Meet UCLA’s Incoming MBA Class of 2017

 Matthew Becker-UCLA-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2017

Matthew Becker


UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Hometown: Bismarck, North Dakota

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: U.S. House of Representatives, Communications Director;Cramer for Congress, Campaign Manager

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Start studying for the GMAT as soon as you start seriously considering business school. I’m glad I did this because it gave me just the right amount of time to make the Round 1 deadline without losing my sanity or sacrificing application quality.

Preparing for the test early in your process of considering an MBA really helps. It ensures that you don’t end up committed to the idea of business school only to find out you’ll have to wait another year because there’s no way you can study, take the exam, write your essays, and perfect your resume before the deadline.

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? Push yourself to apply to as many schools as possible. I know it can be exhausting to think about completing that 6th application, but the goal is to only do this once in your life by avoiding the need to reapply a year later. Treat yourself to a small reward after you finish each application. Buy six bottles of champagne and pop one open with another person to celebrate each time you knock off another school. There can be fun in this long process!

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? You’re going to be inundated with deadlines, essay topics, and 150-word paragraphs that need your attention, so keep all these tasks as organized as possible. I created a spreadsheet listing all my targeted schools and their deadlines, then added cells for each item I needed to complete for the application. I referred to it daily to keep myself on track.

If you want to go a step further or you’re on a tight schedule, list out every day between now and your last deadline, then add the number of hours you will spend each day and on what items. This will give you a clear visualization of all the different tasks that lie in front of you, and whether or not you need to adjust your daily schedule over the upcoming months to get everything done.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Of all the schools I visited, UCLA Anderson was the only one that felt like an instant fit the moment I walked on campus and started interacting with students. It’s a bright, beautiful, and friendly place with the people to match. But even before getting there, I knew I wanted to live in Los Angeles after my MBA, and I heard about the success of the Parker Center (Anderson’s #1 ranked career placement department). When I put all those pieces together, it was an easy decision.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I’m most looking forward to learning from my classmates and building lasting relationships. Seeing their different strengths and hearing about the industries they’ve worked in will be an eye-opening experience. For most people, your business school class will be the most interesting, diverse, and smart group of people you’ve ever been in a community with. I know this is true for me personally, and I welcome the challenge of getting to know my 360 classmates.

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