Before I get started on this post, and well, restarted on this blog in general, I wanted to mention something. For the past several months, I have thought about how to approach what I am putting out in this space. Do I write about b-school, career, life, etc. as an “expert,” or do I just tell my story? In fact, I have written several “posts” and played around with a variety of ideas. I have quickly realized I am not an expert, far from it, and to position myself as such would be inauthentic and fraudulent. But what I can and will do is, offer my perspective as one person who has gone down this path, with the hope of adding value to someone’s life.
So, this is my story. Raw. Unedited. Messy. And far from finished.
I was recently asked by an admissions consultant on a b-school forum if I would write about my experience at UCLA Anderson. As I begin jotting down some thoughts to post in response to her request, I realized that it might be valuable to expand on my reflections here.
In the coming weeks, I plan on writing about the following topics about my experience at Anderson:
- Career services
- Summer internship
- Academic internships
- Full-time recruiting
- The Applied Management Research Program
- Student life/culture
“It’s difficult for me to successfully depict my experience at UCLA Anderson in such a limited space. This usually works much better for me in one-on-one conversations, but I will do my best.
“For me Anderson was a place where I met amazing people, pushed myself intellectually, and ultimately transformed myself professionally and personally.
“The academic experience overall was great! I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t love all my classes or professors, but on the whole I found myself learning and challenging my own understanding of business on a daily basis. One of the things I loved most about the academic side of Anderson was the diversity of learning experiences and methods I was exposed to. It wasn’t all cases or just lectures. It was a nice balance of those two, plus a healthy amount of experiential learning. Not only were the majority of the professors solid, we also got some amazing guest speakers—Alex Rodriguez, the President of Adidas North America, one of the founding members of CAA, David Aaker, Al Michaels, and Jessica Alba just to name a few.
“One of the main reasons why I decided to attend Anderson was the people. During the application process, Anderson was the only school where 100 percent of the people I reached out to actually got back to me. Those I spoke with were sharp and really knew their stuff. However, the thing that won me over was how noticeably happy they all were. Needless to say, I came into the program with high expectations for my peers. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Not only was I surrounded by incredibly accomplished and intelligent individuals, they were also down-to-earth and approachable. During my two-years at Anderson, I made some of the best friends I will probably ever have. Simply put, the student culture at the school was amazing!
“Although there are many other positive aspects of my Anderson experience, the last one I will mention here is career. The Career Services Center at Anderson is second to none. I would put them up against any other school’s career center. The people I worked with not only wanted to help me get a job, they were invested in helping me better understand myself, my motivations, and my skills so that I could land the right job. I spent many hours with my advisors researching jobs, identifying target companies, prepping for interviews, etc. Without all of that, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Another big asset of Anderson on the career front is the location of the school. The business community in LA is thriving and the opportunities to work within that community to gain real experiences during school are endless. Not only did I do a full-time summer internship, I also did three part-time internships during the school year that enabled me to make the dramatic career shift that I did—operations at Goldman Sachs to marketing at Microsoft.
“In the end, the 21-month experience cost me over $100,000, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The experiences I had, the friends I made, and the opportunities that have been opened up for me wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t gone to Anderson.”