Veritas Prep has a special affinity for UCLA Anderson, given that the school is near our headquarters and we have had a number of Anderson alumni as employees (and friends) through the years. In our years of offering GMAT prep and MBA admissions consulting, we are frequently surprised by the degree to which candidates underestimate Anderson. For some reason — perhaps because it is “just” a state school — many of our clients consider UCLA Anderson their second or third choice — and that they don’t need to put much effort into an application if their GMAT score is high enough.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Anderson is a competitive program, and getting in requires a great deal of effort (and some luck). Today we present five things that make the school unique:
The UCLA Anderson Culture
The emphasis on teamwork inside and outside of the classroom is the hallmark of the UCLA Anderson experience and the foundation for the rest of the school’s approach. Student collaboration and leadership within teams is the attribute that ties everything together at UCLA Anderson. There are several schools with great student cultures — NYU Stern is known for the way students look out for each other during the job search process and Duke Fuqua is legendary for the enthusiasm on display from the various student groups – but Anderson’s culture is largely unmatched, save perhaps for Kellogg. In fact, Anderson and Kellogg can often seem very similar in this one area of true collaboration and a spirit of teamwork that runs through the entire program.
Real Social Venture Initiatives
Social enterprise programs have sprouted at most top business schools and “doing good” is a theme on a lot of campuses, however the wealth of on-campus activities and resources at Anderson and the number of opportunities to get involved is more extensive than at many other schools. From the standards like the NetImpact club, to Challenge for Charity, to the very unique Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Disabled Veterans and a wide range of others, Anderson students have the ability to participate in important efforts to make the most of their time at business school.
UCLA was the first major business school to create a special certificate in sustainability for its MBA program, and now the Leaders for Sustainability has grown to over 100 students every year. Anderson is also seeking LEED certification for its building, and students participate in the 1000 Homes competition and the California Clean Innovation Conference, among other events.
Other schools offer entrepreneurship, but few have innovation and new thinking ingrained into the culture the same way that UCLA Anderson does. From the Business Creation Option of its Applied Management Research requirement, in which students literally start a new venture, to the multiple business plan competitions and Entrepreneurship Week, Anderson students are immersed in the mindset of entrepreneurship on campus.
Not only does UCLA Anderson have a wide mix of students across every spectrum — age, racial background, country of origin, gender — but it also attracts a very diverse mix of students by profession, both in terms of what career Anderson students pursued before getting their MBAs, and what new direction they are taking themselves upon graduation. Unlike most schools which have a high concentration of sending graduates to just one or two separate industries (usually finance or consulting leading the list), Anderson graduates disperse all across the workforce in a vast array of industries and jobs. There is not one predominant career focus at Anderson, which fosters a vibrant community and eliminates some of the cliques that can develop at other schools.
Today’s blog post was clipped from our UCLA Anderson Annual Report, one of 15 guides to the world’s top business schools, available for purchase on our site. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Anderson or other top business schools, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!