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.

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