This post is a part of the Student Perspectives series – each post is written by a current UCLA Anderson student, and provides first-hand perspectives and experiences about being an MBA student at UCLA Anderson.
Getting your MBA can be a life-altering experience. This is especially true if you are an international student. It was this past July that I came to Los Angeles for the first time, to start my MBA journey at UCLA Anderson. Before actually coming here, I had only heard stories of this iconic city and seen parts of it on Hollywood movies. People talked about the amazing weather and iconic beaches. But the thing that struck me most in the first week here was that the city is truly a melting pot of global cultures. Of my five Uber rides in the first week, each driver was from a different home country and spoke a different language.
The Anderson MBA brings this global nature of the fabulous city of LA to its program. It gave me goosebumps as I walked into the Korn Convocation Hall on our orientation day and looked at the flags from 100+ countries that represented the diversity at Anderson, reminding me of how privileged I am to be part of something this special. I could also see that the school really values international students. Since classes in the MBA derive heavily from real-world problems and are driven by class participation, international students bring a fresh perspective and enrich everybody's learning from the classes. But in order to thrive in the program, most international students need a little extra assistance in the beginning.
So on the top of the regular orientation, international students such as I were given an additional week of orientation. It was a great bonding experience for all of us and the school really helped us understand what we needed to do in order to succeed in an intense program, thousands of miles away from our home countries. It was truly a safe-space where I felt comfortable asking questions ranging from how to navigate the city to what are the rules of American football or how the American university systems worked.
It is those relationships facilitated by the school that continues to help me get the most out of this amazing program and bring me to that level of comfort where I now find myself calling Los Angeles – home.
– Sankalp Jain '19