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UCLA Anderson or reapply?

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UCLA Anderson or reapply?

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 16:32
I was admitted to UCLA Anderson for their full time MBA program, and I'm deciding whether or not this is the right time for me to attend. I applied to 5 other schools in the top 10 and interviewed at one of the M7. Post-MBA, I'm looking to switch industries into tech (perhaps as a product manager) or management consulting (targeting MBB). I'm looking to live in California long term, but have always wanted to live in NYC for a few years just for the experience. This worries me as UCLA seems to be a very regional school and does not have a strong network and placement on the east coast. Additionally, while UCLA is strong in tech, its MBB placement numbers are not great. My question is if I should attend UCLA this year, or reapply in a few years when I have more work experience and probably a stronger application (I'm a bit on the younger side). I think I have the stats to get into an M7, especially since I interviewed at one this year, but reapplying is a lot of work (retake GMAT, need to find a new job as I'm currently unemployed) and Anderson is a pretty great program.

Stats/Background:
24 y/o with 2.5 years work experience
GMAT: 760 (first try, but about to expire so I would need to retake it)
GPA: 3.6 from a top 20 school in the U.S.
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New post 24 Apr 2019, 02:30
I guess kinda depends on the few things below:

1. How long have you been un-employed & how easy is it for you to find a pretty good job within a short period of time? If you've been out for long or can't really find decent job soon, might be hard later to go to M7 school?
2. GMAT score: 760 is a damn high score and if that was your first try, I think you'd still get anywhere 740+ without any problem. However, I'd retake it ASAP so you know what score you get (so you took GMAT at 19??? seems a bit weird)
3. Either way, I think you might regret your decision. If you choose Anderson now, you'll be wondering if you were going to get M7 name under your belt. If you choose to wait/re-apply, you'll be wondering if you'd have started better career at a younger age. I'd think which one you'd rather less regret. If I were you though, I'd wait 1~2 yrs before re-applying as long as #1&#2 can be addressed reasonably. If you still can't find a good job by July, maybe starting at Anderson is a good idea as well.
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Re: UCLA Anderson or reapply?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 10:12
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A few questions:

-What is your background industry?
-What's the deal with the current unemployment? What would be a realistic next job you could get right now?

A few thoughts:

-You seem fairly split on your post-MBA goal, I would think hard about MBB (I think you'll be competitive given your GMAT/Top 20 undergrad)
-Given tech as a second avenue, UCLA is great in tech
-Given your Cali desire long term, UCLA gets treated as a top 10 for sure on the west coast and you'll always have a strong network even if you target somewhere else immediately after school
-Data shows that GMAT scores drop with age, while there is no doubt you're capable of scoring well, consider the possibility of a drop to 710-740, in that case, I don't think your chances at an M7 improve at all
-Consider how likely you are to land a new job (and new letters of rec) that will move the admissions needle at all in 8-10 months
-The M7 vs. top ~16 distinction is not that big of a big gap, I suspect you'll find that many Anderson students also had interviews (or even admits) to higher ranked programs. Outside of H/S/W, money/location/industry/fit become more important.

The long/short of it: If you didn't have to retake and find new employment, I'd say go ahead and roll the dice once more. However, given that these are uncertain, and given your long term Cali goal, consider that UCLA likely won't re-admit you. This leaves just Haas (possible) and Stanford (unlikely) for your west coast tier one options. Is gambling for those worth passing up UCLA and getting a solid 2 year head start on your peers and financial goals?


I'd take the bird in hand.
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Re: UCLA Anderson or reapply?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 11:26
Welcome to GMAT Club and congrats on your admit!

I will start by saying that Anderson is likely going to work out great. As long as you are not dragging a huge burden of the undergrad loans on your back, that is and adding another $150-200K to it. I am assuming you likely have a strong WE and career that would be well amplified after BSchool. If you are burdened with debt and have issues finding a job, an MBA is not the best path. (end of disclaimer)

You sound mature in your post and you seem to have the focus needed. However, you are young on paper (not in a bad way) but you would get more from an MBA as you have more work experience, and more failures and scars. You would also be more accomplished and more attractive to employers for your internship or job opportunities (you will have to compete for those opportunities with other MBA's and your classmates so that is one more reason to have more experience under your belt).

If you expect a meaningful improvement in your career/job/promotion/boss that would show you in a much better light then this also builds the case to reapply and score a better school or potentially get a scholarship and save $$. It would take some effort but likely would be worth it. You don't need another 760 per se but you do need a strong career track, passion, and good interview. If you are expecting some of these things in the next 3-6 months, then you have a good case. If it is in 12 months, then you may as well wait a year or two. This would help with those pesky "what changed" essays for reapplicants)

At the same time, if you want to get out of your current job because it is a dead end and the only way for you to grow would be to quit it and find another one, that's not a good situation to reapply with. You will have to take the GMAT and do the application work over again and without other meaningful chances, the only change would be your age and your score... and perhaps the shine of applications but as a reapplicant to many of the schools you have applied to, they will likely reject you second time over unless you had meaningful changes, think of it is a a house that's been sitting on the market for a while time - either you have to put money into it or slash the price; otherwise, nobody is going to look at it just because it's been on the market for 6 months.

Probably clear as mud :)
Congrats on getting into Anderson at the age 24! Very impressive!
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New post 24 Apr 2019, 13:47
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Thanks for all the input! Seems like it makes the most sense to attend Anderson this year as it is a great program and my future seems quite uncertain otherwise. I'm mostly unsure about the difference in opportunities/network I would have at a T15 vs. M7, as well as the fact that I would probably have a stronger MBA experience if I wait and have another 2 years of work experience under my belt.

mradamsmith I was working in R&D at a chemical production company. I was laid off in early March. Realistically, I would probably be able to find another job in R&D in 1-3 months, but it's not really something I want to be doing anymore. I would probably try to land an analyst position at a consulting firm, though I'm not exactly sure how difficult this would be.
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New post 24 Apr 2019, 15:25
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I missed the part about being unemployed somehow, I would head to Anderson without hesitate and take a few months off enjoying travel in South East Asia, Europe or South America, Doing some volunteer work (try as exotic as you can find), taking public speaking classes, Toast Masters, doing some prelim work, and having some good old R&R. It would be a better dividend to invest in yourself at this point in time than another job.
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Re: UCLA Anderson or reapply?   [#permalink] 24 Apr 2019, 15:25

UCLA Anderson or reapply?

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