UCLA Anderson School of Management has released the UCLA MBA application for 2020-2021 cycle. Located in Los Angeles, UCLA has an unmatched alumni network throughout the region. Entertainment and real estate are still dominant industries in Los Angeles. Other popular sectors include technology and entrepreneurship. These factors make UCLA Anderson a desirable business school with faculty and alumni considered thought leaders in business.
Anderson’s MBA class is small and close-knit. Accordingly, you should keep personal aspects in mind when working on the 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 2020-2021
Required Essay (same for both new applicants and reapplicants): How have events of the past year influenced the impact you would like to make in your community, career, or both? (250 words maximum)
New to the UCLA MBA application this season, this essay asks about the past year. In the past, Anderson has asked about your career goals. This year, Anderson’s admissions committee instructs: “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.”
When you think 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 focuses on both the professional and personal side of your candidacy. Also, Anderson is looking for students that are engaged, courageous, humble, and open.
As you structure this essay, consider 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. 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, 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 an excellent 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 have choices this year. For example, you may answer one or both of the essay questions. Also, you will be required to provide updates in the application. These updates may 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. For instance, the essays are an ideal way to describe a change in your goals, mindset, or leadership experiences. On the other hand, if your changes are more quantitative, the application will be sufficient.