The Accidental Bruin Lands at UCLA Anderson

UCLA AndersonToday we feature a guest post from Veritas Prep MBA admissions consultant Nita Losoponkul. Nita is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant who attended UCLA Anderson. She received her undergraduate degree in Engineering from Caltech and went from engineering to operations to global marketing to education management/non-profit. Her non-traditional background allows her to advise students from many areas of study. She has successfully helped low GPA students get admitted into UCLA, and today Nita shares what went into her decision to earn an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

Do as I say (well, write), not as I do. That’s the truth. I’m proud to be an alumna of UCLA Anderson’s Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program, but I took the unlikeliest path to get there, one I don’t recommend anyone else pursuing. I still joke to this day that the Admissions Committee must have had a few too many drinks when they reviewed my application, but knowing the team now, I know they saw something in me that even I didn’t see in myself at the time, and I am truly grateful they did.

I made a half-hearted effort to understand the MBA admissions process. Number of admissions events attended? Zero. Number of classes observed? Zero. Number of students I met/networked with? Zero. Number of admissions interviews I did? Only the ones required. Number of practice GMAT exams? Zero. Number of GMAT prep courses? 0.5 (I nodded off part way through the first class – NOT a Veritas Prep class – and did not return). Why UCLA? Best part-time program in SoCal (no, I didn’t actually write that in the essay – and you shouldn’t either). But don’t get me wrong, I worked really hard on my application. So hard, I started applying before the applications were refreshed, and completed the wrong application – submitting the full-time MBA application (though written as a planned part-time student) and not even knowing that I had goofed until the Admissions Office left a voice mail stating that they were very confused by my application. I’m not brilliant. I’m not stupid. I’m just lucky.

I am thrilled I had the opportunity to be a FEMBA. I wouldn’t trade in my three years at Anderson for anything (you can see my now 5-year old testaments still on You Tube here if you are curious to learn more about my experiences at FEMBA). Not only did FEMBA enable me to reach my post-MBA goal (I enrolled to study marketing and international management, wanting to be an expatriate, was recruited at UCLA by Chevron’s Global Marketing Graduate Development Program and did an expatriate stint in Singapore), I met some of the most amazing classmates who are now lifelong friends – we still tailgate at the Rose Bowl though now with spouses and children, travel to away games in Texas, Tennessee and most recently Colorado, despite the fact that many of us have moved out of state.

I had incredible support from faculty (how many alums from other programs can say that their statistics professor was truly available 24/7 – we repeatedly tested it by calling him at all hours of the night! Another professor provided us guidance from the sidelines of his son’s soccer match, and the list goes on), and truly global experiences that have increased in availability since I graduated (very jealous, but the result of student and alumni feedback – the program continues to evolve based on the changing needs of students). Though it was a tough three years juggling full-time employment, 2-3 courses per quarter, and commuting in LA traffic, I’m proud to be a Bruin and wouldn’t change a thing about my experience there.

For more advice on getting into UCLA Anderson, download our Essential Guide to Anderson, one of our 15 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application for UCLA and 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 Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

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