How To Get Into UCLA’s
Anderson School of Management
There are many amazing reasons to live in Southern California: Perfect weather, perfect water, and Silicon Beach to name a few. However, what really makes UCLA stand out is its unique location in a city filled with many different industries, a collaborative culture, and the flexibility to customize your MBA experience. Keep these in mind when completing your essays.
Essay Question: Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)
While this is a pretty standard essay question, Anderson is looking at this question to ensure that you are ready for an MBA. Make sure that you can sell why now is the right time and Anderson is the right place for you.
Start by describing your short and long-term goals. Be clear and concise so that everyone will interpret your path in the same way. If you are too vague, it could be a red flag that that you have not thought through your plan clearly and might not be ready for an MBA.
You should provide evidence from your past that illustrates how you have developed these goals and that they logically fit with your story. If you are a career switcher, you will need to give a bit of background as to why you are switching – what experiences have you had that make you want to change your path?
How can Anderson get you there? How can Anderson fill the skill gaps you have? This is your opportunity to really show how well you know UCLA. Will you pick finance or marketing in your first semester? Will you choose a specialization to help you dive deeper into your niche or stay high level to round out your general management skills? How will you approach your Capstone project – through AMR or BCO (you better know the difference)? How will you leverage the resources available through the Parker Career Management Center?
Short Answer Question: Describe how you would contribute to the UCLA Anderson community. (250 words maximum)
The best way to know how you can contribute to the UCLA community is to get to know it: visit campus, sit in a class and reach out to current students and alumni – a coffee or adult beverage is well worth the cost of getting insight.
Then think about what unique qualities you could bring to your class and Anderson overall. Will you take a leadership role in one of the many clubs? Or will you help to provide connections for the Global Immersion trip to your country? Or teach your fellow classmates to surf?
While it is important to talk about the specifics, it is also important to show that you understand the collaborative- change oriented- and student driven nature of UCLA Anderson and show how you will continue to drive this culture forward.
Are you are prepared to share success, think fearlessly and drive change? Then perhaps UCLA Anderson should be the next step towards YOUR future in business.
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Topics: MBA Admissions Insights, MBA Application Tips, School Specific Articles | Tags: UCLA Anderson School of Management
A soldier who served on the front lines in Afghanistan. A process engineer challenged by a long series of early failures. And a female consultant whose passion became healthcare.
Three MBA applicants to Harvard Business School last year. Three students in the newest crop of MBA students at Harvard this fall. All of them answered the question now being asked of 2017-2018 applicants to Harvard: As we review your application, what more would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy for the Harvard Business School MBA program?
The school provides minimal guidance for applicants trying to make an impression. “There is no word limit for this question,” advises HBS admissions. “We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t over think, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.”
Each of the three applicants above wrote a clear and compelling essay in their applications, essays that Poets&Quants is reprinting with permission from the MBA Essay Guide Summer 2017 Edition recently published by The Harbus, the MBA student newspaper at Harvard Business School. The guide contains 39 essays written by successful candidates who are now starting the MBA program at HBS. Proceeds from the sale of the guidebook go to benefit the non-profit foundation that supports The Harbus.
With application deadlines rapidly approaching at Harvard Business School and many other prestige MBA programs, these successful essays will, no doubt, give current candidates a bit of guidance. More importantly, the essays that follow are most likely to provide comfort, that there is no formula or singular way to craft a successful answer.
THREE SUCCESSFUL ESSAYS. THREE VERY DIFFERENT APPROACHES.
The latest edition of the MBA Essay Guide from The Harbus costs $61.49
In his 1,130-word essay, the U.S. Army applicant ties together his experiences of leading soldiers on the front line in Afghanistan together with staff postings in Army operations and logistics to paint a portrait of a dedicated and people-oriented leader.
Inspired by a selfless act from her nine-year-old mentee, this management consultant decided to challenge herself to make an impact in healthcare. In a 937-word essay, she uses a particularly difficult turnaround situation which she was put in charge of as exemplifying her strongest skills: building relationships and uniting people around a common goal.
In a 1,358-essay, a process engineer opens up to a long series of failures in his early life. By showing both vulnerability and honesty, he is able to transform this list of fruitless endeavors into a credible “badge of honor,” evidence of his resilience, determination and strength of character. It quickly becomes apparent that what appeared to be failures in the first half, actually proved to be successes or openings for new opportunities, given enough time and perseverance.
ONE APPLICANT DID 25 DRAFTS BEFORE COMING UP WITH ONE SHE LIKED ENOUGH TO SUBMIT
Behind every MBA application is a person and a story, and in this trio of representative essays the approaches taken by each candidate is as different as the essays they submitted to the admissions committee at HBS.
The engineer went through took eight drafts over two months. “I thought about what personal traits I wanted to share with the ADCOM and identified stories from my past that identified those traits,” he explains. “After two or three drafts, I’d figured out the right narrative and kept refining it, taking as much as a week to finalize each draft. My best advice is to be honest, start early, and have someone who knows what the ADCOMS are looking for to read through a couple of your drafts and give you pointers.”
The consultant estimates that she went through 25 drafts to get to her final version. “I think the most important thing with the essay is to iterate,” she advises. “Because the question is so open-ended, it is important to reflect as much as possible and give yourself the time (in my case two months) to go on the journey necessary to realize what you care most about communicating and how to do so in the most effective way. I also cannot overstate the importance of finding someone who will give you honest feedback.
(See on the following pages the complete and full MBA essays submitted to Harvard Business School)