By UCLA Anderson October 26, 2017 Leave a Comment

This blog post is part of our "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.





As you progress in evaluating MBA programs and preparing your application, it's important to ensure your values align with a school. No two admits are alike, but at UCLA Anderson, our students all share certain values that we look for in order to build an open-minded, diverse and talented class.  Your work experiences, life choices and opportunities may differ coming onto campus but you will be united by your core qualities as future leaders: the desire to share success, think fearlessly and drive change.

When evaluating your application for these qualities, the admissions committee will review the various elements of your profile to see your strengths and contributions to the class in addition to areas for growth where you would benefit from our program and community. Maybe your GMAT score is not the greatest but your strong undergraduate grades show your academic potential better. Perhaps academics are not your strong suit but you have shown skill leading others in your workplace or community. Even if you haven't been to our campus, your essays clearly demonstrate the effort you've made to connect with our students and understand the unique combination of resources that will help you achieve your goals. Your past experiences and plan for the next two years give us a good idea of the type of community member you will be — both at school and in the years beyond graduation.

As an applicant, you should take a step back and review your profile to see if it conveys our core qualities in the following areas:

  • Academic Horsepower: UCLA Anderson is a rigorous school, and to think fearlessly and drive change, students first have to be grounded in business fundamentals through our core curriculum. Test scores (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS) are one measure of your potential academic success, undergrad grades are another, and better yet, you'd have strength in both. We also take into account the rigor of your undergraduate school and your major there, as well as other academic achievements, as we always look for the context of your accomplishments.
  • Student Contribution: Sharing success means that we need activists who will create opportunities and changes that benefit all. So prior leadership on-campus during your undergraduate studies and/or in the workplace is a good sign, as is community involvement. All students need to add something special to the class, so we look for those who will bolster the diversity of voices here from different backgrounds, regions, and interest areas, perhaps through leadership roles in our Anderson Student Association (ASA) and 40+ clubs.
  • Employability: Accelerating your career is one of the top reasons to do an MBA, so how prepared are you to achieve your goals? Transferable job skills to carry from past to future roles are key, and so are personal skills such as communication, coachability, interpersonal skills, and perseverance in the face of challenges. Your career progression to date is one indicator, as we like to see people taking on greater responsibility over time and driving change within their organizations. As always, we evaluate progress in the context of the time you had and in terms of a bridge to the future.
  • Focus: Developing a compelling future plan is the hardest part of an MBA application, yet it is an element you can still change now (as distinct from the past). It all starts with doing your homework — on yourself and on the school. Do you understand how the MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform yourself professionally? Why is UCLA Anderson in particular a great place for YOU to thrive personally? We understand how plans can change once you get to business school and are exposed to more opportunities, but we have to know that you can focus and build a plan when needed to accomplish your goals, whatever they may become.

Through each of these areas, we can compile a complete picture of you and how your core qualities align with our community here at UCLA Anderson.


Check back for more "Application Insider" blog posts that will cover information and tips on the many aspects of applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program!


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