Meet UCLA’s Incoming MBA Class of 2017

Lachelle Trout -UCLA-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2017

Lachelle Trout


UCLA Anderson School of Management

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Undergraduate School and Major: Ohio State University, Marketing and Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Unilever: Financial Analyst, Senior Financial Analyst, Associate Analytics Manager

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Finding time for the GMAT can be challenging, especially with work, family, and life in general. My advice would be to schedule a date in order to increase the pressure on you to study. I found that until I scheduled the test, I was just procrastinating the inevitable study sessions. I used several GMAT apps that were easy to review when I had a short breaks between meetings or on the train. And then I also tried to dedicate my Saturday mornings to more intense studying. I can’t say the GMAT was a wonderful experience. However, you will feel fabulous when it’s over.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? As you are creating your list of target schools, I would advise first to reflect on what qualities of a school are most important to you, and then be very selective and only focus on those programs that meet all of your requirements. As I was going through the process, I thought hard on what aspects were most important to my husband and me. It came down to the culture fit, the location, and how a program aligned with my career goals. I only applied to schools that I knew would be great in all three areas, and tried to be extremely selective from the beginning.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? This sounds simple, but from the beginning I took a lot of time to think about why I wanted to go to school and how each school would fit into my “story.” It wasn’t just about coming up with something that sounded good, but being honest with myself on my goals in life, where I’ve been and where I want to go.

Once you are confident on your own story, everything will fall into place much easier. You will be able to tackle the essays and interviews more confidently and authentically.

The last thing I would say is really get to know the culture of the programs to which you are applying. I was fortunate to get admitted to my top choices of schools and truly believe it’s because of my efforts to learn as much as I could about the programs. Take advantage of MBA fairs, conferences, and any opportunities you have to meet with admissions and current students. The admissions committee will get to know you better and you will gain a true picture of the culture of the school.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I ultimately chose Anderson based on the criteria I prioritized at the start of my MBA application journey; post career opportunities, the culture fit for myself, as well as a fit for my husband.

I loved how every student I met was so accomplished and impressive, yet Anderson still maintained this overall laid back vibe. Right from the beginning I knew it was an environment I could fit in as well as succeed.

I am also looking to pursue the entertainment industry and Anderson’s resources in that area are unmatched by any other program. With the Center for MEMES, academic internships, and prime location, I know that I will be given the best advantage possible to reach my career goals.

And ultimately, the school had to be the best fit for both my husband and me. Los Angeles provides many opportunities for my husband’s career and Anderson’s student culture is very welcoming of significant others, making the transition for both of us wonderful.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? As I come upon graduation in the spring of 2017, I hope to have an offer for a dream job, hundreds of new friends, and epic memories from my time at Anderson. I ultimately want to feel exhausted at graduation because I squeezed as much juice out of these two years as possible.

An MBA is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit pause on life, figure out which direction you want to go, and then create your path to get there. I hope to achieve just that while also having a great time.

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