UCLA Anderson MBA

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UCLA Anderson MBA – Introduction

UCLA’s Anderson School of Business twice hired Deloitte Consulting to study the best practices of several top business schools, interview corporate recruiters of MBAs, and do a deep dive into the competitive landscape of graduate business education.

The outcome of that spadework resulted in a simple but crucial insight: All too often, many first-year students show up on campus unsure of what they want out of the degree. They have yet to set their sights on a specific field of study or industry. And if and when they finally do, corporate recruiters see less of a straight line to their industries and more of a zigzag that leads to questions about commitment and desire.

That primary finding has been the driving force behind Anderson’s sweeping curriculum overhaul announced during the summer of 2011. The changes are part of an effort to more quickly get students to commit to a specific track of study and channel them into a more productive internship, which should, in turn, set them up for the best possible job offers in their chosen field.

From the start of the new curriculum in the fall of 2011, the school began offering certificates in real estate, the management of technology, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. Subject to university approval, Anderson also hopes to roll out certificates in branding, healthcare, and entertainment. Ultimately, say school officials, they expect to have three or four in finance, at least three in marketing, and one in human resources.

“This structure will create very clear signaling of student preparation and interests by virtue of their selection of tracks, their sequencing of courses and the availability of certificates,” says Judy Olian, who became Anderson’s dean in early 2006 after a stint as dean of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business. “Rather than this amorphous MBA, with a bit of this and a bit of that, this provides very clear information to the marketplace.”

Good Facts:

  • Excellent alumni and career services offered to MBA graduates
    Graduates of the MBA program can take advantage of a variety of excellent services to further their business career. First, the career services center offers career coaching as you approach graduation. You are provided personalized, one on one coaching so that you are put in the best position to get a position that will help you to achieve your business career goals.
  • MBA program has regular executives in residence to mentor current students
    The executives in residence program offers students high level, business expert advice in various business and management fields: banking, finance, engineering, marketing, technology, accounting and more
  • Major national and international companies like Apple, Nestle, Amazon, Amgen, Deloitte, Google, Visa, Sony, Mattel, Microsoft, Citi, Nike, Comcast, Disney recruit UCLA MBA grads.
  • The UCLA Anderson School of Management is accredited by the AACSB, which is the most prestigious business education accreditation body in the world.

Not so good facts:

  • UCLA’s MBA program has an excellent reputation for quality and affordability. Not surprisingly, getting admitted is difficult. Current data shows there were 3314 applications received last year and only 360 were admitted. Acceptance rate at the university overall is only 18%, meaning that fewer than two out of 10 applicants are accepted.
  • You must submit GMAT scores to be considered for admission. Also, the average GMAT score of admitted students is a competitive 716, with the middle range between 680 and 750. So, you will have to really study for the GMAT to have a chance to be admitted to this program.
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UCLA Anderson MBA Sample Essays


What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (700 words maximum)

Living in Orange County has allowed me to experience the amazing variety of habitats California has to offer. Pristine beaches lie a short drive away from awe-inspiring mountains, and right in between stands one of the largest cityscapes in the world. Collectively they make one huge ecosystem, and I want to spend my life helping that ecosystem thrive economically and environmentally. Clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, and biofuels promise to both advance environmental restoration and generate sustainable profits, but the key to unlocking wholesale environmental change will be to make renewable energy cost- competitive. My professional experience in the banking/lending industry as a Secondary Market Analyst at MFD, combined with an Anderson MBA with a Finance track, will help me achieve my vision of providing cheap long-term finance options to promising sustainable energy projects.

My long-term goal is to open a state-level, public-private Clean Energy Finance Bank (CEFB), or “green bank,” in California. The renewable energy industry is currently too reliant on public capital. However, a recent study from the Jameson Institution suggests green banks can “combine scarce public resources with private sector funds and then leverage those funds to invest in attractive clean energy.” Currently, there is one green bank in the US, Clean Energy Production and Investigation Regulatory Group in Massachusetts. While the movement is young, successful precedents for energy and infrastructure banks exist: LENS and S-V Lester Bank in the US and JgT in Germany. I want to be at the forefront of this clean energy financing industry.

In the short-term, in order to build up the skills and experience needed to transition into the clean energy finance industry, I plan to work as a Research Analyst at a well-known think tank like the Jameson Institution…Continue Reading Here

UCLA Anderson MBA Interviews


It was scheduled via an online scheduling tool, conducted over skype with a 2nd year student, and was application-blind. The interview was about 30 minutes long – a short intro, around 20-25 minutes of questions, and 5-10 minutes for me to ask him questions.

There weren’t many surprising questions:
– Why do you want an MBA?
– What is your immediate post-MBA career goal?
– What is your long term career goal?
– If your first choice immediate post-MBA plan doesn’t work out, what is your back-up plan?
– What clubs or activities do you plan to participate in?
– What draws you to UCLA specifically?

He also asked about what I like to do in my personal time, which helped to break up the formality.

If you are nearby and able to do an on-campus interview, I’d recommend it – the skype format made it a little more difficult to get comfortable and conversational. One of the things I wish I’d done differently is cover a broader set of interests in my responses – because I am on a social impact track, I focused on that a lot, but I think I ended up getting a bit repetitive. There are many reasons I want to pursue an MBA, not all social impact-specific, and I wish I had built out more answers that focused on the overall MBA experience.

There were a fair number of questions about Anderson specifically, so do as much research as possible. I have definitely done my research, but I wished I had more specifics to pull from…Continue Reading Here

UCLA Anderson MBA Application Essay Tips


UCLA Anderson School of Management is located in Los Angeles with an unmatched alumni network throughout the region. Entertainment and real estate are still dominant industries in Los Angeles, and technology and entrepreneurship have grown. As a result, Anderson is an even more desirable business school. Anderson’s faculty, alumni and students are thought leaders in business and promoting collaboration and innovation.

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

We have helped countless applicants achieve their MBA dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with your UCLA MBA application. To learn more about the UCLA MBA program, visit the school website.

a) Tell us about your MBA goals AND why you are applying to UCLA Anderson now:
• Describe your short term and long term goals (150 words maximum)
• Why is UCLA Anderson a good school for you? (150 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 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) At Anderson, we believe our students are engaged, courageous, humble, and open. Describe a time when you demonstrated one of these traits in your personal life. (250 words maximum)

This UCLA MBA application essay focuses on the personal side of your candidacy. Anderson is looking for students that fit the mold of the school: engaged, courageous, humble and open. To answer this question, you will provide an example that shows you have these traits.

To answer this essay question effectively, take a brief story with plenty of detail, then explain why you think it is relevant to your UCLA MBA application. Though the essay focus on personal traits, using an example of teamwork or leadership at work would be relevant.

Alternatively, using an extracurricular story from an activity you are passionate about would show another angle of your candidacy. Either way, make sure that you are specific and clear in your writing.

(For applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two application years. If you applied three years or more prior, please answer the “New Applicant” questions.)
a) Please describe your career progress since you last applied and how you have enhanced your candidacy. Include information on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (500 words maximum)

If you are a 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.

In addition, 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.

c) Optional: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware. (250 words maximum)

Optional essays are truly optional, and there is no need to write one without extenuating circumstances. Reasons you may write this essay include gaps in work experience, a low grade, or lack of a current recommender.

If you would like to write this essay for your UCLA MBA application, clearly and concisely explain the situation. Then, explain why you have changed. When writing the essay, focus on explanations rather than excuses.

The best essays will provide evidence that you have improved and moved on from anything difficult in your past. Therefore, making a compelling case for admission in this UCLA MBA application.

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