For general admissions questions: email@example.com
Whenever I share the news that I was admitted to UCLA Anderson my friends, colleagues and well wishers alike usually ask me one question - "What was your GMAT score?". Wrong question. The right questions are - what were your responsibilities at your workplace, how did you demonstrate initiative, what was your leadership experience like, how did you differentiate yourself in a highly competitive applicant pool?
As you can surmise from the picture above, success is an iceberg. Anything worth having requires a lot of dedication, persistence, a few failures but most important of all a plan of attack that is executed upon with consistency. A majority of us assume that an admission to a MBA school must be a few months of hard effort. I beg to defer. The final admission offer was YEARS into the making starting from an individual's undergraduate school, maybe high school even. Getting into a top MBA program is a marathon, not a sprint.
To any Anderson hopefuls out there or for that matter any of you even remotely thinking of getting an MBA - start planning now. As any gym instructor might tell you half the battle is just showing up. If you visit cities with MBA schools in the vicinity make it a point to drop by and take a look around. Start reaching out to anyone with an MBA in your current network to get a perspective. Even if you do not know anything about the GMAT start tackling a few questions just as a puzzle that needs solving. Assess the opportunities at your current workplace and be more pro-active in seeking out the activities that demonstrate your potential. Start detailing a plan of attack and lay out a 3 month, 6 month and 1 year plan - goal visualization and planning are critical to success.
I end this post with one last sagely advice - The worst mistake you can make is to assume that you will tackle the admission process when ready. Small incremental changes can lead to monumental exponential progress.
Until next time...
Sometimes, the best way to get to know your future classmates is to just ask them. This week, I messaged several other Anderson '17 classmates to briefly answer some questions about themselves, their goals, and why they chose to come to Anderson. I'm sure we're all excited to find out more about the people we'll spending time with, so without further ado, our first '17 classmate profile hails from Russia and (no big deal) just a casual polyglot looking to learn Spanish and surf...
Name: Petro K
Hometown: Moscow (for the last 8 years); I was born in Ukraine.
Prior to Anderson: I am (still employed!) a corporate finance senior manager at one of the largest Russian banks. My role and responsibilities from the financial advisory side include: financial restructuring (aligning debt repayments to company’s future cash flows), business valuation, financial modeling, due diligence and buy/sell side M&A (both debt and equity deals).
From a consulting point of view, my responsibilities are: advising C-level executives on immediate and long-term remedial actions (identification of bottlenecks, hidden internal resources and market opportunities) required for turning struggling companies around and proposing to the bank's top managers the best exit strategies. The most exciting part of my profession is that it brings me much sought after satisfaction and meaningfulness (sometimes I even feel like a doctor!). Prior to that I worked at Deloitte (Transaction Services) and PWC (Financial Advisory).
Why Anderson? I was most attracted by UCLA Anderson's three defining principles (Sharing Success, Thinking Fearlessly, and Driving Change) – this is exactly how I love to live my life. Anderson’s entrepreneurial spirit, very supportive culture, and nice weather are other reasons why I am really excited about my choice!
What is one cool/interesting thing about yourself that others would not be able to tell upon first meeting you? I am fluent in four languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian and English. I have basic knowledge of German and upon arrival to LA will begin studying Spanish. So, I would love to connect with anyone speaking Spanish fluently who wants to learn one of the languages I speak fluently.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years I want to be an impactful entrepreneur in technology.
One thing I hope to accomplish by the end of my first year at Anderson:
Professional goal: for my summer internship, I want to receive two job offers: one in tech and another one in consulting and manage to do both of them!
Personal goal: I want to learn to SURF– it’s really amazing to slide on the crest of a wave!
Cultural goal: I want to fully immerse myself and my family into American culture/life.
One piece of advice for prospective applicants: Do your own research: learn about both UCLA Anderson AND yourself (dig really deep). Build your network and speak to UCLA Anderson alumni and current students, and join the GMAT Club for help, advice, or latest rumors.
As the inaugural blog post, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I'm a recent full-time grad of the class of 2015 and currently doing Marketing and Operations for Disney Interactive in their Media division. In my subsequent posts, I'll share more in depth about my job, my mentors, and life in general post-grad.
To get to know me a bit better, here's a couple of things about myself:
And, here's what to expect from my blog posts:
I look forward to writing these posts and connecting with all of you!
"Our students are very collaborative!" - Anonymous student at any MBA program
If you reach out to any potential student at an MBA program you are bound to hear the word "collaborative". Although a lot of students say that their schools are collaborative I feel that Anderson was the most collaborative school out of all the schools I reached out to.
Applying to Anderson was no easy task and I needed all the help I could get. The application process was arduous to navigate and between trying to give the GMAT, researching essays, networking with currents students help was sorely needed. I reached out to multiple students at various schools and most were willing to schedule a phone call or two or answer a question over email.
In contrast, my experience interacting with Anderson students was phenomenal. Students at Anderson not only answered my questions but some also proofread my essays and setup multiple mock interviews with me - not an easy task for a first year student at the school. Everyone was open to sharing information freely often giving me more than what I needed. Students went the extra mile to make sure that I felt comfortable about Anderson and making sure that I apply.
The pre-Anderson MBA trip to Binsar, India
As soon as I was accepted I got consumed by a flurry of activity. The current class of Anderson was engaging not only through Facebook and WhatsApp but also through Slack, a networking platform intended to promote collaboration across multiple teams. Students were constantly informing each other about articles read, upcoming deadlines for summer deliverables, rate plans for health insurance, cheering their sports team and even recommending movies worth a watch. Furthermore, students were taking the initiative to setup trips even before setting foot at Anderson. I personally had the chance to meet my fellow students in India at a Pre-Anderson trip to Binsar, Uttarakhand and made some great friends with whom I will be spending my next few years at school.
All this indicated to me that at Anderson collaboration isn't just a buzzword and that Anderson's three principles - Share success, drive change and think fearlessly, are embodied at every student attending the school.
Culture shock is an all too familiar experience for international students that visit the United States for the first time. Although most cultures have mass consumed the culture of United states via Social media, television and various other avenues nothing prepares you for the real deal.
I have spent most of my adult life in the US when I came here at the age of 17 and have been meshing with the US culture ever since. I have spent the last six years working for a Fortune 200 company where I have experienced these differences first hand. So when I decided to spend my summer working for a company in India I started to notice the miniscule differences in my country’s work culture and my findings both delighted and intrigued me. In this context the findings of social psychologist Geert Hofstede are mentionable.
Hofstede laid out what he calls 5 dimensions on which you can compare the national culture of two countries. The three key metrics that stand out are Power distance, Individualism and Indulgence,
It is important to be mindful of such differences as you try to navigate the hiring process and network with students, alumni and recruiters alike. The Dashew center at Anderson provided ample resources to international students to get them prepared and polished prior to recruiting season. Even before school starts international students are on-boarded by a Parker CMC advisor (shout out to Qilin He!) and we are signed up for mandatory iStart sessions along with international orientation sessions.
Prepare yourself for the corporate culture in the US. Find out how your country’s culture compares to the United States? Check out today at http://geert-hofstede.com/countries.html
Everyone's summer before business school is different. My future '17 classmates are doing everything from going on transcontinental road trips to simply working full time and saving up. Here's a little taste of what I am up to this summer:
Soaking up as much knowledge as possible in my summer internship: I applied to Anderson planning on staying in the same industry (nonprofit education) but transitioning to management and operations post-MBA. I've been fortunate enough to be doing an internship that has been the perfect bridge between teaching and business school. I'm assigned projects that are definitely areas of growth for me. For example, one of my projects has been to help draft our school's annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Education, and the task requires compiling data and information from a wide range of staff members. The assignment has forced me to be intentional about networking with colleagues and following up consistently in my communication.
Learning Excel: I knew almost nothing about Excel before this summer, but am getting a lot more experienced through tutorial videos and using it in my internship projects. I've been watching the Excel tutorials on Lynda, which is offered through UCLA for free! You can find the link here (scroll to the bottom of the page).
Downsizing my belongings: It's always a strange experience- albeit a necessary one- cleaning out your belongings before any big transition. Below are some of the oddest things I found and likely parting ways with (and which may also be coming to a craigslist posting near you!):
- one- but just one, not two- winter snow boot (I'll never stop looking for you, left boot!)
- a fishing tackle box (I have never fished in my life, so curious as to why I even have this)
- middle school yearbook (sadly, time to let those glory days go...)
(ABOVE: Most of the books I have owned the past 10 years. Yes, I'll be donating them- the market for old LSAT prep books isn't exactly buzzing these days)
Looking for an apartment in LA while living in Boston: Fortunately, my girlfriend's parents live near LA and were gracious enough to act as surrogate property viewers for us, taking pictures of the different apartments during viewings and scanning/emailing us the rental applications. We've been using WestSide Rentals- I know there are mixed reviews but the site has generally worked out well in terms of supplying legitimate listings. We're still in the application process so I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Hey prospective MBA students! It was just a year ago that I was in the same boat as you - considering an MBA, researching schools, and tackling the GMAT. Fast forward to today and I can’t believe I've just quit my job and will be starting at UCLA in just 2 months. Ever since I received the admit call, it’s been a whirlwind of emails and events, and school hasn’t even started yet!
But first, a quick into on myself. My name is Jennifer Wu and I’ll be one of the student bloggers for the class of 2017. I was born in the Bay Area, did undergrad at Berkeley, and then worked for the past 4.5 years in San Francisco with the accounting firm KPMG. Like many of my fellow classmates, I decided to go back to business school to do a career switch and felt like business school was the best avenue to make that transition without having to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder again.
Although the application process can be very stressful since you're juggling a full-time job, GMAT prep, writing essays, and getting antsy while reading the GMATClub forums, remember to take a step back to remind yourself why you're putting yourself though this process. It's painful, but afterwards I realized the whole process really allowed me to learn a lot about myself, visualize my long-term career goals, and (roughly) outline a plan to action. I also learned that it's okay to constantly pivot, and even to expect that. As someone wise once said, it's not always the end process, but the journey and process, that matters.
Once you've decided MBA is the path for you, picking the right school is a very crucial decision, so I'll be sharing more of why I chose Anderson in my next post! In the meantime, because a picture says a thousand words, I found the UCLA Flickr page super helpful to show me what my next 2 years could be looking like!
One of the main reasons I chose UCLA Anderson was the diversity of its student body. Anderson’s admissions committee truly does a great job in building a class filled with candidates with different professional backgrounds, life experiences, and interests. This helps to make our MBA journey a lot more enriching as we learn from one another. In this post I wanted to introduce three of my future classmates to give you an inside look into what the Class of 2017 has to offer.
I worked for almost five years at Commerzbank in London. I was a member of the EM Structured Credit Trading team as an EM Repo trader. My job was to price and structure financing deals with various counterparties across the globe. After I resigned, I embarked on an adventurous and extremely rewarding two-month travel that started in LA with A-days and ended up in Peru. I travelled throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru. The highlight was a 4-day trek that brought to me to the incredible Machu Picchu. Apart from the amazing things I saw, the best and most enriching experiences were meeting fellow travelers and locals and learning about their different values and thoughts.
“I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening, I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.”
These words from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, a 2012 film, captures exactly what I felt when I received a call from the number with LA code 310. It was 5.30 PM India time which meant Andy Promsiri, Assistant Director of Financial Aid was making that call at 5AM from his home. That gesture itself convinced me that I will be among the people who will go out of their way to make me feel good.
It all started when I attended ‘The MBA Tour’ and spoke with an admissions officer. We talked about resources provided by Anderson, Parker Career Management Center, Los Angeles, weather and opportunities for my Spouse. But what fascinated me most was the diversity which Anderson offers. It’s probably the only school which has about ~35% of students from non-traditional backgrounds like Entertainment/Media, Real Estate etc. And I for one believes that a person should keep learning new things and this is the reason why me, an engineer from IIT started my career as financial analyst with Capital One, switched to internal consulting role with Flextronics, started a non-profit venture in parallel and have now decided to pursue management consulting. During all these times, I worked and learned most from different people I have worked with. And UCLA’s teaser – Anderson’s India admits, has been exceptional. We all have been meeting in groups and batches but next week it’s going to the time when all of us go together for a trip that has all the promises of being a once-in-lifetime experience. (Details in next post)
Life in June vs June
June 2014 brought me the most amazing experience an individual can have. I visited Ladakh. And then I kicked off my MBA prep. I started exploring schools through websites, forums and connecting to students. I also prepared my draft-1 for resume which was really crappy and got a complete overhaul by the time I applied.
June 2015 has just ended and it’s been one of the most amazing summers for me. I quit my job and joined a Digital Healthcare startup – Curofy, where I have been creating user acquisition strategies and managing operations for them. I also traveled in the mountains and met my family and played cricket and watched movies and discussed life and dreamt together with my wife about the future.
And with all this, July is here. It will be the month when I will go back to books, travel more, meet more, learn more and most importantly write more. Thank you, Anderson, for reminding back a long forgotten hobby.
Readers, drop a comment if you want to learn about any particular aspect of school and we will try to ensure that one of the members from the team shares their experience on the blog.