Entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson

Listen to our complete interview with Elaine Hagan and Angela Klein!Well before “entrepreneurship” was a household word, UCLA Anderson was one of the first b-schools to teach it. Decades later, they are still going strong.

Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview with Elaine Hagan, Executive Director of the Price Center at UCLA Anderson, and Angela Klein, ‎Program Manager at Anderson, for the scoop on entrepreneurship at UCLA.

00:01:41 – Featured Applicant Question: Should I take seriously an email from an admissions committee encouraging me to apply and even offering help?

00:05:48 – Introducing Elaine Hagan and Angela Klein.

00:07:04 – What the Price Center does for ULCA Anderson students.

00:10:10 – Changes to teaching entrepreneurship over the past 10 years.

00:11:46 – Can the “the mindset of an entrepreneur” be taught?

00:15:30 – Anderson’s approach to teaching entrepreneurship.

00:20:35 – The Knapp Venture Competition.

00:25:40 – Benefits of working for an established company first

00:28:35 – Ingredients of a successful entrepreneur.

00:30:38 – The difference between guy and gal entrepreneurs (and a word about international differences, too).

00:33:58 – What future entrepreneurs should do before arriving on campus.

00:36:46 – Will writing, “I want to study entrepreneurship” on your application convince the adcom? (And what Anderson hates more than anything else.)

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

UCLA Anderson Price Center 
UCLA Anderson 2015 MBA Essay Tips
• “Start-up Costs for MBA Graduates Pay Off” from the Financial Times

Related Shows:

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• Life as an HBS MBA
• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans
• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.
• Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment

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IE MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

Learn more about IE Business School here!IE is a top-ranked international MBA program in Madrid, Spain. The Financial Times ranks the program 12th in the world and Bloomberg Business Week ranks it 2nd among non-US programs. Graduates enjoy job placement around the world – with the help of IE’s 50,000 global alumni and 27 representative offices building relationships with companies on every continent: 35% of the class accepted positions in Europe, 28% in Latin America, 12% in Asia, 12% in North America, and 8% in the Middle East and North Africa after graduation. Graduates enter diverse industries as well: the four largest fields are consulting (19% of graduates), financial services (19% of graduates), consumer products (14% of graduates), and technology (13% of graduates).

IE has three intakes (start dates) each year, so it truly has a rolling application review calendar. At any time of year, you can apply to IE! When applying, applicants must choose which session they are applying to (April, September, or January) and are accepted for the program date they chose AND the one thereafter, a big advantage in case of an unexpected hurdle in the way of attendance. (I’ve had many clients who have had to reapply after receiving acceptances to other programs when unexpected professional or personal changes have occurred because in most cases, top MBA programs will not offer deferred admissions.)

IE’s application offers a lot of choice, allowing applicants to shine the spotlight on what makes them special in truly unique ways. For example, there are 12 prompts, and applicants must respond to any three of them; however, only one of the applicant’s three responses must be answered with an essay of 400-600 words. The other two responses may be either essays OR photographs, drawings, videos, animations, or presentations a la Prezi or Slideshare hosted online.

Here are the 12 prompts to choose from, with my guidance in blue beneath each:

1. If you had the opportunity, what actions would you demand of the United Nations Secretary General and why?

IE’s International MBA program aims to develop leaders who understand other perspectives and challenge the status quo. This is a great question to answer if you have been politically active or involved in a global issue that is important to you since it will provide you a platform to discuss the issue, the efforts that you have made to shape it, and how the UN could play a role in addressing it further.

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2. Describe the situation with the greatest ethical complexity that you have faced in your professional or academic life, and how your input helped resolve it.

I like the phrasing of this question because it is clear where other programs sometimes obfuscate: ethical complexity means that it was not simple to determine the right thing to do; there was no one ideal path to follow. This is your chance to demonstrate the level of decision-making you have enjoyed in your career and how you have creatively navigated complicated ethical waters.

3. Describe a time when you took a great risk. What was the outcome?

IE places a great emphasis on entrepreneurship and is seeking risk takers who think unconventionally: people who are willing to leave a steady, low return behind to instead pursue an uncertain but potentially high reward. A good essay or presentation here will show the admissions office your analysis of the potential gain and what actions you took to improve your chances of success.

4. Cite at least one example of when your leadership had an impact on or changed a certain situation, and justify how an IE Master’s Degree program would help you to strengthen or improve this competence.

Leadership can turn situations around. A good answer to this question will explain or show what the situation was and why you felt it needed to be changed. Then, it will demonstrate your leadership – how you wooed, cajoled, and earned the support of others above, parallel, and below you in the organization to accept your ideas and how those ideas improved the situation. Strong essays will end with insight into IE’s Behavioral Fitness leadership training program and the areas in which IE will help you further improve your leadership skills.

5. Describe the most outstanding leader you have worked with. Indicate some aspects of the way you work that are similar to the way this leader works and others that are different.

A description of a role model’s leadership requires some insight into how he or she leads, makes use of his/her talents to gather internal and external support to make an impact. If you have enjoyed a front row seat to excellent management, then this essay will allow you to highlight what you’ve learned and how you’ve borrowed from that example in your own leadership experiences.

6. You have just participated in an important meeting with your superior. How will you ensure that every part of the instructions you received will properly reach all subordinates, suppliers and clients, located in different parts of the world?

IE’s International MBA program is comprised of students from 70 countries and myriad industries. The answer to this question is not just about an email that you cc to everyone , but rather must demonstrate that you understand the challenge and opportunity of connecting with global teams. Good answers to this prompt will not remain in the theoretical but will instead draw upon similar global experiences from the applicant’s past to prove their international leadership ability and cultural understanding.  

7. Do you think that the lifestyle of the inhabitants of your town or city reflects behavior that is in line with the concept of sustainable development? In your opinion, what should be improved?

If you have been involved in municipal or local community service, this is the ideal essay to shine the spotlight on the issues in its sustainable development that matter to you most. IE seeks strong critical thinking skills in its students: the ability to assess strengths and weaknesses in the status quo, so good responses to this prompt will make use of that ability to discuss the ways in which denizens are living sustainably (ethically, responsibly, amid diversity, and with consideration to the environment) and could improve in doing so.  

8. What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing the sector or industry you would like to specialize in at IE? What role do you hope to be able to play in this sector or industry in the medium term?

This essay or presentation offers you the opportunity to discuss the exciting advancements and challenging obstacles that lie on the horizon for your target industry. Good answers to this question will show your excitement for your chosen industry and your readiness for it.

9. Show us an activity you enjoy doing. Tell us how you think it contributes to your personal and professional development.

Oh well, they couldn’t all be phrased in interesting ways to make the applicant think, could they? This is an opportunity to share some of your experiences from outside of work and how they have helped you grow in the qualities and skills that IE is seeking: risk taking, innovation, cultural awareness, and leadership are among the most important.  

10. How do you imagine social interaction within 10 years, taking into consideration the impact of technology on human relations?

Here’s an opportunity to think creatively and use a bit of a crystal ball to predict how communication and interaction will change by the year 2025. If you consider yourself particularly creative or prescient, this essay will offer you a perfect canvas to paint your prediction for the not-so-distant future.

11. If all of the world’s cultural heritage (sports, music, fashion, architecture, literature, painting, etc..) was contained in a time capsule, what would you include to demonstrate the legacy of your country?

IE’s student body is diverse for a reason: IE aims to expose its students to the sundry cultural mindsets around the world. This prompt offers you the opportunity to demonstrate how you will contribute to that discussion. What unique elements of your country’s culture do you feel embody its nature and uniqueness? Personal essays that inspire an emotional or visceral connection to that culture in the reader will be the most memorable.

12. How do you envision the city of the future?

Like option 10 above, this question allows you to share your vision of the future, albeit not limited to just a small 10-year jump through time. What changes do you anticipate in transportation, energy, industry, safety needs, education, population and/or family structure and how will they affect the structure and motion of future cities?

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

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Jennifer Bloom By Jennifer Bloom who has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 15 years. She is happy to serve as your personal coach and hand-holder throughout the entire process. There’s no time like the present to begin!

Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• An IE Grad Reflects on Spain, School, and Career Searching
School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

AIGAC’s 2015 MBA Applicant Survey [You Can Win $500!]

Click here to take the survey!As Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) members, we are conducting a survey to help us better understand our readers’ goals and needs.

We’d like to invite all of our MBA readers to share their school selection priorities and views on the MBA application process.

Take the MBA Search Survey, and win $500 and our sincere gratitude! The anonymous data will be shared with admissions officers from top programs. Make your voice heard!

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Everyone completing the survey will be entered to win $500 cash (contact email will be used for prize purposes only). We’ll also be sharing the results of the survey this spring to help candidates better understand the nature of today’s applicant pool.

Click here to take our MBA prospect survey.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

LBS Executive MBA 2015 Essay Tips

Click here to learn more about LBSIn the LBS EMBA website landing page, a short introduction to the program includes the words “transform,” “transition,” and “catalyst.”  Also, “accelerate” and “propel.”  This is a clear message from the adcom: the program goes beyond conveying necessary skills for senior managers; it is for people who have a dynamic sense of their future and a willingness to change and grow, as well as to study and learn.  Your essays should mirror and convey this dynamic sense, this energy, this vigor.

Question 1: How has the scope of your management experience affected your career objectives? (500 word max)

This is a goals question, albeit rather indirect.  And the question itself reflects the dynamic perspective: rather than “what” your career goals are, it asks you to present them as a part of an ongoing process.  

It’s an essay for which the most work might come before you write it – in the preliminary thinking process.  Make it an exercise: FIRST, define your career objectives (short and longer term).  SECOND, identify what factors influenced the development of those objectives.  THIRD, of those factors, single out those related (directly and/or indirectly) to your management experience.  Now, you’ve got the raw material for your essay.

In the actual essay, you could start with career objectives and work back to portray the related management experience – or vice versa.  Either way, be specific in all aspects – make your goals concrete, and use anecdote and detail in describing the influential management experience.

Question 2: What was your response to a piece of feedback that you have received regarding an area of weakness?  (500 words max)

The adcom wants to see how frankly you portray the feedback and your own shortcoming, and how insightfully you contextualize your experience.  Secondarily, it’s about change –did you grow and change as a result of the feedback?

This essay will be most compelling and engaging if written as a story.  Start right in with the story’s setting – where, who, when (ideally make it a fairly recent experience, and one that holds some meaningful stakes).  Then progress through the story, highlighting not just what you and the other party said and did, but also your thinking as the story progresses.  Finally, give a short example of how you have applied this feedback (or your learning from this feedback experience) subsequently – in other words, how you grew.

Question 3 (500 words max):  Please choose ONE essay from the following two options:

If you could choose any three people who have ever lived to join you for dinner, who would you invite and why?

OR

If you were on the cover of any publication in 10 years, what would the headline and the content of the article be?

If the first two questions are rooted in real-world, concrete experience, this question urges you to “play” a little and use your imagination, wit, creativity, and possibly broader passions in answering.

Which should you answer?  Both are equally good; it depends on which serves your needs and interest best.

There are various viable and effective approaches to this essay. One is “gut instinct” and personal appeal.  I.e., if one of these questions strikes a chord with you, engages you, and you have an idea that you like, probably it will be an effective essay.   Go with it!  BUT, do apply some objective, focused analysis as well.  Ensure that your content truly illuminates you in some new and fresh way relevant to the application, and do use detail and example to make your essay credible and vivid.  

Another approach is strategic.  If your imagination isn’t tickled by these questions, instead analyze and plan.  What relevant and interesting aspects of your profile aren’t yet portrayed (or portrayed adequately) in the application?  Identify one or two such points, and work back from that to find suitable topics for one of the two questions.  BUT: don’t be too heavy handed with the essay, which wouldn’t align with the question’s tone.

Random pitfalls:

• If you choose the first question, please don’t use very obvious or overly angelic people (I’ve seen this essay answered with Gandhi and Mother Teresa more often than I can believe over 15 years.)  Rather, discuss people who show your creative thinking and/or are personally meaning to you.

• If you choose the second question, don’t turn the essay into a second goals essay.  Ensure that it extends the portrayal of you in some way.

 Deadlines:

For September 2015 and January 2016 start:  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis within 2 weeks of receipt.  A final decision will come 6 to 8 weeks after submission.

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Cindy Tokumitsu By , co-author of The EMBA Edge, and author of the free special report, Ace the EMBA. Cindy has helped MBA applicants get accepted to top EMBA programs around the world. She is delighted to help you too!

Related Resources:

Ace the EMBA
• School-Specific EMBA Application Essay Tips
• The GMAT and EMBA Programs

An HBS Reapplicant’s Success Story

Read more MBA student interviews here!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Prerit Jain, a future MBA student at Harvard Business School.

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your current job?

Prerit: My parents moved to New Delhi when I was less than a year old. This is where I grew up, went to school, college and have worked. In fact, it’s the only city I have ever lived in. (Well, you have to discount living out of a suitcase as a management consultant; more on that later.)

I went to the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to study mechanical engineering, and did quite well academically, graduating at the top of my class.

Hoping to get diverse experiences, early in my career, I chose to start my career in consulting. Booz & Company had just opened its office in India, and seemed like an exciting opportunity. I worked there for more than three and a half years, before moving to my current role in early-stage venture capital with the First Light Accelerator Fund. I have been in my new role for only about a year now.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your application/reapplication experience? Where did you apply the first time around? What was the outcome? Where did you apply the second time?

Prerit: I submitted my first set of applications in Sept.-Oct. ’13 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘14). I had worked at Booz for about three years, had been promoted twice, had a clear idea about my long-term goals and how an MBA would help. I was sure that I needed the MBA and the time was right. I applied to four schools: HBS, Wharton, Booth and Kellogg. I was interviewed by all four schools and in my view they all went well. I felt confident of getting admitted to more than one school. However, when the decisions came out, HBS put me on a waitlist and the other three said “thanks but no thanks.” I thought the world had come to an end and spent the next 2 weeks sulking!

Thankfully, I came out of that feeling in a couple of weeks, and began looking ahead. I decided to reapply. However, I realized that my learning curve at Booz had plateaued, and I needed to pursue something else. I was lucky to quickly find an exciting new opportunity (in venture capital), and by February, I had kick-started my new role.

Six months later, I reapplied in Sep ‘14 (R1 for the class matriculating in fall ‘15) to three schools: HBS, Booth, and Columbia. I was interviewed at all three schools, and finally received admits from HBS and Booth. I will be heading to Boston in the fall!

Accepted: What do you think went wrong the first time and what did you do when you reapplied to improve your candidacy?

Prerit: We can only speculate here! When I applied for the first time, I had only worked in one over-represented industry – consulting. Moreover, in hindsight, I perhaps did not practice my interviewing as much.

When I reapplied, I had gained some diverse work experience, and had some more interesting stories to tell. Also, I put in hours of practice before the interviews. I got several of my friends to interview me and I video recorded myself to observe softer elements such as body language and posture.

Accepted: Can you share some tips about applying to b-school as an over-represented minority? 

Prerit: Being an Indian-male-engineer-consultant, I knew I was indeed in a fiercely competitive pool. I knew I needed to show that I am both competent and interesting. I looked through the different parts of the application – the resume, application, essays etc. – and made choices about how I would use each of them.

Hard facts and stats went into the CV and the application form. The more differentiated and interesting personal qualities and experiences went into the essays.

Accepted: I see you got a 760 on your GMAT – amazing! What are your top 3 GMAT tips?

Prerit:

• A few weeks of dedicated preparation go farther than months of insincere efforts

• Practice those 4-hour full-tests. The GMAT is also a test of stamina.

• Right from day 1 of your preparation, get used to working under time constraint. Never attempt a GMAT question without having a timer in front of you.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for Harvard see:

You can read more about Prerit’s journey by following him on Twitter at @preritjain1988. Thank you Prerit for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

MBA admissions tips for Indian applicants! Download Free.
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
• Get Accepted to Harvard Business School, a free webinar
• Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips