A UCLA Anderson MBA shares insights on how to balance input from many stakeholders.
Please pay particular attention to his advice on how to make the most of your campus visits.
UCLA Anderson School of Management MBA Program
(29% accepted; 52% yield)
Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.
FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS - ONE REQUIRED ESSAY:
UCLA Anderson is distinguished by three defining principles: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, Drive Change.
What principles have defined your life and pre-MBA career?
How do you believe that UCLA Anderson’s principles, and the environment they create, will help you attain your post-MBA career goals? (750 words maximum)
? OPTIONAL ESSAY:
The following essay is optional. No preference is given in the evaluation process to applicants who submit an optional essay. Please note that we only accept written essays.
Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
Your essays are the primary way for you to share your perspectives and plans with the admissions committee. The best essays are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and responding to our topics.
Essay questions are listed below for both first-time applicants and re-applicants.
You should try to distinguish yourself by showing what makes you different from others who share similar profiles.
Personal expression is what we are looking for, not platitudes.
Making a strong case for your future plans requires you to first do research on career paths and find one that resonates. Even if this target will change during business school, your application essays should lay out a clear trajectory for short-term and long-term goals. Do this by demonstrating how you expect to build on skills from your past, and those you expect to gain from the MBA.
Essays are more compelling if they include specific courses, programs, groups, opportunities, activities, etc. from which you would benefit, if admitted to UCLA Anderson. These references are best found through website research, personal discussions and a campus visit (if possible).
Content and clarity are key elements, as we seek superior communication skills.
Style is a consideration too, although we understand that those who speak other languages may have different manners of expression in English.
We do check your essays for plagiarism, so make sure you always submit your own work.
Length does not equal strength. A well-written short essay can have even more impact than a longer essay. Please try to respect the word limits indicated below.
All responses to essays must be on double-spaced pages that are uploaded as a document. We do not accept essays in any other media but written form.
ONE LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
What is your relationship to the candidate and how long have you known him or her?
50 character limit
1) Fulfills assigned tasks
2) Overcomes obstacles to achieve goals
3) Exceeds goals and raises effectiveness of organization
4) Introduces incremental improvements to enhance business performance using robust analysis
5) Invents and delivers best-in-class standards and performance
6) No Basis
1) Understands immediate issues of work or analysis
2) Identifies opportunities for improvement within area of responsibility
3) Develops insights or recommendations that have improved business performance
4) Develops insights or recommendations that have shaped team or department strategy
5) Implements a successful strategy that challenges other parts of the company or other players in the industry
6) No Basis
1) Avoids leadership responsibilities; does not provide direction to team
2) Assigns tasks to team members
3) Solicits ideas and perspectives from the team; holds members accountable
4) Actively engages the team to develop plans and resolve issues through collaboration; shows how work fits in with what others are doing
5) Recruits others into duties or roles based on insight into individual abilities; rewards those who exceed expectations
6) No Basis
Influence and Collaboration
1) Accepts input from others
2) Engages others in problem solving
3) Generates support from others for ideas and initiatives
4) Brings others together across boundaries to achieve results and share best practices
5) Builds enduring partnerships within and outside of organization to improve effectiveness, even at short-term personal cost
6) No Basis
1) Sometimes rambles or is occasionally unfocused
2) Is generally to the point and organized
3) Presents views clearly and in a well-structured manner
4) Presents views clearly and demonstrates understanding of the response of others
5) Presents views clearly; solicits opinions and concerns; discusses them openly
6) No Basis
1) Asks direct questions about problem at hand to those individuals immediately available
2) Personally investigates problems by going directly to sources of information
3) Asks a series of probing questions to get at the root of a situation or a problem
4) Does research by making a systematic effort over a limited period of time to obtain needed data or feedback
5) Involves others who would not normally be involved including experts or outside organizations; may get them to seek out information
6) No Basis
1) Focuses primarily on own abilities
2) Points out mistakes to support the development of others
3) Gives specific positive and negative behavioral feedback to support the development of others
4) Gives specific positive and negative behavioral feedback and provides unfailing support
5) Inspires and motivates others to develop by providing feedback and identifying new growth opportunities as well as supporting their efforts to change
6) No Basis
1) Accepts status quo; does not see the need for change
2) Challenges status quo and identifies what needs to change
3) Defines positive direction for change and persuades others to support it
4) Promotes change and mobilizes individuals to change behavior
5) Builds coalition of supporters and coordinates change across multiple individuals; may create champions who will mobilize others to change
6) No Basis
Respect for Others
1) Is sometimes self-absorbed or overly self-interested
2) Generally treats others with respect; usually shares praise and credit
3) Is humble and respectful to all
4) Is respectful to all and generous with praise; ensures other opinions are heard
5) Uses understanding of others and self to resolve conflicts and foster mutual respect
6) No Basis
1) Shows occasional lapses in trustworthy behavior
2) Generally acts consistently with stated intentions
3) Acts consistently with stated intentions even in difficult circumstances
4) Is reliable and authentic even at some personal cost; acts as a role model for the values of the organization
5) Is reliable and authentic even at some personal cost; works to ensure all members of the organization operate with integrity
6) No Basis
Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this candidate compared to his/her peer group?
1) Below average
3) Very good (well above average)
4) Excellent (top 10%)
5) Outstanding (top 5%)
6) The best encountered in my career
1) do not recommend this candidate to UCLA Anderson
2) recommend this candidate to UCLA Anderson with reservations
3) recommend this candidate to UCLA Anderson
1. How do the candidate's performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
Characters left in your response 1000
2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response.
Characters left in your response 1000
3. In UCLA Anderson's school culture we share success, drive change and think fearlessly. Please give examples where the applicant exhibited any or all of these.
Characters left in your response 1000
Optional: If you have a separate document that addresses points not covered above, please feel free to upload it here.
Typical UCLA Anderson MBA interview questions
· Tell me about yourself
· Walk me through your career/resume.
· What do you like about your current job?
· What do you like to do for fun?
Goals & Why Anderson:
· Why are you interested in business school
· Why now?
· Why UCLA?
· What first got you interested in Anderson?
· What would you contribute to UCLA?
· Are you applying to other California schools
· What other schools did you apply to?
· Based on your current interests, have you looked into schools x and y?
· If you got into all your schools, why would you pick UCLA over those schools, which are higher ranked?
Strengths & Weaknesses:
· Can you describe a difficult/challenging interaction you had at work?
· Which personal accomplishment and which professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
· What do you think are your application’s greatest strengths & weaknesses?
· Tell me about a time when you received constructive criticism.
· Describe a situation where you had to make an ethical decision.
Teamwork & Leadership:
· Tell me a time where you showed leadership
· Tell me a time where you worked in a team
· Tell me about a book you have read recently.
· Any questions for me?
Average GMAT: 710
Median GMAT: 710
GMAT Range (mid-80%):
Average Age: 28
Average Work Experience: 60 months
% Students who are Women: 33%
% Students who are International: 31%
Bloomberg Businessweek: 17
U.S. News & World Report: 15
Financial Times: 33
Average Base Salary: $97,191
Median Base Salary: $100,000
(found at http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/school/ucla-anderson-school-of-business/a/info; accessed 2011/07)
Middle 80% range GMAT scores:
(found at http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/ucla.html; accessed 2011/08)
- Stretch Schools: Duke, Virginia, New York University, Michigan, Yale
- Match Schools: Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, North Carolina, Texas at Austin
- Safe Schools: Emory, Indiana, USC, Georgetown
1. The UCLA Anderson Culture
2. Real Social Venture Initiatives
3. Sustainable Business
(found at http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2011/04/five-things-that-make-ucla-anderson-different; accessed 2011/07)
What does the Admissions Committee look for in an applicant?
The Admissions Committee selects a diverse community of students who will succeed in managerial leadership and bring unique contributions to enrich UCLA Anderson. The committee carefully evaluates: biographical and academic background information; your GMAT score and (for most international applicants) TOEFL score; achievements, awards, and honors; employment history; letters of recommendation; essays; and college and community involvement, especially where you have served in leadership capacities.
(found at http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x27228.xml; accessed 2011/08)
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants' prospects as leaders in management and their projected ability succeed in, benefit from and contribute to the UCLA Anderson MBA Program. Committee members carefully consider personal and academic background information, GMAT scores, TOEFL scores (for most international applicants), achievements, awards and honors, employment history, letters of recommendation, and college and community involvement, especially where candidates have served in leadership capacities. The Admissions Committee seeks to create a community of students who bring unique contributions from their diverse backgrounds and experiences and who will collectively enrich the educational experience.
The two primary predictors we use for academic potential and achievement are prior academic performance (e.g. undergraduate/baccalaureate degree, advanced degrees, and post-baccalaureate coursework), and GMAT scores. Other credentials (e.g., CPA, CFA, MSE, or Chartered Accountant) also are considered. When evaluating your academic preparedness, we consider not only actual scores or letter grades, but factors such as the competitive level of your curriculum and school, the course load you chose and academic trends exhibited on your transcript. Your academic performance is evaluated in light of other demands on your time such as working while in school or heavy involvement in extracurricular activities. Equally important are the factors influencing your college choice and the learning and social experience you had there.
The GMAT exam is required of all applicants. In reviewing GMAT scores, we accept a broad distribution of scores, however, you must demonstrate that you have the necessary preparation to do well in our program. Your GMAT score is evaluated in combination with your other academic accomplishments.
For non-native English speakers, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS test is required. In addition to this score, other forms of English communication, including verbal percentile of the GMAT, the GMAT AWA, written essays and the interview report are examined. Scores of admitted students vary depending on prior academic training, exposure to English, and length of time since graduation.
The typical Anderson student possesses almost five years of full-time, professional work experience. This is only an average, as some students are admitted just after finishing their undergraduate studies and others work for 10 years or more before coming to graduate school. When evaluating your work experience, we assess the depth and quality of your experience: what you have contributed to the work environment; what you have learned from successes and failures; and how you have worked with others and managed conflict. Given these measures of professional maturity and quality of work, experience as a museum curator, for example, may be just as significant in our evaluation process as experience as a consultant. If you are a recent graduate and do not have post-baccalaureate work experience, potential leadership and/or management experience may be assessed through leadership roles in college, community involvement, internships, and general initiative.
We are interested in getting to know you on both a professional and personal level. We encourage you to be introspective, genuine, and succinct. Focus your energy on constructing a thoughtful picture of who you are and what you expect to achieve via the MBA rather than presenting what you think the Admissions Committee is looking for in response to the essay questions. The essays are a platform for you to elaborate on key elements of your candidacy while answering the specific questions within the suggested guidelines. One-third of our class is international, so while we are not expecting native English skills from all applicants, we are looking for clarity of expression. Remember that we are more concerned with the content of your essays than their form or style.
The optional essay is strictly voluntary. If you choose to use the optional essay to write about extenuating circumstances, you should highlight any inconsistencies in your application such as one poor semester/term during college or a year out of your career to explore other opportunities. You also may use this essay to explain your choice of recommenders if you believe they are not traditional choices. We recommend that you don't skip over any issue that may present a concern to an evaluator.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are important because they provide the Admissions Committee with additional information in regard to your leadership and/or management skills or potential. You are required to provide two letters from individuals who are well acquainted with you and can address the questions on the recommendation form. One of these letters should preferably be from a direct supervisor. If you are unable to ask your current supervisor for a letter of recommendation then you may ask another work-related source such as a client or manager from another department who knows your skills. You might also consider asking a former boss from a previous job or a boss who has left the company. We are looking for a recommendation from someone who knows you and your work well.
If you have been working for less than two years, you may include an academic recommendation in lieu of one that is work related. The title or position of the recommender is less important than his/her ability to comment knowledgeably and in detail about you.
If you are an entrepreneur or work in a family business then you have several options for choosing a recommender. In these types of situations, you may approach a client, your accountant, or your lawyer for a recommendation. If you are actively involved in community engagements, you also may ask for a recommendation from a supervisor within the organization.
This is the most difficult area of evaluation to explain because it contains so many intangibles. We are looking for people who are personally and professionally mature, have a track record of success, work well on teams, and who can gain from and contribute to the UCLA Anderson community. An individual's personal profile is assessed through his/her essays, clarity of thought and goals, capacity for self-reflection, and breadth of personality. Recommendations help determine strengths and weaknesses, ability to work with others, and strategic and analytical abilities. Extracurricular activities and/or community service may indicate breadth and depth of interest, level of commitment, leadership potential, and group involvement.
How you present yourself overall contributes to the evaluation process. Presentation comes partly from a clear, polished, and well-organized application. In addition, presentation encompasses the message you choose to send by the tone and topics of essays, your choice of recommenders, and how thoroughly you complete the application. The ability to engage the reader or interviewer is important. Presentation also encompasses things such as timeliness, thoughtfulness, preparedness, and appropriateness of dress and interaction with the Admissions Office staff. It is worth noting that in any given year the majority of our applicant pool is admissible. Ensuring admission from this strong pool of qualified applicants largely depends upon presenting a compelling argument for your readiness, contribution, and fit.
(found at http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x27472.xml; accessed 2011/08)
MBA Curriculum | UCLA Anderson School of Management
The new curriculum is built around four key components:
1. A customizable core course sequence
2. Tracks that enable students to deepen their knowledge in marketing, finance or consulting, while adding certificate programs in areas of interest
3. Development of leadership and communication skills through specialized courses at the start of the first year
4. Team-based Applied Management Research (AMR) projects conducted over 6 months, in organizations in the US and globally
(found at http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x28616.xml; accessed 2011/08)
- Admissions Blog ▸ http://mbablogs.anderson.ucla.edu/mba_admissions
UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2009
Vince was a true counselor and a coach. I would go into his session feeling worried, lost and not even sure what I wanted to say in my essay. Vince always dug deep, found some logic in my scattered thoughts and shed light to how I can strike a balance between ambitious goals and a realistic consistency in my essay. He never forgot a pat in the back too. His words of encouragement, “hang in there-you can do it!” helped me believe in myself and hang tough in the hardest moments.
UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2008
It is my honor to write testimonial for Vince Ricci, surely one of the best consultants in the world…. especially for Japanese. I worked for three months with him writing essays, and got admission from one of my dream school, UCLA Anderson.
Even now, I sometimes happen to read my first draft for the application --- honestly, if I were a consultant, one word will come up to my mind: “hopeless”. Vince, you are the man. You are the magician who knows the secret to how to boost the worst essay in the world to MBA level.
I think Vince is one of the rare consultants who shares the actual point of view of actual MBA admissions staff. His advice is always clear and he point outs problems efficiently. At the time I was working with him, I had no idea whether he was right or not, but as far as I see the schools I was admitted, it seems he was 100% right. I got admission from the schools with the application that he gave me “A” or at least “A-“and got dinged from the schools he gave me under “B” s.
Another point and reason I highly recommend Vince as an advisor is that he never gives you simplified answers. He just leads you to think, and come up to your own thoughts and words. He is an expert at coaching and pushing people….. I even didn’t realize I was redoing the whole essay for Anderson for 100 times (may be little less than this). It was wonderful explore going deep into my mind with such an experienced guide.
Vince Ricciという素晴らしいコンサルタントの推薦文を書かせてもらえる機会を頂き、光栄です。彼には３ヶ月間、エッセイ作成に付き合ってもらい、最終的に は私のドリームスクールの一つであったUCLA Andersonからの合格を勝ち取ることが出来ました。今になって、一番初めに書いたエッセイのドラフ トを読んで思うことは「もし私がコンサルタントだったら、どう指導すれば良いか途方に暮れるだろうなあ」ということです。Vinceはそんなどうしようも ないエッセイをMBAに合格可能なレベルにまで引き上げてくれた恩人です。
Vinceをお勧めする理由はいくつかありますが、先ず第一 には、彼がアドミッションの目線を持った数少ないコンサルタントの一人であるということでしょ う。彼のアドバイスはいつも明確で、私のエッセイの問題点を的確に指摘してくれました。当時は、正直「こいつ、本当に信じて大丈夫なんだろうか」と半信半 疑だったのですが、合格した学校、不合格だった学校を見る限り、信用して良かったんだな、と後になって分かりました。彼が「A」あるいは「A-」と及第点 をくれたエッセイを送った学校からは全て合格を貰い、「B」といまいち、という評価を受けたエッセイの学校はことごとく不合格だったのです。。。。
Vince をアドバイザーとして推薦する理由としてもう一つ挙げられる点があります。若干矛盾するかもしれませんが、彼は、エッセイの内容、書き方につい て決して答えを教えてくれません。自分で考え、自分の言葉でエッセイを書くことを非常に重視します。Vinceは、人を炊きつけ、やる気にさせる達人なの でしょう。Andersonのエッセイを書いていたときには何十回も書き直していることに気付かない程でした。Vinceとの作業は、自分について深く洞 察する素晴らしい経験だったと今でも思います。
長々と書きましたが、カウンセラーとしてのVinceは私も自信を持ってお勧めできま す。そして彼にカウンセリングを頼もうと思われるのでしたら、是非、 彼と出来るだけ親しくなってみてください。Vinceはカウンセリングの相手のことを知れば知るほど、より良いアドバイスをすることが出来る、そんなスタ イルのカウンセラーです。そうすれば、きっと納得する結果が得られるでしょう。後悔は絶対しません。私も保証します。
- Updated by Vince on 15 Feb 2016
I have been a full-time international graduate admissions consultant since 2002
Based in Tokyo, Japan, I help clients around the world
In 2007, I launched VincePrep because I wanted to help the best candidates aiming for the top schools
To share my insights with a talented team, I rejoined Agos as Consulting Director in 2014
Now, I lead 10 professionals who deliver Japan’s best graduate admissions results
I also serve as president-elect of The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC)
Given my ongoing professional and personal commitments, I accept very few clients
Usually, I refer prospects to one of my highly-experienced and successful colleagues
If interested, please complete this intake form
- Thank you for your interest, and best wishes for your success!
"You encouraged me to be genuine, and helped me find the right, true stories that captured who I am. In this way, you offer applicants not only an effective admissions advisory, but also a unique journey of self discovery and empowering dreams."
Harvard Business School Class of 2015, with Fulbright Scholarship (also admitted Stanford GSB)
"First, you limit the number of your clients so that you can maintain the high quality of your services while many other MBA consultants accept clients almost beyond their capacity. Second, you are really great 'catalyst.' Each question you asked me made me think and thus deepened my stories. Thanks to you, I was able to come up with excellent ideas that I could never come up with alone."
Kellogg Class of 2015 (also admitted Berkeley Haas)
More here http://www.vinceprep.com/testimonials