UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018
With the release of the 2017-2018 UCLA Anderson MBA essays, we wanted to offer some guidance for applicants targeting the University of California, Los Angeles for their business school studies.
Anderson MBA essay section is identical to last season’s: first-time applicants are required to respond to one 750-word response and are posed a fairly narrow 250-word optional essay question; meanwhile re-applicants are required to address a separate question detailing improvements in their candidacies.
2017-2018 UCLA Anderson MBA Essay Analysis
Let’s take a closer look at each of this season’s UCLA Anderson essay prompts:
We believe that the best results are achieved when you share success, think fearlessly and drive change. With this in mind, what are your goals at UCLA Anderson and in your short-term and long-term career? (750 words maximum)
At its heart, this is a fairly straightforward career goals essay. Applicants are asked to provide information about their immediate post-graduation and longer-range career plans, and to comment on what they’ll aim to accomplish at Anderson in the course of moving toward these goals. Of course, candidates would do well to highlight the ways these objectives are aligned with the values of supportive collaboration, bold and analytical thinking, and innovation and improvement reflected in Anderson’s principles. Taking the time to explicitly draw these connections will help to tailor your response to UCLA’s prompt and underscore your serious interest in the Anderson MBA.
With respect to structure, it will probably make the most narrative sense to open this response by introducing one’s career goals, as well as a few sentences about the professional experiences that have informed (and helped prepare one for) these objectives. Candidates can cover this content in either order: chronologically outlining their short- and long-term plans, or opening with the long-term and then explaining how their target short-term position is a logical first step along that trajectory. Either way, applicants should identify the specific position they hope to obtain after graduating from an MBA program, and may even want to identify 1-2 target organizations for which they would particularly like to work. In describing their long-term goals, meanwhile, candidates should aim to comment on what draws them to this role as well as the larger impact they hope to make on an organization, category, sector, or region. This long-term impact element of the response seems a particularly logical place to address fit with Anderson’s guiding principles.
This opening section about one’s career goals will then provide some context for a discussion of the applicant’s goals at UCLA Anderson. This should include comments about how specific courses and student clubs will help the applicant to bridge the gap between their current skill set and the demands of their post-MBA roles, as well as ways the applicant would enhance the experience of other students and contribute to the MBA community. While some of these comments should be career-focused (after all, this is presumably one’s primary reason for pursuing a business education), applicants would also do well to introduce additional interests and planned involvements related to established hobbies, athletic pursuits, and broader community involvement. This will help to round out one’s candidacy in the eyes of the adcom and provide a fuller picture of your interests and potential contributions.
Again, applicants should attend to the prompt’s description of the Anderson culture as they develop this discussion, drawing out ways they would support their peers in shared success, drive positive change, and think outside the box in the course of their engagement with the UCLA MBA program. We recommend that applicants devote at least 400 words to this detailed discussion of their plans for their time at Anderson. To develop an effective response, applicants will need to demonstrate knowledge of the Anderson MBA program, as well as thoughtfulness about how their potential leadership roles and community contributions align with UCLA’s values. Speaking with students and alumni, visiting the campus or attending information sessions, and reading the Clear Admit School Guide to UCLA Anderson will all prove helpful on this front.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)
The narrow framing of this prompt — along with the additional suggestion that applicants exercise judgment in responding — suggests that this response will be best reserved to address glaring weaknesses or liabilities in one’s application (as opposed to offering “bonus information” about one’s candidacy). Applicants should keep their responses brief and to-the-point, offering explanations without making excuses and humbly bringing mitigating factors to the reader’s attention.
Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
A fairly straightforward and improvement-oriented essay, this prompt asks applicants to focus on their professional progress as they discuss improvements in their candidacy since the time they last applied to Anderson. It will still make sense to touch on accomplishments and new involvements outside of the office, though this discussion should likely be secondary to comments about work-related developments. The school also asks candidates to comment on ways they’ve adjusted or refined their career goals, and to highlight the additional research they’ve done into the UCLA MBA program over the past months or year. Given the fairly roomy word limit for this prompt, re-applicants should aim to provide a fairly exhaustive account of their professional growth, as well as a detailed discussion of the steps they’ve taken to learn more about the Anderson MBA program and their fit with its student culture.
Clear Admit Resources
Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s UCLA / Anderson MBA essay topics. As you work on your UCLA / Anderson MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s UCLA / Anderson offerings:
Posted in: Admissions Tips, Application Tips, Essay Topic Analysis, Essay Topics, Essays
Schools: UCLA Anderson
UCLA Anderson School of Management is located in a desirable location in Los Angeles with alumni highly represented in the region. While entertainment and real estate are still dominant industries in Los Angeles, technology and entrepreneurship have become more and more important to the region. Anderson’s faculty, alumni and students are thought leaders in business and promoting collaboration and innovation.
We have helped countless applicants achieve their UCLA Anderson dreams. Contact us to learn how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help you.
FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS (REQUIRED ESSAY):
Describe your short-term and long-term career goals. How can the UCLA Anderson experience add value to your professional development? (500 words maximum)
As you evaluate your career goals, consider your career thus far and how you would like to develop it. When you think about any long-term goals you have for your career, why is an MBA the right next step? And why would Anderson be the right place to gain the education and network you need? Your career goals should be examined through the filter of Anderson’s values and how you plan to use those values in your post-Anderson life.
When structuring this essay consider telling one or two pivotal stories to illuminate who you are. UCLA is looking to understand how you are different from other applicants and how you have determined your goals. Consider the turning points or moments that triggered reflection for you.
Have you experienced a significant 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 accomplishments? What moments have called upon your need to collaborate, lead or innovate?
When describing your career goals, briefly explain what you plan to do immediately after graduation, and then what you want to accomplish over the long-term with your career. A career path that focuses on demonstrated passions and interests throughout your life is going to be most compelling as you write this essay and each section should bridge seamlessly into the next.
Short-answer question:Describe how you would contribute to the UCLA Anderson community. (250 words maximum)
Last year the Admissions Committee provided an excellent guide to approach the essays. The blog talks about what UCLA looks for in candidates: “At UCLA Anderson, we are a community defined by three core qualities — we share success, think fearlessly and drive change — so the Admissions Committee is looking for these same qualities in prospective applicants.”
To learn how you fit into Anderson, the school recommends connecting with current students and visiting campus. UCLA suggests citing specific classes, professors and programs in this essay. On your personal engagement with Anderson, it will be helpful to include the social and extracurricular aspects that attract you to the close-knit experience. Be specific as you discuss the clubs and conferences that are unique to the UCLA MBA. The other important component to this question is to address how you will contribute to the community. What skills and perspective will you bring to share with your class? Do you see clubs or activities on campus that you can impact in a positive way? Having specific ideas based on your school research will be invaluable to answer this question.
The following question is optional and can be submitted by either first time applicants or reapplicants. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit a response to the optional question.
Optional Question: Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? Please use your best judgment. (250 words maximum)
Note that Anderson specifically asks you not to write this essay unless you need it. Do not use it as a place to continue making the case from the required essay. If you do need to use this essay to explain gaps in work experience, a low grade, or lack of a current recommender, focus on explanations rather than excuses.
Clearly explain the situation, and if it is a situation from the past, explain why you have changed. Providing evidence that you will not repeat the actions in question will help to solidify your answer.
Applicants who applied for the MBA program in the previous two years. Reapplicant essay: Please describe your career progress since you last applied and ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy. Include updates on short-term and long-term career goals, as well as your continued interest in UCLA Anderson. (750 words maximum)
If you are a recent re-applicant to Anderson this essay gives you the opportunity to highlight improvements since your last application. This essay focuses on updates to your career progress and any updates to your career goals since your last application, but you have room to add other “ways in which you have enhanced your candidacy.” If you have an improved GMAT score, academic updates or extracurricular activities since your last application it would be useful to update the admissions committee.
What if you didn’t start a new job, earn a promotion, or advance in a linear way along your career path since your last application? If your resume remains basically the same, consider any new projects or accomplishments at work you can highlight. Demonstrating significant thought about your career path and increased introspection can also be progress, so updating your career goals thoughtfully is equally important to this application.
This entry was posted in Application Tips, UCLA Anderson Advice and tagged Anderson MBA, application advice, essay advice, Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, mba essay tips, MBA Essays, UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA MBA.
Bookmark this post..