and  my application at the same time. In addition, I had to meet the deadlines with you as well, because you were working with different applicants. Apart from this, scheduling interviews, scheduling those flights, looking at the schools, life, and family – all this was a constant struggle for me.  I started application prep in January end and was done with all the applications in June. It was a very difficult four to five months period for me, and you were aware about my situation before we started working. I will not recommend anyone to go through application prep and GMAT prep at the same time.

Poonam:  Yes, I am aware that you were dealing with too many things at the same time.

Saurav: I remember you telling me that it will be challenging to do both - GMAT prep and application building. I spoke to another consultant, and she also told me the same thing. One consultant just completely refused to work with me and said that this was not going to happen. So, I am thankful to you that you agreed to work with me. The learning was that this was just the trailer of what would happen at B-school.

Poonam:  I like the analogy. Yes, that period was the trailer of what you would have to deal with at B School.

Saurav: Yes, if you are working and doing a part time MBA, this is exactly what you have to deal with. I have deadlines this week, and my VP is chasing me for work. Also, I have group meetings and group commitments and I want to do them well, and then I have to travel every week to LA for classes. That five months period of application process prepared me to go through this grind. My advice to prospective applicants is not to give up and have the mental strength and patience to go through the whole process.   I am talking from a very tailored perspective of a part time MBA applicant. GMAT is a beast, a monster. On top of that, the applications take a lot out of you. It is not easy to write stuff about yourself, you think you know yourself well, but you don’t, you will have to figure out a lot of stuff during the process.

Poonam: Very true. What is your most favorite aspect of the program?

Saurav: The social aspect of UCLA FEMBA program is amazing. I always wanted to do a full time MBA, but now I have no regrets.  Even as a part- time MBA student I am having so much fun. I took a calculated risk on UCLA, and it paid off. It is a great school. I have made  friends , and I am  having  great time.

Poonam: Good. How about the curriculum? Does it align with your goals?

Saurav: I think it is very early to speak about it because I am just doing core curriculum in the first year which is very much the basic stuff that you need to know before you actually take on the actual electives. So far, whatever I am learning is new to me and very interesting. I have learned so much from my classmates as they talk about their experience at work and life. All these professors are PhD’s who  have industry experience and have done a lot of research. UCLA is great in terms of professors and curriculum, and most of the cases we discuss are well-known cases from Harvard or Kellogg, and  some from UCLA.

Poonam: Good to know that. Is there anything you would like to change about the program?

Saurav: I think that the program is great, and I would not like to change anything. However, I do wish I was a local student living in LA. I could have gotten so much out of the MBA if I was living in LA. I cannot attend all the events because I live in SFO. I would advise the prospective applicants to try to go for the local school as a lot of events happen on week days with full time MBA students that they can attend if they are local.

Poonam: Thanks for the advice.

Note: Stay tuned to Part 2 of Saurav’s interview wherein he discusses his  application of   classroom learnings to work and to day- today life, his strategy of work-life-school balance, his goals, importance of networking for part time students as well as role of GMAT in the entire application process.
You may connect with Saurav via LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/the-saurav-das/
This interview was first published in  myEssayReview blog.

For questions, email Poonam  at  myessayreview.com">poonam@myessayreview.com

Web /Blog/ Free resources/LinkedIn/ Facebook

 http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/ucla-part-time-mba-advice-current-student/

 

 
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Re: Expert advice for Anderson from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 16:57
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The UCLA  Anderson School of Management has posted the required essay questions for the 2018-19 admissions cycle. The first essay remains unchanged from last year, but there has been an update to the short-answer question.
First-Time Applicants 
Essay Question: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)

Short Answer Question: What are you passionate about and why? (300 words maximum)
Reapplicants
(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years)

Reapplicant Question: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how 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)

Optional Question: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.

Please note:

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.

» 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 above.

» All essay and short answer responses are to be submitted in written form only.

» All essay and short answer responses are to be entered directly in the text box provided in your application.
****
For more information about applying, please visit the UCLA Anderson MBA admissions website.


If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 17:02
Having the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest minds in business is one of the top motivators for many applicants considering an MBA degree at an elite business school. The professors and lecturers you’ll encounter have worked in the trenches, and bring an incredible wealth of real-world experiences into the classroom setting.

In our new limited series of professor interviews on the SBC blog, readers will get to know a bit more about these brilliant academics, what fields most excite them, the trends they foresee, what they enjoy most about teaching at their respective universities, and how it all comes together with their students.

Today we’ll introduce you to Suzanne B. Shu, Professor of Marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, 1990; Masters of Engineering (Electrical), Cornell University, 1992; Masters of Business Administration, University of Chicago, 2003; Ph.D. in Behavioral Science, University of Chicago, 2004

Courses Taught: Marketing Management (core MBA marketing course); Marketing Strategy & Policy (core EMBA marketing course); Behavioral Economics in Marketing; various Ph.D. courses
What triggered your interest in your subject matter?
My work is in the field of behavioral science and decision making. After finishing my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering, I never even knew there was a formal area of study in decision making until I wandered into a course on it during my first month of being an MBA student at the University of Chicago back in 1997.

The course was being taught by Richard Thaler, who just won the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics for his research in behavioral science. I was immediately intrigued by the material and decided that it was what I wanted to study from that point forward.
What’s changed since you entered the field?
Since I started studying behavioral decision making in the late 1990’s, much has changed. The field has become enormously popular in daily life due to the success of books like Nudge and Predictably Irrational. This creates a lot of interest among both managers and policy makers for the research that we do. It’s really wonderful to have so many direct applications of our research happening around us all the time.

Another big change has been the growth in interest for my own particular corner of that research field, which is consumer financial decision making. I knew when I started my PhD that I wanted to better understand the psychology of how consumers make all kinds of financial decisions (e.g., loans, retirement income, credit card debt, etc.) but the field didn’t really exist when I was getting started. Now it’s a large body of research with hundreds of academics working in this area.
Any surprising or unique applications of your field of study?
While perhaps not surprising, some of the applications that I’m most excited about are the use of our behavioral principles in policy and medical areas. Much of what we do is to explore how changing small elements of the decision making environment can help people behave in ways that they want to behave but aren’t always able to.

For example, consider someone (like me!) who would like to exercise more to lose weight. We’ve explored how small changes, like restructuring your goals to have “skip days” in your exercise routine, can help people be much more successful with their efforts.
What do you like about the school you are teaching at?
UCLA Anderson has an amazing mix of faculty and students that make it a wonderful place to do the work I do. On the faculty side, we have an entire research area devoted to behavioral decision making, so I’m surrounded by other dedicated researchers working on topics very similar to mine.

I feel extraordinarily lucky on this dimension since behavioral decision making is still a relatively new area in a lot of business schools and I wouldn’t be able to find a similar environment elsewhere.

As for the students, I find that our MBA students come in with a real excitement for figuring out how to convert our classroom discussions into immediate changes in their daily work environments. That focus on application of ideas to real business problems makes teaching really enjoyable for me.
How do you leverage technology in your classroom?
At Anderson, we’ve begun integrating online learning into more of our courses, and that’s been a big change over the past few years. Several of my courses are now hybrid classes where lectures can be delivered on video and we spend our in-class time really diving deeply into case discussions.

This is a great balance because the technology is used for delivery of foundational concepts so that everyone enters the discussion with the relevant background and we can get immediately into figuring out how to apply those concepts to the problem at hand.

Those in-class discussions are my favorite part of teaching since they give everyone the chance to bring their own expertise and ideas into the exercise; it’s not just me talking to the class, it’s everyone working together to solve a problem.
What can you do in the classroom to best prepare students for the real world?
I attempt to accomplish two things while teaching and preparing students. First, I want them to learn how to think and deliver carefully constructed, well supported arguments.

In the material I teach, I tell students there is not always only one right answer – many recommendations can be good recommendations, as long as the process for generating that recommendation is solid and well supported by the available data.

Part of your goal is to be able to deliver a set of arguments that will convince other managers that your recommendation is the best one to follow at that moment.

Second, I want to provide students with a set of frameworks and tools that help them break apart and analyze their business problems, so that it’s easier to generate and support the recommendations they make. They hopefully leave my class with a toolbox from which they can draw when analyzing any situation.
Can you speak to interesting trends in your field?
One new topic that’s inspiring research and discussion in my field is the general issue of inequity in consumer environments. Research in economics on the growth of overall societal inequity has helped spawn some of this new work, but I’m particularly interested in inequity issues at the more micro level of the individual.

For example, a consumer entering into a relationship with a financial services company must deal with a variety of fees and costs, which are measured against the benefit received from the product or service.

What determines whether the consumer perceives those costs as fair or unfair? How do perceptions of what is under the control of the consumer, versus what is under control of the firm, affect those fairness judgments? And is it possible to give the consumer more control over certain outcomes so that they can feel more ownership of the relationship? These are topics that are likely to become more important in the coming years.
What’s the impact you want to leave on your students? … On the world?
I want to teach my students to balance their strong numerical skills with strategic thinking and an overall understanding of human psychology when making business decisions. Business schools do an excellent job of training our students to understand financial models and economic principles.

Sometimes, however, it’s important to step back and realize that the world is not full of robots – we aren’t all perfectly rational or unemotional in our decisions. Thinking through human beings’ needs and motivations, including their emotional reactions to information, allows managers to do a better job of understanding their customers and successfully marketing their products.
Best advice for an aspiring business mogul?
Many aspiring business people seem to assume that marketing is simple – you just go out and tell people about the product or service you’re offering, and they’ll make a line at your door. The truth is that marketing is not easy to do, and there are many more opportunities for things to go wrong than there are for things to go right.

Good marketing requires an intricately detailed understanding of who your target market is, including their personal motivations and decision psychology, at a much more sophisticated level than most startup entrepreneurs tend to appreciate. At their core, every successful businessperson needs to be a thoughtful marketer, regardless of the business they’re in. Acquiring the frameworks and tools to be a successful marketer is a worthwhile investment.

Thank you so much Professor Shu for sharing your insights and experiences with our readers! You can read more about her work in articles such as, Carpe Diem? Maybe Tomorrow-The Psychology Behind Putting Off What Can be Enjoyed NowInstilling Ownership Feelings Leads to Greater Care of Common Resources; and When It Comes To Marketing And Advertising Not Just Any Visual Will Do.

***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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Re: Expert advice for Anderson from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 10:00
The UCLA Anderson School of Management has made no change to its primary essay question this year, asking candidates—as it has done for as long as mbaMission has been offering essay analyses—about their short- and long-term professional aspirations and why its program is the right one for them. However, its “short answer” question (read: mini essay) has shifted in focus from applicants’ anticipated contributions to the program’s community to a personal passion and been extended by 50 words. UCLA Anderson’s mere 800-word total essay allotment means you must ensure that the other elements of your application (recommendations, resume, interview, etc.) fill in the blanks, so to speak, so that the school gets the full story of who you are as an individual and a candidate. But first, here is our advice on effectively approaching the school’s prompts…

Essay 1: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)

UCLA Anderson has done away with the preamble to this question that in previous years outlined the school’s defining principles and now plunges straight into a forthright request for your career goals. And considering you have just 500 words available for this entire essay, we recommend that you exercise this same kind of expediency with your response. Avoid going into excessive detail about your past, but be sure to offer enough information to provide context and support for your stated goals so that the progression from one stage of your professional career to the next is clear and reasonable.

Once your goals have been firmly stated and contextualized, explain how being a UCLA Anderson MBA student is a key step in achieving them. You need to demonstrate that you have dedicated just as much thought—if not more—to why you want to study at UCLA Anderson as you have to where you want to go in your career. Think carefully about what you need to learn or experience (with respect to skills, network, and knowledge base) to be able to reach your stated aspirations and then detail which specific resources and opportunities at the school you believe will allow you to do so. Your goal is to convince the admissions committee that UCLA Anderson is the missing link between who and where you are now and who and where you envision yourself in the future.

The basic components of this essay prompt are elements of a traditional personal statement, so we encourage you to download your free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide. In this complimentary publication, we offer a detailed discussion of how to approach such queries and craft an effective essay response, along with multiple illustrative examples.

And to learn more about UCLA Anderson’s academic program, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, standout faculty members, and other key features, download a copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Anderson School of Management, which is also available at no cost.

Short Answer Question: What are you passionate about and why? (300 words maximum)

We appreciate that you are likely “passionate” about your career, but this is not your best choice for a topic here, especially given that the school’s primary essay already covers your professional life. What UCLA Anderson wants to learn from this mini essay is what gets your heart pumping and mind racing outside of work. As Steve Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world,” and although he was speaking about careers at the time, the statement is true for all aspects of one’s life. Passion is inspiring and energizing and can lead to big ideas and actions. Sharing with the school where your passion lies gives the admissions committee an idea of where you might someday make an impression on the world, how you might leave your mark—especially once you are equipped with all you will gain and learn during your MBA experience.

That said, do not worry if the thing you feel so fervently about might seem commonplace to someone else. For example, perhaps you feel inordinately passionate about cooking. Because this is an interest anyone could share and enjoy, you might have concerns that it could sound pedestrian or unremarkable. The key, though, is not what inspires you but the lengths to which you engage with it. If you can show that cooking is not just a hobby you simply enjoy from time to time but is instead something you connect with on a deep level and in various ways—perhaps you have taken a number of advanced-level courses at a local cooking school and avidly blog and Tweet about this passion and regularly interact with your followers—then this initially uninspired-seeming choice most definitely becomes an acceptable discussion topic. Think about your options in terms of intensity, enthusiasm, devotion, longevity, loyalty, excitement, and heart, and be honest with yourself. The elements of your life that inspire and align with these concepts could be appropriate fodder for this essay, while anything that does not should be immediately discarded.

Once you have identified the passion you wish to discuss, avoid simply telling the admissions committee about it and instead demonstrate how it manifests in your life. For example, rather than stating, “I have been watching and playing basketball since I was a child,” you need to create a more vivid impression of your dedication and involvement, such as “From playing with my brothers after school to varsity ball in college to now coaching a youth league in my community, I can hardly remember a time when basketball wasn’t an integral part of my life.” Like all other application questions, this one has no “right” answer, so do not try to guess what you think the school wants to hear. Authenticity and enthusiasm are the keys to your success with this mini essay.

Optional essay: The following essay is optional and can be submitted by either first time applicants or reapplicants. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.

Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

Here is your opportunity—if needed—to address any lingering questions that an admissions officer might have about your candidacy, such as a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, or a gap in your work experience. Do not simply try to fill this space because you fear that not doing so would somehow count against you. And however tempted you might be, this is not the place to reuse a strong essay you wrote for another school or to offer an anecdote or two that you were unable to include in your required essay. However, if you truly feel that you must emphasize or explain something that would render your application incomplete if omitted, write a very brief piece on this key aspect of your profile. We suggest downloading your free copy of the mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, in which we offer detailed advice on deciding whether to take advantage of the optional essay and how best to do so (with multiple sample essays), if needed.

Reapplicant essay: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how 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)

Whether you have improved your academic record, received a promotion, begun a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on some sort of personal challenge, the key to success with this essay is conveying a very deliberate path of achievement and forward momentum. UCLA Anderson wants to know that you have been actively striving to improve yourself and your profile, remain focused on your goals, and have seized available opportunities during the previous year, because an MBA from its program in particular is vital to you. The responses to this essay question will vary greatly from one candidate to the next, of course, because each person’s needs and experiences differ. We are more than happy to provide one-on-one assistance with this highly personal essay to ensure that your efforts over the past year are presented in the best light possible.

The Next Step—Mastering Your UCLA Anderson Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. We therefore offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the UCLA Anderson Interview Primer today.
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Re: Expert advice for Anderson from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2018, 18:27
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UCLA Anderson School of Management is located in a central location in Los Angeles with an unmatched alumni network throughout the region. While entertainment and real estate are still dominant industries in Los Angeles, technology and entrepreneurship have become more and more important in Southern California, making Anderson an even more desirable business school. Anderson’s faculty, alumni and students are thought leaders in business and promoting collaboration and innovation.

Anderson’s class is small and tight knit, making the personal aspects of this application crucial for admission. To make your case it will be important to be very clear about who you are, how you will fit with the community, and what you will accomplish with the help of Anderson.

We have helped countless applicants achieve their UCLA Anderson dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you.

FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS
Essay Question: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)

As you evaluate your career goals, consider your career thus far and how you would like to develop it. When you think about any long-term goals you have for your career, why is an MBA the right next step? And why would Anderson be the right place to gain the education and network you need? Your career goals should be examined through the filter of Anderson’s values and how you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life.

The UCLA Anderson admissions committee suggests that “Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities and activities from which you would benefit if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through online research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).”

When structuring this essay consider telling one or two pivotal stories about your career that will illuminate why you have chosen the career path you are on. UCLA is looking to understand how you are different from other applicants and how you have determined your goals. Consider the turning points or moments that triggered reflection for you.

Have you experienced a significant personal setback? What is your family background? Have you lived outside your home country? When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? What moments have called upon your need to collaborate, lead or innovate?

Another important aspect of this essay is showing that you can plan coherently and both realistically and aspirationally. When describing your career goals, briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. Your career path should be a logical extension of your past experiences and what you hope to experience at UCLA Anderson.

[b]Short Answer Question: What are you passionate about and why? (300 words maximum)[/b]

This short answer question is new this year, and focuses more on the personal side of your candidacy. Anderson is looking for students who “are fearless in thinking about opportunity and innovation — in experimenting and discovering, in being a little nonconformist.”

Use the space here to describe your passions in life and how they will fit with the character of UCLA Anderson. Note also that teamwork (“share success”) is another core value at Anderson, and it would be illuminating to show how others have impacted your passions and how your passions may have created impact in your community and the world. The limited word count invites you to be clear and concise. Along with explaining your passion and answering the question, a short story about your passion – either the origin or a key moment – would help bring your essay to life.

OPTIONAL QUESTION:
The following question is optional and can be submitted by either first time applicants or reapplicants.

Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)

No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.

Note that Anderson specifically asks you not to write this essay unless you need it. Do not use it as a place to continue making the case from the required essay or short answer. If you do need to use this essay to explain gaps in work experience, a low grade, or lack of a current recommender, focus on explanations rather than excuses.

In discussing anything that is lacking from your candidacy, clearly and concisely explain the situation, and explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you have improved and moved on from anything difficult in your past will help to make a compelling case.

REAPPLICANTS
(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years)
Reapplicant Question: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how 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)


If you are a recent re-applicant to Anderson this essay gives you the opportunity to highlight improvements since your last application. This essay focuses on updates to your career progress and any updates to your career goals since your last application, but you have room to add other “ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy.” If you have an improved GMAT score, academic updates or extracurricular activities since your last application it would be useful to update the admissions committee.

What if you didn’t start a new job, earn a promotion, or advance in a linear way along your career path since your last application? If your resume remains basically the same, consider any new projects or accomplishments at work you can highlight. Demonstrating significant thought about your career path and increased introspection can also be progress, so updating your career goals thoughtfully is equally important to this application.
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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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