UCLA Anderson School of Management has released the UCLA MBA application for the 2021-2022 cycle. Located in Los Angeles, UCLA has a vast alumni network focused on the entire southern California region. California has a diverse economy across industries like real estate, health care, and technology. And, of course, media and entertainment.
Anderson’s MBA class is small and close-knit. Accordingly, your personality should shine in your UCLA MBA application. Review Anderson’s values before starting this set of essays. Remember, character matters to UCLA: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change.
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UCLA MBA Application Essays for 2021-2022
Required Essay (same for both new applicants and reapplicants): How have recent events influenced the impact you would like to make in your community, career, or both? (250 words maximum)
For the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson asks for applicants to reflect on recent events. In the past, Anderson has asked about your career goals. Anderson’s admissions committee said: “We welcome reflection on any events that influenced you in your personal or professional lives, or in society in general, and look forward to learning about specific ways you want to leave your mark.”
The past several years have seen vast changes in society. For example, invigorated social movements and more diversity, equity, and inclusion activity within corporations. Also, a global health crisis. Any single one or more of those events likely have influenced your life goals.
In thinking about the mark you want to make, use the filter of Anderson’s values. The values are: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change. How do you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life? This UCLA MBA application essay covers both the professional and personal sides of your candidacy. Consider both your community and career. Also, Anderson is looking for students that are engaged, humble, and open.
As you structure this essay, think about telling one or two pivotal stories about you. Examples will bring your application alive. Remember, UCLA is looking to understand how you are different from other applicants. Also, Anderson wants to understand your values. Consider moments in the past year that have triggered reflection for you.
Some questions for brainstorming: Have you experienced a 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 moments? When have you worked with a team? In the past year, have you been surprised, angry, or shocked by any world events?
Be both grounded and visionary when describing your desired impact on your community or career. For example, briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation. Then, describe how you will make your mark over the long term. Your path should be a logical extension of your past experiences and your experiences at UCLA Anderson.
Optional Question (same for both new applicants and reapplicants): Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
Optional essays are truly optional. There is no need to respond if you don’t have any special circumstances. For example, reasons to write this essay include gaps in work experience. Other topics may be poor grades or no recommendation from a current manager.
If you choose to write this essay for your UCLA MBA application, be clear and concise. First, explain the situation briefly. Then, tell what has changed and improved. Finally, focus on explanations rather than excuses.
The best UCLA MBA application essays will show you have moved on from your challenges. Therefore, improvements in your life make a great case for admission.
Reapplicants are those who applied to the MBA program within the last two application years, so those who applied three or more years ago are considered new applicants. Reapplicants may answer one or both of the essay questions above as options, and they must provide additional updates within text boxes given in the application for any new test scores, career developments, or other changes since their last application.
UCLA Anderson reapplicants may answer one or both of the essay questions. However, reapplicants are required to provide updates. Also, these updates can be enhancements to your application. Therefore, keep in mind what may have changed for you since your last application.
Consider how you want to communicate it to Anderson. These essays are an ideal way to describe a change in your goals and mindset. On the other hand, if your changes are more quantitative, the application will be sufficient.