2009 UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions Chat with Mae Shores

2009 UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions Chat with Mae Shores

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Linda Abraham (Oct 6, 2008 12:00:37 PM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the UCLA Anderson chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about the Anderson MBA program. Whether you are working hard on your application to prepare for UCLA’s next deadline on October 9th or you are doing research with the intention of submitting later, you need to know as much as you can to make a sound application decision and gain acceptance to the school of your choice. Being here today allows you to ask the UCLA experts about this outstanding business school.
I also want to welcome the UCLA representatives who have agreed to participate today.

• Mae Shores, UCLA Anderson's Assistant Dean & Director of MBA Admissions & Financial Aid
• David Cooley UCLA’s Parker Career Management Center Associate Director, External Relations and Career Counselor
• Marc Schechter, a 2nd Year student at Anderson
A little information about our guests:
Mae Jennifer Shores is assistant dean and director MBA admissions & financial aid at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, after serving as senior associate director of MBA admissions and financial aid at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Prior to Wharton, Mae taught Organizational Behavior and Negotiations at the International University of Moscow for the Civic Education Project (CEP). She has also worked as an economic and policy analyst for think tanks in Arizona and New York. Mae earned BA degrees in Economics and History from Guilford College and Arizona State University, respectively, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Mae also earned an MPA degree from Columbia University.

 David Cooley joined UCLA Anderson’s Parker Career Management Center in August 2006. As a career counselor, he coaches and advises full-time MBA students on a wide range of career management and career development matters. In addition to his role as a counselor, he is working to enhance corporate and recruiter relationships with potential employers of UCLA Anderson MBAs.
Prior to joining Parker CMC, David was a career coach and corporate trainer for Drake Beam Morin (DBM), one of the world’s largest executive outplacement companies. Founder of Careers With Impact!, a private executive and career coaching practice, he has coached clients from such organizations as Sun Microsystems, The Walt Disney Company, E! Entertainment, AT&T, Gilead Sciences, the FBI, IMAX Corporation, as well as a large number of MBA students from other top universities and business schools including Harvard University, USC’s Marshall School of Business and Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

NOTE-David was unable to join us in the chat due to technical difficulties, but he tried valiantly to participate and even answered a few questions by dictating responses to someone else.
 Marc Schechter is a second year full-time MBA student at UCLA Anderson, concentrating in finance. This quarter, he is taking classes in option theory, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting, and also undertaking a field studies project with Fox Film Entertainment. When not in the classroom Marc keeps himself busy running The Exchange, one of the few weekly business school newspapers. He is also a leader of the Investment Finance Club as the Vice President of Career Services. This past summer, Marc interned with the corporate development team at Seacor Holdings, a public company that operates in the petroleum services industry.
Prior to attending UCLA, Marc studied Economics and History at Northwestern University and went on to become a tax consultant at KPMG in New York and Amsterdam. Feel free to ask Marc about finance, recruiting, and biking in Los Angeles.
Welcome. Thanks to everyone for joining.

hrishika (Oct 6, 2008 12:03:09 PM)
Hi Marc, good morning!  I'd really like to hear about your personal experience on the AMR program. Have you taken up the Management Field Study? Could you elaborate on that as well? Thanks!
Seattle (Oct 6, 2008 12:03:26 PM)
Mae: If you don't feel that any of the essays provide a venue to discuss work-related accomplishments, could the extra essay be used to describe an accomplishment at work, or is mention of it on the resume enough?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:04:34 PM)
Hi Seattle - The extra essay is reserved for "extenuating circumstances" surrounding your candidacy. There should be sufficient space in the career goals essay and your resume to highlight work-related accomplishments.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:05:04 PM)
David, What is Anderson doing to help this year's graduates entering a very different marketplace than last year's?

UCLA Hopeful
(Oct 6, 2008 12:05:15 PM)
Hi Mae- Can you please elaborate on what you look for in Early Career Applicants, and how you evaluate such applicants vis-à-vis other more experienced candidates, especially when it comes to leadership? Thanks.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:05:30 PM)
From David - can you be more specific?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:07:17 PM)
Hrishika: I'm doing an AMR project with Fox Filmed Entertainment. My team is working with the CFO on a project for their European finance functions. This would be considered the management field student option. As it’s just the second week of classes, we haven't gotten very far into the project, but it’s looking like it will be a great project!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:07:39 PM)
Marc: I'd like to visit the school in person. Coming from NYC, when is the best time to visit? Do you have an organized info session and tour? Can I sit in on a class?

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 12:07:53 PM)
Dear UCLA Hopeful - With early career applicants, we look for accomplishments to date and consider potential going forward. Early candidates who do not get admitted are generally not denied based on limited work experience, but a lack of clarity regarding why an MBA, career goals, and general insight.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:08:04 PM)
Hi Mae!  A few questions: What personal characteristics does UCLA look for? What are the admission differences (students, background, career etc.) between UCLA and Wharton? Are there more applications than those in R1 last year?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:10:07 PM)
Ben, definitely come in the fall if you can do so before Dec 5th. That way you can sit in on a class. I don't know what days of the week the info sessions are offered, check the admissions website or perhaps Mae can let us know.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:10:10 PM)
Marc: What attracted you to Anderson? Has your experience met your expectations?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:11:44 PM)
Hello Leo - Like most MBA programs, there is not set profile of individuals we seek. UCLA Anderson is very much like Wharton in the quality of students it attracts. Perhaps the biggest difference is the broader diversity of educational and professional backgrounds we see in the applicant pool.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:12:06 PM)
Mae: How strong is the non-profit management area of the business school?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:12:51 PM)
Dear Leo - We will not know how Round 1 this year compares to last year until the Oct 9 deadline (approximately 70% of applications are submitted within 24 hours of a deadline- lol)!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:12:59 PM)
Linda: My attraction to Anderson: Strong reputation, great facilities, location, location, location. I think a big part of the attraction of Anderson (if you're coming from outside the region as I was) is that you get to live in a place with such a wonderful climate.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:13:03 PM)
Hello, I am applying in the first round and my question is in regards to the application. If I am not providing a letter from my current supervisor, where do I state this in the application?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:13:27 PM)
Marc: Being from the UK and not able to visit Anderson, what are some resources I can look towards to get a better understanding of doing an MBA at Anderson?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:14:06 PM)
Linda, I should add that a big part of my attraction to the school was the feeling I got when visiting: I visited a lot of business schools and there definitely is a difference. I recommend you visit schools if at all possible.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:14:45 PM)
Tejas, and anyone else who can't visit: Reach out to students and solicit individual's opinions.

CP22 (Oct 6, 2008 12:15:08 PM)
Marc: Can prospective students sit in on the upper division courses or are they only allowed to sit in on your core courses?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:15:16 PM)
Sharnali - the non-profit management area here is very strong. There are a wide range of courses in the area, including Non-Profit Sector Financial Policy, Business and the Environment, Special Topics in Public and Non-Profit Management, Social Entrepreneurship. There are also many student activities in this area, including Challenge for Charity (C4C). Our research centers are highly involved in non-profits and entrepreneurship.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:15:17 PM)
Mae- Following up on your earlier reply: What qualifies as an "extenuating circumstance"?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:15:51 PM)
Hello Valerie - you may explain in the optional essay why you are unable to get a recommendation from your current supervisor. No worries.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:15:55 PM)
Mae: With the downturn on Wall Street, are you seeing more applicants from the financial and real estate sector than in the past?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:16:15 PM)
CP22: The courses that one may sit on include both core courses and elective courses.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:16:22 PM)
Marc: Who are you favorite professors? What have been your best classes?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:16:51 PM)
Ben - "extenuating" means any explanations that would explain poor academics, gaps in work experience, etc. - anything about which the Admissions Committee might have a concern.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:16:57 PM)
Hi Mae, roughly how much weight does the interview have in the admission process compared to the rest of the application?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:17:27 PM)
Great, thanks very much Mae!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:17:31 PM)
Linda: Favorite professors: Mark Garmaise and Walter Torous in finance -both teach in the core.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:17:36 PM)
Marc: Living in NYC, I have no need for a car. Do you feel it's necessary for a student to have one while at UCLA?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:17:52 PM)
Hello CP22, It's still early in the season. We very well may see increased applications from Wall St. The good news is that all applicants are compared to the entire applicant  pool, so if there is a larger than usual percentage of the applicant pool from finance, that would likely be reflected in the number of students admitted.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:17:58 PM)
 Mae: Is it a weakness to have both recommendations from the same time period/job/company?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:18:08 PM)
Linda-Best classes: I thought the winter Corporate Finance class was the best of the core classes.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:18:24 PM)
Marc: Can you please describe some of the strengths you observed that Anderson has to offer for its MBA program comparing with other top MBA schools? Thanks!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:19:13 PM)
Ben: LA is a car town! I recommend having one. I will say that I live within a mile of campus and bike to school. But a car is useful to get further afield.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:19:26 PM)
Chris - It is fine to have both recommendations from the same time period/job/company as long as they are relatively recent. The key is to select individuals who know you well.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:20:02 PM)
Hi Mae: This years audio question is a really interesting addition. However, the questions seem to be focused around our opinions rather than experiences - is that a valid statement, or would you like us to draw more from our personal/professional experiences?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:20:36 PM)
Hello Kanu, We assign no weight to anything in the application, including the interview. The interview just provides one more data point for us to include in with the rest of the information we have in your file.

UCLA Hopeful
(Oct 6, 2008 12:21:01 PM)
Thanks for clarifying Mae.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:21:08 PM)
Kanu - we do value what we learn from candidates in interviews, but recognize the limitations of a 30-45 minute exchange.

v (Oct 6, 2008 12:21:21 PM)
Hi Mae: I was born and raised in Ukraine, Kiev and English is my third language. Will I still be able to compete if my GMAT score will be lower than 600? Thank you!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:21:36 PM)
Marc: How strong is the health care management area of the business school?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:22:09 PM)
SteveL: Anderson strengths: Student body size (not too big, not too small), modern facilities, collegial culture and diverse student interests.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:22:27 PM)
Hello Hrishika, we have no expectations regarding content for the audio clip. We selected topics we thought would be easily answered in a one minute time frame.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:23:07 PM)
Thanks, Mae.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:23:24 PM)
Marc: What are your favorite extra-curricular activities?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:23:38 PM)
Hi Denisvichikov. Much of your GMAT score evaluation would depend upon the actual verbal percentile, as well as the AWA, TOEFL, and general exposure to English. So, it's hard to say without more detail. ?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:23:41 PM)
Hi Mae! Will responding to essay 4 in audio format be more useful than replying in a text format?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:24:25 PM)
Tommy: I can't speak too extensively to health care management, but I do know that there is a club devoted to that area and companies in that field recruit on campus. I recommend you reach out to the admissions office and they can put you in touch with the Healthcare Business Association, the student club.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:24:51 PM)
Hello Ral, media and entertainment is well-supported here, both through our EMMI center and relations with UCLA's film school. The curriculum is very flexible, so that you could easily combine marketing and M&E.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:25:08 PM)
Mae: In regards to work experience, does Anderson accept students without work experience? I have some volunteering experiences, mainly in the health care field, and am currently in the Master of Public Health program at UCLA and would like to enter the joint MPH/MBA program. Is this a huge disadvantage in terms of applying because of my lack of work experience?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:25:23 PM)
Apaar - we have no preference for the audio clip vs. text. Respond as you prefer.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:25:27 PM)
Marc: Hi, I will be focusing my MBA on entertainment and as the industry becomes more focused on technology, would Anderson give me access to technology classes at UCLA outside of Anderson?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:26:26 PM)
Mae: How is UCLA a healthy environment for women to learn?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:26:34 PM)
Linda-Favorite extra-curricular activities: I'm involved with the finance club, the newspaper, and I particularly enjoy our Thursday afternoon "Anderson Afternoons".

(Oct 6, 2008 12:26:43 PM)
Tommy - we have accepted students without work experience who have a very strong, clear sense of an MBA, how it differs from other grad degrees, and who exhibit strong leadership and management potential. We do expect dual-degree candidates to be able to explain why the two degrees make sense to combine.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:26:47 PM)
Question for Mae: I am a proven entrepreneur in the media sector, but don’t have an undergraduate degree. While I am aware that the rules state you must have a degree to apply, are there ever exceptions if the candidate has a strong GMAT (740) and 10+ years of experience as an entrepreneur managing large teams (150 people under me on my last production) and budgets? While I realize the lack of a degree would go against me in the application, if there is even a small possibility, I would be keen to invest the time in the application as I believe my track record would speak for itself.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:27:00 PM)
Marc, do you still have beer busts?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:27:40 PM)
Linda, we have Anderson Afternoons. Any semblance to beer bust is coincidental.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:27:45 PM)
Annie - good question. Anderson is terrific for women. We have a club devoted to women, have invited them to join us as Forte Fellows, and have a very nice, healthy mix of women from around the world.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:27:57 PM)
Is there a preferred style format for essays at Anderson (i.e. Chicago, APA or MLA)?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:13 PM)
Marc, are you worried that slow down in the economy would have effect on the placements? Mae, you think the same would effect applications?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:30 PM)
Thank Mae.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:37 PM)
Chrisr - I am new to UCLA, but my understanding is that the UC system does not allow us to admit anyone without an undergrad degree. Please feel free to email us and we can follow up with more certainty.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:37 PM)
Tejas: You can take classes offered at all of UCLA, provided they fit in your schedule. Not sure how credit is applied.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:37 PM)
Thanks, Mae!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:49 PM)
Marc: What makes UCLA a great finance program?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:28:55 PM)
Hello CTFoley, content is more important than style.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:29:25 PM)
Mae: If I want to concentrate in consulting, do I need to have similar work experience to validate my interest?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:29:50 PM)
Kanu - applications may well increase with the downturn in the economy. That does not necessarily mean that the pool becomes more competitive since much depends upon the quality of the additional applicants.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:29:59 PM)
Kanu: There is no doubt that the slowdown in the economy will affect job market prospects. Am I worried? I try not to be. The career center is definitely working overtime trying to pin down where the jobs are.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:30:19 PM)
Denisvichikov, my pleasure.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:30:25 PM)
Hi Mae , I am applying to UCLA for fall 2009. How does UCLA view a career switcher, especially one with less work experience, say 3 years at time of admission?

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 12:31:09 PM)
Kanu - you do not need prior consulting experience to validate your interest in it. The key is to be able to explain just why this has become an interest of yours. The storyline or reasoning behind your decision is the key.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:31:19 PM)
Annie: UCLA has some great faculty members in finance: The former head of fixed income from Salomon Brothers, and the founder of Goldman Sach's MBS trading group, to name a couple...any many more excellent and well-known figures.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:31:52 PM)
Marc - Are you part of any student associations? How have they helped you? It would be great if you can mention about the Net Impact if you are part of it.

UCLA Hopeful
(Oct 6, 2008 12:31:59 PM)
Mae, what are the financing options available for international students? Does UCLA provide loans without a co-signer?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:32:16 PM)
Arpana - many folks come to an MBA to switch careers. As long as it makes sense for you and you can reasonably explain your thoughts, then we are fine with you being a career switcher.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:32:25 PM)
Mae: Approximately, what percentage of the applicants is invited for interview?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:32:53 PM)
I'm a VP of the finance club, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. I can't speak for Net Impact but get in touch with the Admissions office and they'll direct you to contacts from that club, it certainly has a big footprint on campus.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:33:25 PM)
Thanks Mae!!

UCLA Hopeful
(Oct 6, 2008 12:33:31 PM)
Hi Marc, I don't see a specialization for Strategy in the curriculum. Can you explain what types of courses Anderson offers for a career in strategy consulting?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:33:45 PM)
Marc: Can you elaborate on Anderson afternoon and beer busts?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:33:54 PM)
ULCA hopeful - we offer fellowships and grants, as well as loans without a US co-signer. We will be offering fellowships and grants based on the strength of the entire application and will award them shortly after admission (fingers crossed.).

(Oct 6, 2008 12:34:20 PM)
Mae: For the students that just entered - out of those who were interested in investment banking - what are their current thoughts? Are many of them still pursuing investment banking careers or have many of their plans changed to look into other fields?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:34:28 PM)
Ben: FYI, what's left of the large banks is expected to continue recruiting at Anderson. Buy-side opportunities in NYC, must by and large, be sourced by your own efforts, but that’s how the buy-side works no matter where you are.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:34:48 PM)
I did work on the buy-side in NYC, in a position I found through my personal network.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:34:48 PM)
Mae and Marc: What is UCLA doing to help its students given the current financial crisis and the job crunch? Have some students been affected by it?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:35:00 PM)
Apaar - this past year we changed to interview by invitation and interviewed approximately 27 or 28% of the pool. We will interview that same amount again this year or even more - we do not let the numbers drive the process and would much rather err on the side of being too generous up front.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:36:19 PM)
GameTheory: Many students with interests in investment banking are considering smaller, boutique investment banks that are less affected by the crisis, as well as corporate finance.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:36:42 PM)
UCLA Hopeful, strategy consulting is one of the top career paths followed (perhaps the top?). As I'm not in that vertical I cannot speak for the courses offered specifically, but it seems to be well-covered in the curriculum, despite what the website may suggest!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:37:24 PM)
Marc - is it true that many of the bulge bracket investment banks have recruited at Anderson only for divisions such as private wealth management, operations, etc? As opposed to the front office investment banking division (which they presumably recruit at for other schools)?

ucla hopeful2
(Oct 6, 2008 12:37:35 PM)
How does UCLA view a "lop-sided" GMAT? Does it pay a closer attention to quant or would it not matter if the individual is above a certain score (700+). If quant does matter more, is UCLA more forgiving of the score from someone who has an analytical background?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:37:58 PM)
GameTheory: That is not true

(Oct 6, 2008 12:38:03 PM)
Annie - all staff members in our Parker Career Management Center are working hard to prepare students to market their previous experience and MBA with even greater alacrity than in past years. We are aggressively seeking out employers in a wide range of industries. We are committed to maintaining our market presence.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:38:55 PM)
David, the following question was posed: "Can you discuss your experience helping students find internships and full time jobs in finance in the NYC area? Do banks and buy side firms located in New York recruit at Anderson? I'm probably going to return to this area after graduation."

(Oct 6, 2008 12:39:14 PM)
Ucla hopeful2 - the quant is considered in conjunction with prior academic coursework (e.g., calc, stats), professional certifications (e.g., CFA, CPA), work experience, and general analytical experience.

Linda Abraham (Oct 6, 2008 12:39:17 PM)
From David via Skype: We do have a strong alumni network that will help students seeking to find jobs there.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:39:49 PM)
Linda, big banks are still at Anderson (what's left of them).

ucla hopeful2
(Oct 6, 2008 12:40:12 PM)
Mae: Is recommendation from a supervisor three years ago too old? What if I worked with him extensively on a nine month project and he knows me very well?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:40:16 PM)
Linda, regarding Buy-side, it’s all about personal networking.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:40:40 PM)
Mae, if my recommenders don't speak English, what would you suggest for me to do?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:41:20 PM)
Ucla hopeful2, if a recommender from 3 years ago knows you well and has kept in touch, and you have one that's more current, you should be fine.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:41:55 PM)
Marc: What is "Anderson Afternoons"?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:42:53 PM)
Denisvichikov - if you have a recommender who favors or writes Russian, for example, then provide an official English translation along with it and we'd be fine. And include one of those nice official stamps that they like to use in your country. Lol!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:43:12 PM)
Mae: How much does UCLA Anderson weigh the quantitative portion of the GMAT test?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:43:23 PM)
Anderson Afternoons are Thursday events after the last classes of the week, where food and drinks are provided and students socialize. It’s a common Thursday afternoon event at business schools. Ours are nice because instead of being in a basement room on campus, we're on a lawn outside.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:43:25 PM)
More from David: We do have a strong alumni network that will help students seeking to find jobs there.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:43:41 PM)
David: I am interested in consulting for non-profit organizations. What companies in this area have employed Anderson students in the past? Are there any specific companies which interview on campus?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:44:13 PM)
Ben - we do offer interviews outside of the LA area with alumni, so no worries. We would certainly work with you to set up an interview with you in November, assuming we will have read your file and invited you for an interview before that time. :-0

(Oct 6, 2008 12:44:23 PM)
Hi Mae, The online application has a contrast when it comes to the transcripts. The instructions say scan the original transcript, but the upload page for the transcript says to scan a photocopy of the transcript.. What should we follow?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:44:35 PM)
Marc: What percentage of the full time MBA program students are married? Also, do you have any idea how many of them have children?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:45:18 PM)
Ral - Sorry about the discrepancy. We'll have to fix it. We prefer you scan the original so that we have a clear, more visible copy for evaluation (the scanned copies can have very low resolution and are difficult to read).

(Oct 6, 2008 12:45:19 PM)
Chris: I can't nail down a percentage for you, except to say less than half (for both questions), but there are certainly people in both pools.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:45:46 PM)
Marc, can you explain how the clubs help you achieve your career goals?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:45:53 PM)
Chris - I know you asked Marc, but approx 22-26% are married.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:46:28 PM)
More form David: Most of the top banks have historically come to Anderson, but because of the great uncertainty, the student will need to tap-into the great alumni network that we have in combination with networking to find jobs in these areas.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:46:40 PM)
Thanks Marc.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:46:49 PM)
Marc: Does Anderson have a strong Real Estate Program?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:47:15 PM)
Mae: Hi, speaking of Forte Fellowships for women, are women automatically put in a selection pool for the fellowships or is there a separate application? How many are awarded each year?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:47:31 PM)
Thanks Mae !!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:47:40 PM)
GameTheory - we do not 'weigh' the quant section of the GMAT. We look at this in conjunction with other measures of an ability to handle our rigorous quant curriculum.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:47:41 PM)
Kanu: The professional clubs maintain strong contacts with firms in their areas, often through alumni working with the firms, and provide excellent contacts. They also provide educational opportunities, dinners with professionals, interview prep clinics...the list goes on.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:47:50 PM)
Mae: For applicants whose focus will be on entrepreneurship, how will they be viewed differently from applicants whose focus is in finance or banking? Additionally can you tell us about the programs on entrepreneurship?

UCLA Hopeful
(Oct 6, 2008 12:48:41 PM)
That's great! Thanks Mae.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:48:47 PM)
Naledi - all applicants are considered for fellowships, including women. We offer women who have already been awarded a fellowship based on their entire application the opportunity to become a fellow.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:48:52 PM)
Do students have less chances of getting in if they apply in the second round instead of the first one?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:49:08 PM)
CP22: Real estate is strong. We have a strong real estate center (Ziman Center) and an active club, called AREA (Anderson Real Estate Association). I suggest you reach out to Michael Brown, president of AREA, from additional info.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:49:30 PM)
Marc: I may have missed it, but can we hear more about the applied learning at UCLA?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:50:14 PM)
Appar: There is at least one brand management course, and possibly more. I can't say much else about that area. Reach out to admissions for more info there.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:50:19 PM)
SteveL, oddly enough, we do not evaluate entrepreneurial folks any differently that others. We do examine their initiative, drive, focus, and softer skills of leadership, interpersonal skills, etc. We do look to see what skills entrepreneurs have developed professionally, whether that is in a larger or smaller size company.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:50:28 PM)
Mae, I could be mistaken with this, but is there any reason why Anderson is not visiting India in any of the MBA fairs. I was very keen to meet some one personally from the school (faculty, students or alumni) in any forum.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:51:38 PM)
Dan: Applied learning...the AMR project is the primary curricular item stressing applied learning. Beyond that, internships, both during the term and over the summer, are always an option.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:51:42 PM)
Excellent! Thanks Marc and Mae!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:51:49 PM)
SteveL - entrepreneurship is a large part of who we are. You may want to check out the portion of our site that highlights our Price Entrepreneur Center, which highlights our many activities in this area. (There are a number of electives in this area, as well. And LA, where 98% of companies hire fewer than 100 employees, is s a great "learning laboratory" for entrepreneurs to hone their skills).

(Oct 6, 2008 12:51:55 PM)
Marc: Approximately how many students focus on Entertainment and Media Management? What is the strength of the music focused section of this focus at Anderson?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:52:38 PM)
Hrishika, we will be visiting India next year. The events we usually attend just did not fit well in our schedule for the fall.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:53:18 PM)
Chris, I can’t specify exact numbers of people interested in particular areas, except to say that there is critical mass in Entertainment, and you should reach out to the club in that area (Entertainment Management Association) for more info. Matt Brutocao, president of the EMA, would be your contact, and the admissions office can help you reach out to him.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:53:27 PM)
Marc - What was your motivation to pursue MBA degree?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:53:38 PM)
Apaar - we have a nice representation of students in our program who come from family businesses. We are more concerned with what you have learned than where you have learned it.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:53:42 PM)
Mae - you mentioned earlier that the storyline or reasoning behind your decision (for career switch/focus) is the key. In Essay #3, for example, are you looking for specifics of industry, function, and location? Or are you more concerned with clear direction, with or without the specifics?

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:54:11 PM)
Chris, from a writing perspective, it is extremely difficult to show clear direction without specifics.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:54:54 PM)
Denis: I'm getting my MBA because I wanted to change my career path. I worked for 5 years in tax consulting, and decided I wanted to do something different. An MBA from a top school is a perfect way to "wipe the slate".

(Oct 6, 2008 12:55:07 PM)
Chris - there is not set level of specificity we require. The key is whether or not your reasons make sense. Not everyone will have the same specifics with regard to industry, function, and location. What we are trying to avoid is admitted students who have no real sense of why they want an MBA and want to use the 2 years to "explore all possible options.".

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 12:56:22 PM)
David: Most of the top banks have historically come to Anderson but because of the great uncertainty the student will need to tap into the great alumni network that we have in combination with networking to find jobs in these areas. We, like every career center, are feeling the credit crunch. We have had changes to the calendar but this is happening to every b-school recruiting calendar. That being said, we do have many interviews scheduled for the firms that are still remaining. We have both on campus recruiting and beyond campus recruiting opportunities. We are doing everything we can to increase the opportunities for students.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:56:35 PM)
Ucla hopeful2 - anyone who is willing to invest more time and money in retaking the test shows determination and drive. We give you the benefit of the doubt and will always consider your highest test score.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:57:12 PM)
Mae: So how will the admission committee view an applicant who says that his/her short term goal is going into investment banking? Is it considered as a sign of high optimism or foolishness or ignorance?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:58:10 PM)
Annie: If investment banking is your goal, then let us know. (Back up plans are always good)!

(Oct 6, 2008 12:58:31 PM)
Mae: Hello, I have already written my TOEFL, but have also studied my undergrad in English. Is it OK to still submit my score?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:58:50 PM)
Ral - please do submit your TOEFL.

(Oct 6, 2008 12:58:56 PM)
Mae: Any suggestions on how one can address a low verbal score?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:59:24 PM)
Hi Marc, does UCLA have any electives/programs/clubs focusing on growth of small scale industries in developing economies?

(Oct 6, 2008 12:59:56 PM)
CP22 - write and speak in good English! Actually, we would look at other dimensions and there is more leeway on the English dimension of the GMAT than quant.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:01:06 PM)
Arpana: Microfinance is a hot topic at b-schools, and Anderson is no exception.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:01:25 PM)
Thank you Mae.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:01:42 PM)
Marc: I spoke with an alumnus at an event a couple weeks ago and he seemed very polished and professional. Is that skill set refined at UCLA? Do you find that a lot of students come in a little jumbled and leave polished? If so, how does Anderson improve those skills? Or is my impression of him just a reflection of how well polished he was going into Anderson?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:01:56 PM)
Mae: Do you believe that Anderson should be a top option for somebody looking at Product marketing post-MBA?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:03:08 PM)
Dan: Certainly a large part of the career preparation process, through the professional clubs and the career center, is getting you polished and refined for recruiting and interviews. So yes, no matter how you come in, you will leave more polished.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:03:23 PM)
Marc: Following up on UCLA hopeful2's question - I've heard that Anderson is very demanding quantitatively. Is it the sort of place someone could go who is unafraid of numbers, but is by no means an investment banker number crunching genius?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:03:34 PM)
Ram - we do find Product marketing to be a strong area here.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:03:45 PM)
Mae: I am concerned about my GMAT score 690 for part time. Is it a good idea to be proactive and retake the exam or if it's good enough why bother?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:04:39 PM)
Vijay - I do not work with the part-time program and cannot speak very well about what their applicant pool looks like. You may want to contact Dylan Stafford, who directs that program and who would be happy to talk with you.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 1:04:42 PM)
Mae, you worked for many years at Wharton, which has been a pioneer in using the Web to reach out to students – the student2student forum, the Adcom blog are just two examples. Do you plan on establishing a forum or blog for Anderson admissions? Any other social media initiatives?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:04:43 PM)
Having attended only one business school, I cannot compare quantitative nature of UCLA's curriculum to other b-schools. I would say that you need to be comfortable with mathematics.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:05:23 PM)
Marc: Can you say more about how the AMR project connects with the rest of the curriculum?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:06:48 PM)
Dan: AMR is the applied learning element of the curriculum, so it is the venue in which one is able to apply all that is learned in the course curriculum in a real-life situation.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:07:01 PM)
Marc: Are most of the MBA students from out of town?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:07:07 PM)
Linda, we just developed two blogs for the UCLA Anderson website: "The MBA Student Voice" and "The MBA Insider's Blog." I have many ideas for social media, so I would encourage everyone to keep an eye on us. I would also like to move ahead with some technology innovations on the application side, just as we did this year with the introduction of an audio clip as an option for completing an essay (we are the first MBA program, I believe, to provide an audio clip option).

(Oct 6, 2008 1:07:32 PM)
Mae: Is there any advantage or disadvantage between applying in Round 1, Round 2, or Round 3 this year? I know that Anderson has changed its rounds this year and eliminated the old Round 4.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:07:35 PM)
Syed, Mae can provide better statistics, but I would guess that more than half move to LA to attend Anderson.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 1:07:49 PM)
Mae, you are!

(Oct 6, 2008 1:08:30 PM)
GameTheory, Rounds 1 & 2 are comparable. Round 3 will be slightly more selective, although we do plan to provide room for strong applicants who apply at that time.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:08:41 PM)
Hi Mae: Does the question of each essay need to be stated along with the essay?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:09:20 PM)
Ral - it is not necessary to state the question of each essay along with the essay, although it is very helpful. Thank you.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:09:30 PM)
Mae is there a cut off for Toefl. My total score is 107 but my section-wise lowest score is 24. In the speaking section, is it below the cutoff?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:10:17 PM)
Kanu - there is no cutoff. A 107 is solid. We could confirm your spoken skills through an interview.

Linda Abraham
(Oct 6, 2008 1:11:14 PM)
Marc: If you had to point to one “take-away” lesson or benefit from your time at UCLA , what would it be?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:11:30 PM)
Marc: Does UCLA have any hedge fund recruiters?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:12:13 PM)
UCLA Hopeful - 100% of our admitted students have been interviewed. Interviews are blind, as we believe that individuals should be able to communicate as clearly in person as in an interview. We also do not want to be biased by having pre-existing knowledge about a candidate at the time of the interview. The interview is simply a chance to get to know you.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:12:28 PM)
Mae: Are there any scholarship opportunities ? If so, on what basis are they awarded? Is it advantageous to apply for the first round to get an advantage, or are all students considered equally irrespective of the round in which they apply?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:13:20 PM)
Linda, take-away lesson from UCLA: Network, network, network! With your classmates, alumni, and anyone else you can meet during your time in b-school. Everyone (pretty much) is willing to talk to a student, so it’s your (last) opportunity to use this carte-blanche view and build out a strong network.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:13:41 PM)
Marc: What are the courses/researches/studies done at UCLA which concentrate on recognizing growth opportunities in emerging markets?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:13:43 PM)
Baj - Scholarships are awarded based on the strength of the entire application. Round 2 applicants will have the same opportunity to receive an award as Round 1 applicants. (Round 3 will be more competitive, although we will reserve a healthy amount of awards for that time, as well).

(Oct 6, 2008 1:14:37 PM)
Annie, from my understanding, hedge funds generally don't "recruit" but seek out interested candidates through individual networking contacts.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:15:00 PM)
Marc: What would you say are the defining characteristics of an Anderson student?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:16:22 PM)
Apaar - the one thing we see in successful applicants is that they have spent a great deal of time reflecting on their past experiences and future career/personal path, as reflected in their essays. Other attributes will vary by applicant.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:16:25 PM)
When you look at GMAT scores, do 30 points differences mean much? For example, do you see a difference between 710 and 680?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:16:26 PM)
Annie: We have a research center called CIBER which is targeted specifically to emerging markets. There are a number of classes offered as well.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:17:40 PM)
Rosie - an increase in a GMAT score of 30 points could mean a lot, depending upon what the split in the quant vs. verbal section is. Your instinct that an increase of 30 points does not always make a difference in one's final evaluation, is correct.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:18:03 PM)
Mae: I have been reading a lot about people heading back to school given the current economic climate. Have you seen a significant increase in applications this year?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:19:09 PM)
Syed, it's too early in the admissions season to make any predication about how application numbers will look at the end of the season. My colleagues in the industry and I do expect there will an increase - the magnitude remains to be seen.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:19:33 PM)
UCLA has always been a go to school for individuals looking to get into the Media Industry. Does it still enjoy that reputation?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:21:07 PM)
Sudhir - yes, UCLA does still enjoy a reputation of renown for placing individuals in Media. Our EMMI center (M&E center) just hired an individual and former colleague of mine from Wharton, who is implementing new courses and great number of initiatives. His name is Nelson Gayton and he will be attending a few our information sessions this year, particularly in NY and LA.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:21:11 PM)
Mae: Is it ok if my TOEFL scores are received after the deadlines? Which round will my application be considered in such a case?

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 1:22:07 PM)
Baj - if your TOEFL scores are not here by the deadline, then we will move your application to the next Round.

Elena (Oct 6, 2008 1:22:11 PM)
What is considered a strong GMAT score? The average for the class of 2010 is 711 but what score should be an indication that we don't need to take the GMAT again.

Sudhir (Oct 6, 2008 1:23:19 PM)
Great. Thanks Mae.

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 1:23:49 PM)
Elena - The distribution around the average score of 711 is a more meaningful measure for the GMAT. 80% of scores fell between 660 and 760, which gives you a better idea of who is being admitted. (There are scores lower than 660 in the admit pool.) The GMAT is considered in conjunction with your undergrad (& beyond) performance. Both are relative, and not absolute, measures.

RS (Oct 6, 2008 1:24:06 PM)
What kind of support/resources does UCLA have for entrepreneurs?

GameTheory (Oct 6, 2008 1:25:31 PM)
How is Anderson's relationship with McKinsey, Bain, and The Boston Consulting Group? How many students per year does Anderson tend to place at these prestigious consultancies and how do placements compare to the "M7" schools?

(Oct 6, 2008 1:25:40 PM)
RS - we offer case competitions, varied activities through our Price Center, opportunities to meet one-on-one with successful entrepreneurs, opportunities to meet with angel investors, etc. The list is extensive.

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 1:26:54 PM)
GameTheory, I do not know the exact numbers of Anderson students who end up working for McKinesy, Bain, and BCG. These companies do recruit and hire here regularly, even in economic downturns. You'll see them high on the list of our recruiters in any given year.

Linda Abraham(Oct 6, 2008 1:26:56 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Mae, David, and Marc for taking the time to answer all these questions. The chat transcript will be available in about a week on our UCLA Anderson B- School Zone. http://www.accepted.com/mba/UCLAAnderson.aspx

(Oct 6, 2008 1:27:09 PM)
Thank you Linda and everyone else! It was a pleasure to chat with you all today.

Linda Abraham (
Oct 6, 2008 1:27:44 PM)
Mae, you're most welcome.

Upcoming Chats:
MIT Sloan October 7th 
Cornell Johnson October 13th
Consortium October 23rd
Haas October 29th
Wharton November 5th
Kellogg November 10th

Please check the website (http://www.acceped.com/chat/schedule.aspx ) for exact times and a complete listing of scheduled chats.

SteveL (Oct 6, 2008 1:28:13 PM)
Thank you Mae!

(Oct 6, 2008 1:28:21 PM)
Thank you!

Elena (Oct 6, 2008 1:28:24 PM)
Thank you very much Mae. What is the distribution for the GPA?

RS (Oct 6, 2008 1:28:26 PM)
Thanks Mae

MaeShoresANDERSON (Oct 6, 2008 1:28:50 PM)
Rosie- 80% of GPAs fall between 3.0 or 3.1 and 3.9.

(Oct 6, 2008 1:29:08 PM)
Linda, does USC have any chats on accepted.com?

Linda Abraham(Oct 6, 2008 1:29:08 PM)
Yes, Elena. We will be hosting a USC Marshall chat in early January. 

hrishika (Oct 6, 2008 1:29:13 PM)
Thanks Mae and Linda!

denisvichikov (Oct 6, 2008 1:29:17 PM)
Thank you very much Mae! Thank you Linda for organization!

Linda Abraham (Oct 6, 2008 1:29:40 PM)
You're welcome.

Elena (Oct 6, 2008 1:30:01 PM)
Thank you all. This was really helpful.

marcus (Oct 6, 2008 1:30:27 PM)
Linda thank you for the chats - your service is invaluable! And Mae, thank you so very much for your time!

Linda Abraham(Oct 6, 2008 1:30:33 PM)
Thanks Marcus!


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