UCLA Anderson 2015 Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our school-specific application essay tips!

UCLA Anderson

The advice that UCLA Anderson provides below is excellent, not just for Anderson’s essays, but for most MBA essays. Read it carefully. 

My tips are in blue below.

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.

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)

Anderson has simplified it’s essay requirements but gives you enough room to write a revealing response. Make sure that essay shows that you can answer the question articulately and belong at Anderson.

First think about what’s important to you. What guides and drives your behavior? If you can summarize those principles in two words as Anderson does, that’s great. If not, don’t sweat it, but do be succinct. If you come up with more than three principles, choose the three that are most important to you, but I advise against going with more than three. If you want to use fewer than three, that’s OK too. And, for Heaven’s sake don’t be tempted to say that your guiding principles are verbatim identical to Anderson’s.

A great way to approach this essay would be to discuss an experience or anecdote that represents your guiding principles and then connect that story and your values to UCLA’s critical principles and the Anderson culture.  Then conclude by addressing the last part of the question: How Anderson’s principles and “environment” will help you realize your post-MBA career goals.

Optional Essay:

Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions Committee should be aware?  (250 words maximum)

If there are extenuating circumstances that would add perspective on or “explain” a weakness, you can discuss them here. A few years ago, UCLA added the following: “Please do not submit redundant information in the Optional Essay.” Good advice for all optional questions. For more suggestions, please see The Optional Question: To Be or not To Be

Required Re-applicant Essay:

Reapplicants who applied for the class entering Fall 2013 or 2014 are required to complete the following essay. Please be introspective and authentic in your response. We value the opportunity to learn about your aspirations and goals.

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)

This is the key question in every MBA reapplication: How have you enhanced your candidacy? Career progress is an obvious place to start and something you must address, but if academics were a weakness, then what have you done since you last applied to show you can excel at Anderson? 

If you would like professional guidance with your UCLA Anderson application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the UCLA application.  

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

UCLA 2015 Application Deadlines:

UCLA Anderson Application Deadlines

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

Related Resources:

UCLA Anderson B-School Zone
• Student Body, Recruitment, Location: Future UCLA Anderson MBA Interview
• Hard Work and Humility: Reflections of a UCLA Anderson Student

  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for UCLA Anderson, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • Anvas

      HI Linda,

      I would like you to evaluate my profile for UCLA.
      Also looking for – Fuqua, Tuck, UIUC, NUS, RICe

      1) Work Experience : Overall 3.1 years (4 years by matriculation)
      a) Role : Senior Programmer Analyst || Employer – Accenture || Tenure : 2.0 yrs
      i) Extended Application Foundations, Enhancements and Support (AFS) for the second largest chemical company in the world by revenue.
      ii) Successfully implemented new process – ‘success story published in Accenture newsletter under Data warehousing stream’. Due to the changes made in the process, cost saving of$25K per quarter was achieved
      iii) Promoted in one year.

      b) Role: Co-Founder/Director || Employer – CoLawyer || Tenure: 1.1 yrs
      i) Developed a strategic plan to advance the company’s mission and objectives and to promote revenue, profitability and growth as an organization
      ii) Built a fundraising network using personal contacts, direct mail, special events, and foundation support
      iii) Product beta launched, catching up with customers 150 already.

      2) GMAT Score : 690
      V34(71%ile) Q50(88%ile) AWA5(60%ile) IR7(80%ile)

      3) Under grad : JIIT,Noida -India, GPA – 6.2/10, B.Tech in ECE

      4) Extra-curricular :
      i) As Head of Entrepreneurship Team of JIIT Noida, led a team of 100 members that organized 25 events and managed 250 participants
      ii) As Coordinator of ‘Monster Quiz’ organized at annual function JIVE’09
      iii) Actively performed as a guitar player on stage -since 2009
      iv) Played Taekwondo in district and state level -2014

      5) Online Courses – Online offering from Coursera and Novoed from top schools.

      6) Post MBA – Work as product manager in top tech firm in US such as Google, Amazon, IBM corporation. I can discuss this in detail ( would not like to write everything here)

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        Anvas,

        Tuck, Fuqua, and UCLA are stretch programs. You have a competitive profile for NUS, Rice, and UIUC. You may also want to consider UT Austin, Rotman, Carlson, Foster, and UNC.

        Best,
        Linda

  • FutureIndoVC

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for your valuable advice.

    I would like to request for your help to review my current profile and advise my chances in getting accepted to my target schools (which one are reach/on-par/safety):

    1. MIT Sloan
    2. Yale SOM
    3. Michigan Ross
    4. UCLA Anderson
    5. Oxford Said
    6. Judge Cambridge
    7. Manchester Business School
    8. National University of Singapore

    1)Chinese ethnic Indonesian male. no international working/education experience (limited to company workshops)
    Work experience:
    1. Internship program in Fortune500 IT company
    + being part of 20 interns who were selected from 1000 applicants
    + was the only applicant from my university
    2. Sales & Product Management role in Fortune500 IT company (2.5 years)
    + offered with full-time employment after internship
    + granted awards by company for high job performance
    Job Desc: Achieve revenue and profit targets across an assigned territory and set of product family, determine pricing strategy, product positioning, create and run nationwide marketing promotions, nurture Business Partners skills development, and foster ISV alliances
    3 Sales & Product Management role in other Fortune500 IT company (1.5 years -now)
    + was recruited to competitor with similar role but with larger responsibility in territory

    2) GMAT : 730 96% (Quant 50 88% Verbal 38 85%)

    3) Bachelor in Industrial Engineering from a private university in Indonesia, GPA 3.79/4 (year of graduation 2010)
    + finished degree in 3 years with study curriculum that was supposed to be finished in 4 years
    + awarded university scholarships and awards during period of study
    + won 1st place in national Industrial Engineering competition representing university, being the first student from my university who successfully to do so

    4) Extra Curricular activities:
    – President of Student Organization during university period
    – Member of student religious community during university period
    – Actively involved in volunteering activities with current employer

    5) Important certifications : (None)

    6) Post-MBA Goals:
    – Go back to Indonesia to do management Consulting, and VC as long term career aspirations

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Future Indo Vc

      1. MIT Sloan On-par
      2. Yale SOM On-par
      3. Michigan Ross On-par
      4. UCLA Anderson On-par
      5. Oxford Said On-par
      6. Judge Cambridge On-par
      7. Manchester Business School Safety
      8. National University of Singapore Safety

      Best,
      Linda

      • FutureIndoVC

        Thanks Linda for sharing your valuable advice

  • Alejandro

    Dear Linda,

    Thank you for this opportunity to evaluate my profile.
    I would love if you could help me review my profile and advise my chances of getting accepted to my target schools. (Reach/competitive/Safety)
    UCLA Anderson
    Cornell University
    Judge Cambridge
    Oxford Said
    Boston University

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience:
    Latin American Man. Limited International Experience to workshops.
    a) Short Internship as a Business process analyst with Global american pharmaceutical company (3 months)
    Modelled the business process for the company.
    Developed and executed an improvement plan along with the necessary key performance indicators.
    b) Local Engineering / Construction Company – Renewable energies coordinator (1 year)
    • Develop the company’s renewable energy business portfolio.
    • Design and implement pilot design for solar energy plant.
    c) Global german pharmaceutical company – Excellence Coordinator (2 years – now)
    • Spearhead multiple operational efficiency projects, resulting in savings for the company (over $3M.)
    • Head and coordinate product exports.
    • Economic feasibility studies for new product lines, including product costing.
    • Advice on production and spending policies to senior management.
    • Lead continuous improvement culture at the company – including workshops and trainings.

    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred:
    GRE Score:
    164 Verbal (93 Percentile)
    158 Quant (71 Percentile)
    3) College info:
    Bachelor in Production Engineering from a top public university in Venezuela, GPA 72/100 (year of graduation 2012)
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    • President of College Level Model United Nations Team – Student Organization Won International Award during that year.
    • Multiple award winner (4) in these competitions (MUN) (Top 5%).
    • Actively involved in the University’s Volunteer Forestry Service.

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    None

    6) Your post-MBA goal:
    • Short term: Delve into tech management in target country.
    • Long term: Return to Venezuela and start my own company.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Alejandro,

      Anderson and Cornell — Stretch
      Judge and Oxford — Competitive
      Boston — Safety

      Best,
      Linda

      • Alejandro

        Thanks again!

  • Sampo

    Hi Linda,

    I’d love to get your take on my profile and chances
    of acceptance at my target schools, as well as
    any advice you may have for how to best present my profile (and what to
    highlight) during the application process (if you want to).

    Target schools: Harvard, Stanford, Anderson, Sloan, Booth, Kellogg, Darden, Fuqua.

    1) 2 years of
    experience (3 at matriculation) as an analyst at a reputable
    economic/litigation consulting firm with one recent promotion to Senior
    Analyst. I have worked on a number of case teams ranging in size from
    3-20 people. The bulk of my casework is intensive data analysis, but I
    have done plenty of qualitative analysis work as well. I have had
    consistently strong reviews/performance and am widely recognized within
    my office for my excellent technical skills (Managers actively seek to
    staff me on any data-heavy cases they have).

    2) 730 GMAT, 49 Q/40
    V, Percentiles: 80 Q/91 V/97 Overall. My verbal was much lower than on
    any practice exams I took (generally was in the 750-780 range with a
    45-50 V). Is it worth retaking?

    3)
    College info: 3.7 in Electrical Engineering from BYU, graduated in 2012.

    4)
    -Served
    a two-year mission for my church, worked 80+ hour weeks consistently
    and managed/trained groups of ~15 other missionaries.
    -Have spent
    the last few months as the head math instructor for a prison education
    outreach program. I have had to design a curriculum and series of
    learning assessments for participating inmates, as well as tutor/grade
    them on their learning exercises.
    -Currently a youth (ages 14-18)
    Sunday school instructor at my church. I help the youth develop and
    practice teaching skills, as I have each of the students rotate through
    and teach the class each week.

    5) None

    6) I want to become a
    Product Manager, preferably at a large tech company. I am more
    interested in tech (due to my undergrad), but I would also be
    interested/willing to fill the same role at a non-tech company.

    Thanks!

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Harvard, Stanford, Anderson, Sloan, Booth, Kellogg, Darden, Fuqua.

      Sampo,

      You’re welcome. Here we go.

      You have a competitive profile for the schools on your list and are applying appropriately. Obviously Stanford and Harvard are the hardest ones to get into, but you have chosen your programs well given your goals. You may also want to consider the Cornell Tech NYC program. Here is a podcast with a dean from this program: http://blog.accepted.com/2013/08/22/dr-douglas-stayman-shares-the-scoop-on-cornell-tech-nyc/ .

      Best,
      Linda

      • ABa

        Hi Linda,

        The Cornell Tech podcast does not broadcast. It shows the following error:

        ‘The page cannot be displayed because an internal server error has occurred.’

        Any other options?.

        Thanks!

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          ABa,

          I just tried and it played. Can you try again?

  • Marie

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for this amazing
    post. I’m a Venezuelan female and I was wondering if you could be able to
    review my profile.

    Thanks!

    Target schools: Harvard, MIT,
    Anderson, Kellogg, Columbia, Boston University.

    1) Jul-11 – Sep-11: Local consulting firm – Quality Engineering Intern
    – Developed customer and employee satisfaction surveys.
    – Defined Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to allow efficient monitoring of the quality process.

    Apr-13 to Apr-14: Large
    Transnational Alcoholic beverages company Venezuela Marketing Intern
    – Managed the established $6 million budget for the Luxury Portfolio
    -Coordinated logistics and execution of all events for the Luxury portfolio, led multiple product launches in the country.
    -Modeled, executed and coordinated a new point of sale marketing campaign.
    -Streamlined the distribution of marketing materials reducing expenditures by $80 thousand.

    Apr-14 – Present: Co-Director of education/higher studies Start-up.
    – Collaborated in the creation of the $500.000 Startup.
    – Created and executed advertisement campaigns in order to recruit new clients.
    – Hired and trained new professors, handling their schedules and payroll.

    2) GRE

    Percentiles: 81 Q 80 V

    3) College info: GPA: 84/100 in Industrial Engineering from top Venezuelan
    university, finished courses in 2013, official graduation act in 2014.

    4) President of competitive debate club: Won international award (2013); multiple awards related with this activity during my studies at the university

    Volunteer work:
    -Volunteer in a local community to provide education and values for low income families,
    – Counselor for low income families’ camp during the summer of 2012.

    5) None

    6) I would like to focus on general management to increase my knowledge in this area and be able to expand my current business and in the region in the next years.

  • MC

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for all your helpful advice. Can you please evaluate my profile?

    Male.

    Target Schools:

    MIT Sloan
    Berkeley Haas
    Northwestern Kellogg
    Columbia GSB
    UCLA Anderson

    1) Spent 4 years at a global investment consulting firm. Moved up to Associate Consultant level (highest pre-MBA position), and was a Team Leader of 8 junior Associates. Afterwards, joined a leading private equity firm on the private equity/venture capital fund of funds team. I have been here for one year.

    2) GMAT: 700 (45V – 99%, 40Q – 52%) Tried to bring this up recently and ended up at 690 with a slightly lower Quant, so moving on to applications.

    3) BS, double major in Finance and Accounting at Boston College; 3.55 GPA; 2009 graduate; Top 15% of class Junior and Senior years (graduated with distinction); member of volunteer organization and selected to sit on Student Organization Funding Committee; volunteer member of Senior Class Gift Committee; Participant in Student Admissions Program

    4) Extracurricular: weekly volunteer at a local charitable organization tutoring English to individuals seeking acceptance to community college (invited to speak at MA state house at organization’s volunteer appreciation event); active member of Boston Security Analysts Society – led a group of finance professionals in the creation of financial literacy materials for the Society’s benefit. Mentorship experience with a local charitable organization

    5) CFA (received designation in 2013)

    6) Post-MBA goal: Remain in the field I’m currently in – institutional investing / private equity and venture capital fund of fund investing

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      That quant score will be a concern at all you target schools. Hopefully they will see your CFA, grades, and work experience and overlook it, but… That score is a red flag. I can understand why you don’t want to try again, but it may be worth working with a tutor (if you didn’t previously) to get that score up.

      If you don’t want to hear about the GMAT, just plow forward with the best app you can and see how you do. If you do get in, please let me know.

      If you’d like help with your applications, please let me know.

      Best,
      Linda

  • Krish

    Hi Linda,

    Could you please evaluate my profile for UCLA.Please find my detials below

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

    I am heading RD team that is responisble for product management and development of a payment platsform. Platform has processoed 800M$. Team size 20

    Total experiance 7.5 yrs

    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

    Q49(79%le)/V38(85%le) 720(94%le)

    Percentiles

    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.

    National Institue of Technology – Warangal(Top 15 in India). CGPA 8.23/10 . Engineering in civil engineering

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

    Additiona secratery of engineering association at college

    Have won national awards in software design

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.

    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Short term: I want to pursue product marketing roles in consumer centric technology companies like Google and Amazon

    Long term: Sundar pichai is my role model. I see myself owning a boutique of products handling operations/marketing/execution

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Krish,

      You have a competitive profile for UCLA. Also consider CMU Tepper, UT Austin, UNC Chapel Hill, duke, Cornell Johnson and Cornell Tech, For a stretch consider MIT, Kellogg, Haas, or Stanford.

      Best,
      Linda

      • Krish

        Hello Linda,

        Thank you for your analysis. I have finalized UCLA and Haas due to their tech leaning. Are others suggested by you in similar league? Meaning are they more meaningful for technology management in general ?

        Thanks again for free evaluation.Your essay insights are helpful too.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Thanks for the feedback. It’s appreciated.

          Yes, I recommended these programs for their strength in tech. UCLA and Haas are definitely good choices, but the others are worthy of consideration, especially Cornell Tech.

          Best,
          Linda

          • Krish

            oh My complete list is Haas ,UCLA,Duke,CMU tepper. And oh i already bought Techies guide to MBA admissions :) . I will look at cornell tech to

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            Good list.

            Thanks for purchasing Techie’s Guide.

            If you’d like help with your applications, please let me know.

  • Nicéforo

    Morning, Linda,

    Your thoughts are greatly appreciated –

    Applying for UCLA, McCombs, Duke & Ross.

    1) Accenture 4 years business analyst, financial markets services (back-end), customers – Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, etc.;
    2) GMAT Q 97% V 91%
    3) University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, BA of Advertising, GPA 3.8/4.0;
    4) Gold Medal, International Debating Competition on Entrepreneurship 2011;
    SIFE World Cup 5th place – Presenter;
    Other leadership experiences;
    5) None
    6) Consumer product marketing/branding, leveraging advertising acuity.

    Thank you so much for your analysis and advice!

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Niceforo,

      You’re welcome1

      You have a competitive profile for your target schools and are applying appropriately. You may want to consider Kellogg, given your goals; it’s worth a try.

      Best,
      Lidna

      • Nicéforo

        Thanks. Would you deem McCombs something of a safe bet? Applying for R2 currently.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Yes. But don’t be cocky. :-)

  • ENT123

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your time!
    I would like you to evaluate my profile for UCLA Anderson, Booth, Fuqua, Stern, Sloan, Columbia and Wharton. Curious to know my chances at Harvard as well.

    1) 3.5 years as a Senior Consultant in a Big 4 Accounting Firm (Part of their advisory practice and not doing traditional accounting)

    2) GMAT is not yet taken. Through practice tests I predict a ~710 (41 and 47Q 92nd percentile overall)

    3) B.S. in Accounting from Binghamton University (3.35 GPA) and a M.S. in Accounting and Concentration in Finance (3.23 GPA) (Total of 4 years). My gpa is very inconsistent where some semesters I do very well and others I do not (and have a few C+s)

    4) Extra-curricular includes servicing as a Junior Board Member and Mentor for Streetwise Mentors (a program where professionals meet weekly to help low income individuals with job schools). As a Junior Board Member I help in the fundraising efforts with the board raising $250k a year. I have only been involved for 1 year but I am moving up the ranks fast. Also a 6 week volunteer stint in the Israeli Defense Forces in 2011 and various fundraisers for running in 5Ks and other races

    5) CPA

    6) Post-MBA goal is to work in strategy or corporate development for a entertainment company, preferably in the film industry (think disney, warner bros, universal)

    I know my GPA is my weak point and was also wondering how helpful it would be to take additional classes at a local college maybe even at NYU since I am in NY

    Thanks!

    • ENT123

      Also I am a 26 year old White male

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        I’m assuming that you earn the score you anticipate.

        Frankly I share your concerns about your undergrad and grad GPA at all your target programs, including UCLA.

        Your work experience is strong and your community service is pretty typical. The Israeli experience is unusual, but it really depends what you did and your perspective on it. Realize that at the schools you are aiming for, you could be competing with West Point grads who served in combat. (see http://blog.accepted.com/2014/06/06/breaking-some-hbs-stereotypes-an-interview-with-ben-faw/ and http://blog.accepted.com/2014/11/13/an-nyu-stern-grad-and-strat-consultant-helping-vets-get-into-school/ )

        If you get the GMAT you anticipate, you would be competitive at USC, which has excellent ties to the media in LA. Taking additional classes can help. Also, if there were extenuating circumstances, as opposed to you performed when you liked the classes and didn’t perform when you didn’t, let the schools no. Do I think a couple of recent NYU A’s will do it at HBS, Booth, Stern, Sloan, Columbia and Wharton. UCLA and Fuqua? maybe

        Best,
        Linda

        • Ent123

          Thanks so much for your response!
          I had one clarifying question on your last sentence actually. So it’s possble that the recent classes could help at ucla and fuqua but might not really turn the tide at HBS, Booth, Stern, Sloan, Columbia and Wharton? Wasent sure if the “maybe” opinion you had was just for ucla/fuqua or for all the schools listed.

          Appreciate the help!

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

            I see why you were confused and edited my response. Sorry about that. I was tired.

            But your understanding is what I meant. And obviously I can’t say for sure about any of the programs if those A’s will make the difference or not, but this is my opinion.

            Best,
            Linda

    • ENT123

      Wanted to add more info on more work experience.
      I was part of a 3 year rotational consulting program working in different areas of financial services (treasury/capital/liquidity risk projects as well as some time in structured finance)

  • Ravan

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks for the help you are providing… Please evaluate my profile…
    3+ years experience in after sales in automobile industry (4 by the time of matriculation)
    GMAT – 700 (Q50, V34) 89percentile
    GPA – 9.17 / 10 , one of the prestigious insts in India but not IIT
    board director in an association in coll for skills dev, participated in national level automobile events,
    rank holder in univ and current job,
    Post mba goal – to get into sales of Auto industry and continue to the top mgmt.
    Target schools – UCLA, Tepper, Fuqua, Kelley, UIUC..