Meet UCLA’s Incoming MBA Class of 2017

Jessica Robson -UCLA-PoetsAndQuants-Classof2017

Jess Robson


UCLA Anderson School of Management

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Undergraduate School and Major: Dartmouth, Economics & Psychology

Employers and Job Titles since Graduation:

2011-2013: The Parthenon Group – Associate & Senior Associate (Boston & London)

2014-2015: Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Manager, Global Digital Strategy & Initiatives (New York City)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Create a study plan and a timeline, then be diligent.  Don’t get intimidated by the quantitative portion. Remember, it’s not really about how well you can do math, but about how well you can do GMAT math.  Learning how to execute on data sufficiency questions is the key to success.

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? There are lots of factors that may influence the list of schools you’re applying to – rankings, specializations, industry ties, student profile, geography – and the prioritization of those factors is going to be different for each individual.  When creating a list, keep an open mind, and never say that there are schools you can’t get into – or that you can’t afford, for that matter. Partial and full scholarships DO exist, so don’t rule a school out due to finances, because you may be just the candidate they’re willing to support.

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? There is no substitute for adequate preparedness – that rings true across the entire application process. When asking for recommendations, make the process as stress-free as possible by giving your recommenders plenty of advance notice and providing them with the right resources. As you’re writing your essays and preparing your resume, jot down specific interview questions that you think might be asked. Then before your interviews, get your friends and family to challenge you in a mock setting.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Anderson is home to a vibrant culture and a unique student body – I received the warmest welcome and a very personalized experience upon my first visit. Anderson also has close ties to the entertainment and sports industries, which is a big draw for me. And lastly, a location with great weather and close proximity to family doesn’t hurt after 8 years on the East Coast either!

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? At Anderson, I hope to have the experiences necessary in reaffirming and attaining my post-MBA goals of leading a company’s experiential marketing strategy. I also hope to have made a meaningful impact on the Anderson community – most likely through a dedicated effort to recruiting and admissions.

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