Category Archives: UCLA Anderson Advice

UCLA Anderson School of Management MBA Essay Tips

UCLA Anderson always kept the application process streamlined, with only two required essays. This year the required essays were reduced to one, focusing only on your career goals. With such a limited amount of space …

UCLA Anderson always kept the application process streamlined, with only two required essays. This year the required essays were reduced to one, focusing only on your career goals. With such a limited amount of space to highlight everything you may want to communicate to UCLA Anderson you will need to think seriously about the stories you want to tell.

With over a decade of experience helping applicants just like you, contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you define your best essay content.

Required Essay
What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)

The UCLA MBA program is asking for a clear set of career goals that will demonstrate the need for an MBA from UCLA Anderson. Since you are not directly asked to explain your entire career path, focus on the high points that are most relevant to your career goals. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? If you are a management consultant now and want to become an entrepreneur, what have you learned and experienced that will help you with those plans?

It may be relevant to provide background that highlights your career passions and sets up your future 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. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay.

Along with citing specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals, include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the small and close-knit experience at Anderson. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

Optional Essay
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)

It is important to focus on explanations rather than excuses in this essay. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor. Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will be very important.

Re-applicant 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. (700 words maximum).

The reapplication essay requires demonstrating significant strides since your last application. Keep in mind that the admissions committee will have access to your previous application. This question is specific about requiring an update on your career progress since your last application. This may be a difficult question to answer if you have not been promoted or taken a new job, so think about the areas in your career that have been improved since last year. Did you take on new responsibility? What about projects or leadership opportunities? While refining your goals is progress and can enhance your application, make sure your story is consistent with your last application and that you have thoroughly explained any changes in your thinking since the last time you applied.

Soul searching and feedback from others likely set you on the path to improve one or more areas that may have been weak in your last application. This essay is your opportunity to outline your better GMAT score, classes you took, additional extracurriculars, or a significant increase in responsibility at work.

The third part of this essay is to demonstrate how you will contribute to the UCLA MBA program. If you are a reapplicant you have likely had the time to learn even more about the school since your last application, and your research will pay off in this essay. Be specific about your skills and how you will contribute, along with the aspects of UCLA Anderson that will be of benefit to your goals.

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Tuesday Tips – UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Tips

UCLA Anderson has only two required essays for first-time applicants, which will allow you only 1500 words to communicate directly with the admissions committee and make your case for admission to UCLA Anderson. Your personal …

UCLA Anderson has only two required essays for first-time applicants, which will allow you only 1500 words to communicate directly with the admissions committee and make your case for admission to UCLA Anderson.

Your personal qualities are of utmost importance to the admissions committee. With a class limited to 360 students, and a desire to create a diverse and interesting atmosphere, your personal answer to essay one will help make your case just as much as your goals and accomplishments in essay two.

What is your proudest achievement outside the workplace, and how has it impacted you? (700 words maximum)

Starting this set of essays with a personal question about your achievements outside of work establishes UCLA MBA’s interest in knowing what you are passionate about and how you may exercise leadership outside of work. When approaching this question, keep your overall application strategy in mind, and make sure you are presenting a holistic view of yourself. Much like Stanford’s “what matters most” essay, brainstorming an overall theme that can take you from the personal tone of Essay 1 to the career goals in Essay 2 could provide a thread to unite your application strategy.

Specific examples are always the best way to demonstrate your personal qualities without sounding generic. In this essay you are invited to tell a personal story. You are unique and an interesting activity outside of work can be an effective way to set the tone for your application holistically. If you choose effectively, your story will support the overall theme of your essays and support what you say about your career and personal development.

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)

The UCLA MBA program is asking for a clear set of career goals that will demonstrate the need for an MBA from UCLA Anderson. Since you are not directly asked to explain your entire career path, focus on the high points that are most relevant to your career goals. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? If you are a management consultant now and want to become an entrepreneur, what have you learned and experienced that will help you with those plans?

Because you have effectively set the stage with question one, you have likely established your passions and personal interests, which will back up 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. Keep in mind that UCLA recently rehabbed their curriculum to train MBA candidates more specifically for their chosen careers. While your education will still have some flexibility, you are more likely to be a strong fit with UCLA Anderson if you can see yourself benefiting from the program and its educational approach. Along with citing specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals, include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the small and close-knit experience at Anderson. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

Optional Essay
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)

Focusing on explanations in this essay, rather than excuses, is very important. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor. Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will be very important.

Re-applicant 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. (700 words maximum)

The reapplication essay requires demonstrating significant strides since your last application. Keep in mind that the admissions committee will have access to your previous application. The UCLA MBA specifically asks for an update on your career progress since your last application. You may not have been promoted or taken a new job, so think about the areas in your career that have been improved since last year. Did you take on new responsibility? What about projects or leadership opportunities? While refining your goals is progress and can enhance your application, make sure your story is consistent with your last application and that you have thoroughly explained any changes in your thinking since the last time you applied.

Soul searching and feedback from others likely set you on the path to improve one or more areas that may have been weak in your last application. This essay is your opportunity to outline your better GMAT score, classes you took, additional extracurriculars, or a significant increase in responsibility at work.

The third part of this essay is to demonstrate how you will contribute to the UCLA MBA program. If you are a reapplicant you have likely had the time to learn even more about the school since your last application, and your research will pay off in this essay. Be specific about your skills and how you will contribute, along with the aspects of UCLA Anderson that will be of benefit to your goals.

Looking for help with your UCLA MBA application strategy? Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you define your best essay content.

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Tuesday Tips – UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Tips

The deadlines, essay questions, and online application are ready for your UCLA Anderson application. UCLA Anderson has only two required essays for first-time applicants, which will allow you only 1500 words to communicate directly with …

The deadlines, essay questions, and online application are ready for your UCLA Anderson application.

UCLA Anderson has only two required essays for first-time applicants, which will allow you only 1500 words to communicate directly with the admissions committee and make your case for admission to UCLA Anderson. With a redesigned curriculum that focuses heavily on molding a class that is attractive to recruiters, career goals will need to be clear and actionable. Your personal qualities are still of utmost importance to the admissions committee. With a class limited to 360 students, and a desire to create a diverse and interesting atmosphere, your answer to essay one will help make your case just as much as your goals and accomplishments in essay two.

The two required essays for first-time applicants are:
What event or life experience has had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why? (750 words maximum)
Starting this set of essays with a personal question about your background establishes UCLA MBA’s interest in seeing the genuine person you are. When approaching this question, keep your overall application strategy in mind, and make sure you are presenting a holistic view of yourself. Much like Stanford’s “what matters most” essay, brainstorming an overall theme that can take you from the personal tone of Essay 1 to the career goals in Essay 2 could provide a thread to unite your application strategy.

Specific examples are always the best way to demonstrate your personal qualities without sounding generic. In this essay you are invited to tell a personal story. You are unique and a vivid personal memory can be an effective way to set the tone for your application holistically. If you choose effectively, your personal memory will support the overall theme of your essays and support what you say about your career, community and personal development.

What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)
The UCLA MBA program is asking for a clear set of career goals that will demonstrate the need for an MBA from UCLA Anderson. Since you are not directly asked to explain your entire career path, focus on the high points that are most relevant to your career goals. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? If you are a management consultant now and want to become an entrepreneur, what have you learned and experienced that will help you with those plans?

Because you have effectively set the stage with question one, you have likely established your passions and personal interests, which will back up 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. Keep in mind that UCLA recently rehabbed their curriculum to train MBA candidates more specifically for their chosen careers. While your education will still have some flexibility, you are more likely to be a strong fit with UCLA Anderson if you can see yourself benefiting from the new educational offerings. Along with citing specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals, include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the small and close knit experience at Anderson. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA.

Optional Essay
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)
Focusing on explanations in this essay, rather than excuses, is very important. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor. Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will be very important.

Re-applicant 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)
The reapplication essay requires demonstrating significant strides since your last application. Keep in mind that the admissions committee will have access to your previous application. The UCLA MBA specifically asks for an update on your career progress since your last application. You may not have been promoted or taken a new job, so think about the areas in your career that have been improved since last year. Did you take on new responsibility? What about projects or leadership opportunities? While refining your goals is progress and can enhance your application, make sure your story is consistent with your last application and that you have thoroughly explained any changes in your thinking since the last time you applied.
Soul searching and feedback from others likely set you on the path to improve one or more areas that may have been weak in your last application. This essay is your opportunity to outline your better GMAT score, classes you took, additional extracurriculars, or a significant increase in responsibility at work.

The third part of this essay is to demonstrate how you will contribute to the UCLA MBA program. If you are a reapplicant you have likely had the time to learn even more about the school since your last application, and your research will pay off in this essay. Be specific about your skills and how you will contribute, along with the aspects of UCLA Anderson that will be of benefit to your goals.

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Admissions Interview Tips from the UCLA MBA Program

Earlier this week, the MBA Insider Blog at the UCLA MBA Program offered up some timely insider tips  to help you prepare for the MBA admissions interview experience. As we’ve noted before, the purpose of the …

Earlier this week, the MBA Insider Blog at the UCLA MBA Program offered up some timely insider tips  to help you prepare for the MBA admissions interview experience.

As we’ve noted before, the purpose of the interview is twofold: it gives AdCom a chance to see a candidate’s personality, leadership qualities and motivation for pursuing an MBA; and it also lets applicants tell their own story beyond the essays and other materials in the application.

The good news? This advice from the UCLA MBA holds true pretty much no matter where you’re applying.

Interviews are a dialogue or exchange between two people. Steer away from pre-rehearsed speech and over reliance on your résumé. Admissions is interested in getting to know you as an individual, so follow the queues of the interviewer.

The length of the interview does not indicate how well the interview went. Though the UCLA MBA schedules 30 minute interviews, they may vary a bit.  Deviations from the schedule are random and unrelated to an individual candidate.

Do not expect the interviewer to give you feedback ”“ literally or figuratively.  Be careful to avoid any interpretation of verbal or non-verbal communication, as both may mislead you.

Interviews are not a popularity contest. The interviewer is assessing your fit for the UCLA MBA program, not whether or not the two of you would make good or best friends.

For more guidance on how interviews are structured at the UCLA MBA, read the entire post here, or click for more posts containing Application Advice for the UCLA MBA.

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Tuesday Tips – UCLA MBA Essay Tips

This year UCLA Anderson School of Management’s essay questions have been reduced and will require cohesive strategy. Learn how to present yourself effectively, including the multimedia question.

The UCLA MBA admissions committee instructs candidates to “be introspective, genuine, and succinct,” and goes on to say they are most interested in content rather than style. All of this is great advice in approaching any set of MBA application essays.

Anderson has two required essays this year for first time applicants, and two optional essays meant for candidates who would like to provide more information to the admissions committee. The optional essays are truly optional, so evaluate your application strategy carefully to make sure you need to answer the questions. The first optional question provides the option to record audio, video or write a 250 word essay. If you are going to use the unconventional media options, we recommend taking a look at these tips the UCLA MBA provided for the essay last year.

The UCLA MBA has several unique attributes as compared to other MBA programs and has posted myth busters for the application process. The close knit UCLA MBA class is diverse and international, though Anderson is often most attractive to Los Angeles based applicants. Anderson is probably the most prestigious local MBA program, and attracts many applicants interested in Entertainment and Real Estate, some of Los Angeles’ more popular industries. The UCLA MBA has a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and it will be important to be familiar with the many UCLA research center programs and electives when preparing your essays.

For applicants who prefer the part time option, UCLA FEMBA is an excellent executive MBA for anyone in the Los Angeles area. Make sure to check the deadlines carefully before starting your application process.

The two required essays for first-time applicants are:
1. What event or life experience has had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why? (750 words)
Starting this set of essays with a personal question about your background establishes UCLA MBA’s interest in seeing the genuine person you are. When approaching this question, keep your overall application strategy in mind, and make sure you are presenting a holistic view of yourself. Much like Stanford’s “what matters most” essay, brainstorming an overall theme that can take you from the personal tone of Essay 1 to the career goals in Essay 2 could provide a thread to unite your application strategy.

Specific examples are always a smart way to demonstrate your personal qualities without sounding generic. In this essay you are invited to tell a personal story. You are unique and a vivid personal memory can be an effective way to set the tone for your application holistically. If you choose effectively, your personal memory will support the overall theme of your essays and support what you say about your career, community and personal development.

2. Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. What is your motivation for pursuing an MBA now and how will the UCLA MBA help you to achieve your goals? (750 words)
A fairly typical career goals essay, the UCLA MBA program is asking for a clear set of career goals that will demonstrate the need for an MBA from UCLA Anderson. Since you are not directly asked to explain your entire career path, focus on the high points that are most relevant to your career goals. When did you face a turning point or make a big decision about your career? What were some of your proudest accomplishments? If you are a management consultant now and want to become an entrepreneur, what have you learned and experienced that will help you with those plans?

Because you have effectively set the stage with question one, you have likely established your passions and personal interests, which will back up 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.

It will also be important to demonstrate your fit with the UCLA MBA program and why it is the right program to pursue your MBA. Having you’re your research on UCLA’s unique academics and resources will help you demonstrate your fit with the school. Choose specific classes, professors and programs that fit into your career goals. Think about clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA and will advance your career goals.

Optional Essays
1. You may respond to the following question via written essay, audio, or video clip: What is something people will find surprising about you?
In a continued effort to learn more about you as a person, the UCLA MBA would like to hear you speak or watch you speak and gesture on video. If you do pursue the video or audio option, it will be most effective to write out what you plan to say ahead of time and have someone help you by providing feedback and recording for you.

The video response may require some editing expertise, though most PCs have basic video editing software you can use. Speaking with poise will be especially important for either the video or audio essay. If you choose video you also need to consider what you wear, and where you decide to record the file. You may submit a written response if you think that will present your thoughts and personality more clearly to the admissions committee.

If essay 1 did not provide an opportunity to differentiate yourself from others in the applicant pool, this may be your opportunity. This question is entirely open ended, which could be a gift. Try to remain focused, consider your overall application strategy, along with your strengths and weaknesses when answering this question. Think of a specific example of what you will be discussing, and explain why others would find it surprising.

2. Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the UCLA MBA Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words)
Focusing on explanations in this essay, rather than excuses, is very important. Potential extenuating circumstances may be a very low GPA, academic probation or using a recommender other than your current supervisor. Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will be very important.

Re-applicant Essay
1. 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 the UCLA MBA program. (750 words)
The reapplication essay requires demonstrating significant strides since your last application. Keep in mind that the admissions committee will have access to your previous application. The UCLA MBA specifically asks for an update on your career progress since your last application. You may not have been promoted or taken a new job, so think about the areas in your career that have been improved since last year. Did you take on new responsibility? What about projects or leadership opportunities? While refining your goals is progress and can enhance your application, make sure your story is consistent with your last application and that you have thoroughly explained any changes in your thinking since the last time you applied.

Soul searching and feedback from others likely set you on the path to improve one or more areas that may have been weak in your last application. This essay is your opportunity to outline your better GMAT score, classes you took, additional extracurriculars, or a significant increase in responsibility at work.
The third part of this essay is to demonstrate how you will contribute to the UCLA MBA program. If you are a reapplicant you have likely had the time to learn even more about the school since your last application, and your research will pay off in this essay. Be specific about your skills and how you will contribute, along with the aspects of UCLA Anderson that will be of benefit to your goals.

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UCLA MBA Program Busts Admissions Myths

To all applicants interested in the UCLA MBA program, take heed of admissions director Mae Jennifer Shores‘ newest post on The MBA Insider Blog: Top Ten MBA Applicant Myths. Below you’ll find clarity direct from Shores …

To all applicants interested in the UCLA MBA program, take heed of admissions director Mae Jennifer Shores‘ newest post on The MBA Insider Blog: Top Ten MBA Applicant Myths.

Below you’ll find clarity direct from Shores in the hopes of  demystifying 10 of the most common myths about the admissions process:

It is better to apply in Round 1 or 2 than Round 3. While this is true for some top MBA programs, it is not true for all, including the UCLA MBA. The chances of admission are comparable in all rounds. We welcome all Round 3 applicants.

The UCLA MBA program looks for a set profile of candidate. The UCLA MBA program seeks a diversity of academic, professional, geographic and personal backgrounds. We accept many students who have neither studied business nor worked in consulting or investment banking.

There are minimums or cut-off scores for the GPA and GMAT. Both measures are evaluated jointly, along with measures of ability to handle quantitative coursework. The distribution of GPA and GMAT scores among admitted students is broad.

Work experience is a pre-requisite for admission. Candidates are evaluated on both demonstrated and potential leadership and management skills.

Candidates are assessed on their number and/or type of extra-curricular activities and community service. We seek well-balanced students who possess a broad perspective on life. Candidates may have less formal commitments that exhibit this balance.

Applications are pre-screened. All applications are read in their entirety. Admissions decisions are made across multiple criteria; it is the rare candidate who is denied based on one area of an application.

Applicants are evaluated relative to others with the same professional or geographic background. Applicants are evaluated relative to the entire pool. There are simply too many ways to disaggregate and assess candidate profiles.

I have a better chance of being admitted if I visit or interview on-campus. We are committed to fairness and equity and recognize that there are applicants who are unable to visit us for monetary and/or personal reasons.

Foreign students are not eligible for fellowships. International and domestic students, alike, are considered for merit-based fellowships. International students are also considered for need-based grants.

The UCLA MBA program is primarily an entrepreneurial or media & entertainment school. The school is widely recognized for its breadth and depth of curriculum across disciplines, including finance, marketing, accounting, general management, etc.

To learn more about admissions evaluation at the UCLA MBA program, click here.

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