Joined: Feb 25, 2021
This review is for UCLA Anderson
Program Full Time MBA
Class of 2021
Whatever you have been hoping for from your MBA experience, I suggest to rethink it. I know I am an outlier with such a review in the sea of positive reviews, but keep in mind that people who write reviews are mostly current students, who don't want to "take out the dirty laundry" out in the open and that way risk tarnishing Anderson's name, while also jeopardizing their already-not-the-best employment opportunities. However, a widely known secret is that most students are very disappointed by both Anderson and their MBA experience. Where do I start.
1. Academics. Professors who teach at Anderson are overpaid lazy scholars with tenure, who don't care neither about teaching not students, OR self-absorbent retired "ex-big shots", who only come to classes to boast about their glorious past career days, rather than actually teach you something. Classes are badly organized and students are graded without any clarity into the grading criteria, as lecturers can do whatever they want. They treat students with arrogance and are often extremely rude, often to the point of racism, nationalism and sexism. Students continuously complain, but the administration is keeping it all hush-hush. The school doesn't want to do anything about it unless there's an uproar from many - and during my two years at Anderson we already had a NUMBER of those, which also speaks volumes about the school.
2. Culture. You've heard about Anderson's oh so special culture, where everyone is nice and helpful? Yes. Everyone is nice to your face, while there's the same competition as everywhere else behind your back. Just like the rest of LA, Anderson's culture is based on fakeness, that is, everyone is fake nice, fake caring, fake friendly, however, in reality, everyone is still competitive and they mostly care to get ahead. People are afraid to be themselves and to speak up, because there's this constant "networking" going on, just in case the newly met person may be useful to them in the future, so a big part of the culture is also focused on "keeping face." Certain hobbies or interests are viewed with contempt, while some others - glorified, and if you're a more unique/different person, you will likely have to face a lot of polite cold smiles during conversations.
3. Jobs and career opportunities. The most important one. Well, if you're an international student - you have to carefully consider going back home after graduation. What Anderson's promotional materials won't tell you, is that international students can apply to only 1 job out of 5 because of visa restrictions, and even for that 1 role that does offer visas, they will be competing against domestic students, whom most companies prefer. So do your homework before committing to a debt that may take a lifetime to pay back. IF you are a woman and want to go into investment banking - be prepared to face a lot of gender discrimination even during interviews. If you view Anderson as your way to get into tech, think again, as Microsofts, Googles and Facebooks will only hire people with engineering degree OR past IT experience. You dream about getting into consulting? Possible, but get ready for grueling work practicing interviews, and keep in mind that the MBB hires maybe 1-2 students from Andersonites, since they prefer Ross, Kellogg and other top schools.
4. Money. Be prepared to find yourself in a culture that expects you to already live like you're making a 6-figure salary. The main entertainment your classmates will enjoy will be eating out (which in LA can rack up quite a bill), while professors will expect you to fork out anything from $30 to $150 for each class. Add this to ski trips, beach trips and Vegas trip, all of which involve above-average priced packages, since the students who organize them don't even bother to get the best deals, and you have yourself a lifestyle that will push that debt even further up.
What about positives? There must be something great about Anderson?
Yes. The weather, the ocean, and Chris Weber. The only recruitment advisor who has any connection with what's going on in the world. Also, there is a chance to get a better job than the one you had, if you hustle - even if it will not be with your ideal company and it may not pay as much as you want right away. Sadly, that's it.
While this review is harsh, what I would also like to point out that this is not just Anderson. Very likely you will find the same situation in other b-schools, even top ones. This is just how MBA life is, which I wish I knew before applying and starting school. So consider this decision wisely and be prepared for less that amazing experience.
Overall BSchool experience (1.0)
Schools contribution (3.0)
Classmates rating (1.0)
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school
Culture & Student Support
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)