Meet UCLA’s Incoming MBA Class of 2017

Jennifer Wu-UCLA-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2017

Jennifer Wu


UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Hometown: Saratoga, California

Undergraduate School and Major: Asian Studies and Business Administration (Haas School of Business), UC Berkeley

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Senior Associate in Forensics and Audit at KPMG LLP, San Francisco

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? If you’ve been out of college or just haven’t prepared for a standardized test for a couple of years, it is definitely challenging, especially while juggling a full-time job. You have to get your brain re-wired to be in study mode and remember math and grammar (requirements I hadn’t personally used in years). But, don’t get discouraged. Break it down, attack each section one-by-one, and it will get become less formidable. I personally used the Manhattan GMAT books and liked how it was already all broken out into roughly 10 books for me that I could do about a week at a time. It also had a lot of useful tips and I understood their answer explanations much better than the ones put out by the GMAC.

I also recommend practicing by using tests and questions put out by the GMAC – they are the most similar to the ones on the actual test and you will start to see a pattern of the types of questions they ask.

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? Think about what industry you want to be in and research which schools are typically strong in recruiting for that industry. Location is often key to this, as certain industries may be strongly connected to a region.

Reach out to your network and find people who can provide constructive and honest feedback about their schools. You want someone who can provide a bit more insight behind all the fancy brochures and can comment on the schools’ culture. B-school is a significant opportunity cost, and you don’t want to spend those 2 years with people you’re uncomfortable with.

Also, don’t spread yourself too thin by applying to too many schools. Safety schools are important, but if you know you’re not going to attend a school even if you get in, save your time and money and don’t apply! 

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? Writing admission essays is never the most fun task in the world, but it can actually be an introspective and reflective process. Think about your short- and long-term career goals, and why an MBA will help you get there as a guide to get your thoughts flowing.

It can be hard because since you’re trying to show your best side, but be as authentic as possible in your essays and admission interviews. The entire application process isn’t just about you trying to impress the admissions committee. Much like dating, the school is trying to get to know you just as much as you’re trying to get to know them. Also, definitely practice interview questions over-and-over again until you’re comfortable.

Choose recommenders who know you well, are good writers, and will write you in a positive light. Make it easy by:

  • Giving them as much advance notice as possible,
  • Explaining to them why you want an MBA, and what your career goals are,
  • Like a performance review you do at work, provide a list of accomplishments and improvement areas to help them refresh their memory. They’re busy people and may not always remember everything you’ve done. 

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? 

  • Location – I wanted to be in an urban environment with access to the specific industries and companies for which I’m interested in recruiting.
  • Culture – Anderson has a highly collaborative culture and I personally just felt really comfortable with the current and incoming students that I met.
  • Parker Career Center – Throughout the application process, I was really impressed by Anderson’s Career Center and the dedication they have in coaching and preparing students for recruiting. School hasn’t even started and they’ve already provided us with many resources, as well as various deliverables we have to complete before classes start. They’re definitely on top of it and want us to do well during recruiting!

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I’d love to try starting something of my own, either for-profit or non-profit, and just see how far I can take it. I’d also love to get my Yelp elite status back 🙂








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