2016 Best MBAs: Maeghan Rouch, UCLA

Maeghan Rouch UCLA

Maeghan Rouch


UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Grades don’t matter – at least that much. As a type A student, I always cared about grades, and I still do care about grades. But my time about business school isn’t about getting A’s. Instead, business school is about learning for real and not learning for A’s.”

Age: 28

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL


Education: Vanderbilt University; Majors in Human & Organizational Development and Spanish

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Bain & Company, Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? The Honest Company, MBA Intern – Strategic Projects & Operations

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Dean’s Scholar List (top 10% of class based on GPA)
  • Admissions Ambassador Corps – President
    • AAC is the student-arm of the Admissions office with 90+ student volunteers that run the prospective student class visits, general information sessions, coffee chats, and lunches and major admit events and weekends.
  • Women’s Business Connection – VP of Operations for the Anderson Women’s Leadership Summit
    • This year, we grew the AWLS from 125 attendees to over 500 attendees, from a half day to a full day of programming, and from a $10k budget to a $50k budget.
  • Challenge for Charity – Director of Casino Night Winter Formal
    • Raised $20,000+ for charity from the proceeds of our winter formal

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of the success of the Anderson Women’s Leadership Summit this year. Growing it from 125 attendees to 500 attendees and a half day to full day took 9 months of hard effort. We involved multiple branches of the Anderson administration, fundraised for months, and planned everything down to the detail to make the event successful. As the head of operations, my job came down to all the little details that needed to run smoothly in order to ensure that the event was received by the attendees as a professional, polished event. I’ve never cared so much about name tags, flower arrangements, background music, or a team of 30 smiling volunteers so much – but it was all so worth it. We received so much positive feedback and really put the AWLS on the map as a desirable women’s conference. I’m excited to see where it will continue to grow from here.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’ve been fortunate to be promoted many times during my time at Bain and I’m very proud of all those achievements. However, I’m most proud of winning over the respect of one of my consulting clients.

As a twenty-something year old female assigned to a team led by a fifty-something year old man, you often face an imbalance of power and respect. It was an M&A implementation, and I worked with this client for 6 months running point with him on merging his department with the same one from the acquired company. While we were working through a lot of strategy and HR issues, he primarily saw me as his glorified secretary in the beginning. Regardless, I showed up each day to work with respect for myself and did my job – which included a lot of strategic thinking, sensitive conversations and operational optimization. I worked closely with most of his direct reports tying together these departments piece by piece. Finally, in the celebration dinner when the merger was complete, he actually admitted to me “You know, in the beginning I thought you were just a pretty face, but you’ve actually done really good work.” Personally I didn’t need his approval, but more importantly I think I changed his entire mindset about women in the workplace.

Favorite MBA Courses? Business Strategy, Behavioral Economics in the Digital Age, Entertainment Business Models, Business Law

Why did you choose this business school? I choose UCLA Anderson for two primary reasons, beyond the great academic standing of the school. First, UCLA Anderson has a very unique culture. One of our pillars is “sharing success” and it’s something that is actually put into practice here. The student body really is collaborative rather than competitive, and I could feel that even during my campus visits. I remember chatting with students when I visited, and they were telling me about how excited they were about their friends who landed the same job they interviewed for and didn’t get. You do not find that in most other schools. Second, I wanted to stay in LA because it is a thriving area. I really wanted to spend time in the startup world while I was in business school. Anderson is very connected to Silicon Beach, which has been growing in VC funding over the past few years. The location enabled me to listen to so many speakers in the startup companies from around the city, and even visit their offices on site. Plus, it’s hard to turn down 70 degree weather year round.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I loved being in an environment surrounded by people who are all out to pursue their goals. It’s energizing and inspiring. You cannot take of two years of work lightly, so everyone here is engaged and driving towards something. Additionally, all of those pursuits are so diverse. I’m able to expand my understanding of the business world every day simply by learning from the experiences of my classmates.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? My best advice to any applicant is to meet the people you will be spending the next two years with – and use that to determine which business school you want to go to. You can learn amazing things and listen to amazing speakers at most business schools, but what’s really important is who is alongside you during those two years. Your classmates can build you up and help you learn, or cut you down and try to out-compete you. I’ve been so fortunate to be in an environment that is welcoming and supportive, which I think fosters a much better learning environment. It also fosters genuine relationships that will last far beyond the duration of business school.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I looked at Investopedia for the 1000th time to learn a concept. As a non-business major in undergrad, I had some gaps that I wanted to fill to give me the confidence I desired in certain areas.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…almost a manager at Bain & Company, but probably wishing that I had taken these two years to invest in myself.”

What are your long-term professional goals? Business school has really helped me redefine my long term professional goals, but also helped diversify them. Thus, I’m stuck between two things. First, I love strategy, operations and making things efficient. I’m so energized by that work. Becoming the COO of a company is so appealing to me to lead an organization and invest in efforts to optimize or totally redefine ways of working. Second, I’d love to focus on people in organizations and become the head of change management or head of strategic HR, where I ensure that a company’s human capital is treated like the valuable asset that it is. Clearly, I’m not leaving school knowing exactly where I want to be in the next 20 years, but I’m ok with that. School has shown me that there are a lot of professional paths in life, and sometimes you have to take a leap when the right thing comes along. I can accomplish most of what I love professionally by staying at Bain & Company and becoming a partner one day, but that almost feels too safe. My ultimate goal is to take risks and explore a bit beyond the “safe route” to be more open and see where life leads.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? This may be cheesy but I would have to thank my parents. Neither of them has a four-year college degree. Yet, they sacrificed so much for me to get a good education, be able to do educational programs during the summer, take mission trips around the world, and study at a private university. They always wanted more for me than they ever had for themselves. Because of them and the opportunities they provided, I am able to get to this point in my professional career. I also especially want to thank my mom for instilling in me that success is not about money or power, but being a good person, being good to others, and feeling proud of yourself and what you do at the end of each day.

Fun fact about yourself: I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 27 years old – and while I like it I still don’t get why people have to drink it every day!

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings

Favorite movie: Princess Bride

Favorite musical performer: Adele

Favorite television show: Friends

Favorite vacation spot: Beaver Creek, Colorado (snowboarding!)

Hobbies? Cycling, snowboarding, yoga, hiking, and pretty much anything else outdoors.

What made Maeghan such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Maeghan has been the “student face” of UCLA Anderson to prospective students in her role as the president of the Anderson Admissions Ambassador Corps. In this role, she created a team of people who host students visiting campus for an Admissions information session or a class visit. Her team also conducts student interviews of the prospective students. We were thrilled to have Meaghan in this role because we feel that she embodies the Anderson students in her presentation, friendly and outgoing demeanor, the fact that she takes her studies seriously, and her warm charm. She has also been a key member of the Women’s Business Connection, an organization that’s had its strongest leadership team yet.

Meaghan was our first intern at the Honest Company, and because she did such a great job, the company has taken a more formal approach to recruiting with Anderson this year. I recently had the opportunity to watch Meaghan present during her team’s Applied Management Research (thesis presentation). This is the best team presentation I have seen since I first started judging these presentations for the class of 2013. Meaghan’s training and practice as a Bain consultant was evident, and the client told me that this team was able to unearth an answer no one in the company had been able to find. Meaghan is a delight, and I am proud to call her a fellow UCLA Anderson alumna!” — Regina Regazzi, Assistant Dean and Director, UCLA Anderson Parker Career Management


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.