Saturday, May 31, 2014

Clear Admit Best of Blogging 2013-2014 Winner

Yesterday I received an unexpected email while at work, I won the 2013-2014 Clear Admit Best of Bogging Award!  I just wanted to thank everyone that voted for my blog, it really means a lot.  I truly appreciate all the support and I hope that the readers of this blog get something out of it.  Thanks again everyone!

Congratulations to the other winners as well, MBAMyWay and Two Year at HBS.  I have been an avid reader of their blogs and am grateful for the thoughts and experiences they have shared.  I will definitely continue following their MBA journeys.

I also wanted to thank the wonderful people over at Clear Admit.  Although I was never a consulting client, I have used their interview prep materials and their school guides throughout the application process.  These materials were definitely a key part of the application process and I would highly recommend them.

Thanks again everyone!  No I have to figure out what to do with that Amazon gift card :)  If you have any suggestions let me know.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Why Anderson? – Thoughts from Fellow Admits and Current Students (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of "Why Anderson? – Thoughts from Fellow Admits and Current Students."  Thank you again to all the individuals who have submitted their thoughts.

I will be honest, Anderson was not my first choice school when I started my MBA applications. However as I learnt about other schools and went through the Anderson application process, I fell in love with the people, school and off-course the location.

I was very fortunate to choose between top business schools both in US and my home country, India. I will share a little bit about myself, and how UCLA Anderson is a perfect fit for me.

I am Indian by origin but grew up in Middle East. I have so far lived in 10 cities across 7 countries and my current home is Bahrain. Professionally, I have completed my undergraduate studies in Biotechnology from the University of Westminster, London and went on to work for an United Nations offshoot (MSME) to assist Life science entrepreneurs in India to secure mentorship and funding. Inspired by these entrepreneurs, I co-founded a personalized gifts company, which was operational for over 12 months. I am currently working in Business Development role for a Gulf multinational trading company dealing in oil and gas equipments and services.

Although I enjoy the functional aspect (sales and marketing) in my current role, I wish to combine my people and sales skills with my industry of interest, which is healthcare. Post MBA, I wish to join the Commercial Leadership Development Program (LDP) at a global healthcare company such as J&J or Novartis to gain domain expertise and the relevant managerial skills. Long term, I see myself taking up entrepreneurial route in the area of healthcare delivery.

Why UCLA Anderson?
UCLA is an awesome school with a global brand and which will give me a solid general management education, not to mention it's in southern California so the lifestyle and weather is outstanding. It attracts a broad array of industries in their recruiting including top consulting and Fortune 500 firms.

Student body
I remember the email I received from a second year student. She wrote passionately about UCLA’s collaborative environment, which will allow me to intimately know my classmates and develop a sense of community. She also got me excited about events that the school hosts such as the Dean’s speaker series and EA conference, which will give me a unique opportunity to interact with industry leaders and build a network. I was instantly sold on the school after my interview with a second year student. Not only I was able to instantly connect with her but also really learn about her experience at Anderson. She was joining a medical device company and gave me good insights into recruiting at Anderson.

School’s focus on entrepreneurship
Speaking to current students and following the Entrepreneur Association, I really got excited about skills that I will be able to pick up which will train me for my long-term entrepreneurship ambitions. The school has one of the largest student body interested in entrepreneurship and I am confident that I will be able to develop an influential network for my future company as well as contribute to the dynamic entrepreneurial environment given my startup background.

No praise is enough for Los Angeles. I know I will have a tough time keeping my mind focus on schoolwork. However the Greater Los Angeles Area, with over 900 life sciences companies, is an ideal location for me to complete my MBA considering my goal of working with a biopharmaceutical company. It also gives me access to two of the world’s largest pharma/biotech clusters, San Francisco in the north and San Diego in the south.

I am really excited and can’t wait to start my MBA at UCLA Anderson

- Piyush Jain, UCLA Anderson Class of 2016

Piyush regularly blogs about daily life and his MBA journey at

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why Anderson? – Thoughts from Fellow Admits and Current Students (Part 1)

Over the past month the reasons for me choosing to attend Anderson have continued to grow.  I have gotten to know some current students and fellow members of the Class of 2016.  I am excited to join such an amazing community!  One thing that really helped me with my decision of where to apply and ultimately where to attend b-school was hearing from students.  I decided to ask a few of my future classmates as well as some current Anderson students to answer the question, “Why Anderson?”  I will be posting their responses over the coming days and weeks.  Here is one response I received from a member of the Class of 2014.  Hopefully her thoughts, as well the thoughts of the other students, will help any applicants thinking about applying or attending Anderson.

"I had a great career in New York, and I wasn't sure I needed to go to business school, and if I did, I thought I wanted to go to one of the top five schools. When, I was introduced to Anderson, however, my perspective changed completely. The students were ambitious but supportive of each other, and were the happiest people of any business schools I had visited. From Ivy Leaguers to Iraq War veterans to former male models, the class was more diverse than I thought possible, and I knew I could learn a lot from these people. I decided to go to Anderson over other, higher ranked schools, because it simply felt right. I have never once regretted that decision. 
"Anderson has been nothing short of a transformational experience. I became incredibly involved early on in my first year, and I have most enjoyed getting to know every one of my classmates through student government, professional organizations, and fun Anderson traditions like football tailgates, C4C Charity Weekend, and Lit Club. As I graduate, I feel lucky to have made such incredible new friends, and I know it is a network of impressive people that will help me for the rest of my life." - Kate Edwards, UCLA Anderson Class of 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Clear Admit's Best of Blogging Nominee

I wanted to take a second to thank all of the readers of this blog.  I sincerely appreciate all your comments and support.  I was recently nominated for Clear Admit’s Best of Blogging award.  Click below to vote!

  BoB Nominee

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Anderson?

First off, I am absolutely thrilled to be joining UCLA Anderson’s Class of 2016!  Since officially accepting the offer, I have just gotten more excited about the program and what the future holds in store.  From a hand-written note from the Admission Director to the outstanding Career Management Center, there are so many reason that led me to deciding to attend Anderson.

One of the very first things that impressed me about Anderson was the quality of the students, starting with my interviewer.  He had a very impressive background and I could feel his entrepreneurial spirit.  Our conversation was engaging.  I was excited to talk with him through the entirety of the interview.  He was also extremely helpful in answering my questions regarding his experience at Anderson.  If I was going to be classmates with individuals like him, I knew would be in a place where learn and grow because of my peers, not in spite of my peers.  Throughout the application process, as well as since be accepted, I have found that Anderson students have been some of the most, if not the most responsive, friendly, genuine, and helpful students I have talked to.  Of the students I contacted or was introduced to, 100% of them responded and took time to talk with me.  The only other school that came remotely close to that was Tuck.  All the students I spoke with at Anderson were down to earth and very friendly.  A few even offered me a place to stay while I look for housing.  I appreciated the fact that after I was accepted I was assigned a buddy by the admission office.  I was also contacted by an alumni and spoke with him about his experience at Anderson.  Another thing that really impressed me compared to some of the other programs was the amount of advice Anderson students gave me in terms of preparing for school and a career transition.  The advice has been extremely helpful and will definitely help me hit the ground running.  I am really looking forward to becoming a part of the Anderson family.

One factor I didn’t think would be too important to me while I was researching programs, but has become increasingly so has been the location of the school.  For my career goals, to transition into tech, aside from perhaps the Bay Area, I couldn’t have picked a better location.  Plus, having grown up in California, I am looking forward to returning to my home state and enjoying the great weather!  No more snow 2014!!!  In relation to location, one thing I really like about Anderson is they offer academic internships.  With the relatively strong tech start-up scene in the Los Angeles area, this will give me the opportunity to further gain and develop the needed skills and experience while in school to land a job in tech post-MBA.

Along the lines of location and career, another big plus for Anderson was the strength of their tech club, the High-Tech Business Association, and the amount of different offerings for students interested in tech.  With nearly a quarter of the students from Anderson going into the tech industry, the school has put a lot of resources into developing this area of their program.  With some of the other schools, I felt like I would have to put a lot of personal effort into being able to get anywhere near the experience I would at Anderson.  Another big draw to the program was that Anderson’s Career Management Center, Parker CMC, has consistently be ranked one of the top MBA career management centers.  From all my conversations with Anderson students, the strength of the Parker CMC is one thing that came up in almost every conversation.

Although there are a ton of other reasons I chose Anderson, the last one I will talk about is the community.  I have kind of mentioned it throughout this post, but all of the students and fellow admits that I have spoken to have been very down to earth, friendly, and receptive.  I initially really wanted to be a small town to make sure I got the tighter-knit, community feel from the program I attended.  However, after the experience I have had thus far with Anderson, I am confident I will get the tight-knit community feel while being in one of the most vibrant cities in the world!  Needless to say, (although I have said it a few times already) I am excited for the next two years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Making a Decision

It has been a little over a month since hearing from Tepper and Darden, and about two months since hearing from Anderson, that I was admitted to their 2016 Classes.  After all the long nights and hard work that went into GMAT prep, applications, etc., it felt great to finally be on the other end, deciding where to go to school.  I had no idea how difficult the decision would be.

So, after taking a few weeks to think thing through, and numerous conversation with current students, alumni, fellow admits, I have decided, in the words of the great Christopher Wallace, “I’m going going back back to Cali Cali,” to spend the next two years earning my MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.  I am so excited to join the Anderson Class of 2016.

Like I said before, this was not an easy decision.  Tepper is a great school, but it really came down to Anderson and Darden.  From my previous post, I am sure you can tell that I had a great experience visiting and interviewing at Darden.  I loved the campus and enjoyed the time I spent with current students and professors.  But in the end, the more I researched, talked to students, and reflected on my goals, Anderson was the clear choice.  Since deciding on Anderson, I have had the chance to meet up and talk with several future classmates.  I can’t wait till the fall!