Meet UCLA Anderson’s MBA Class of 2018

UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management


Not only does Anderson recruit students from high tech, but they also successfully place students into the field. In the 2015 class, 30.8% of the class entered tech, nearly double consulting (17.9%) and financial services (15.0%). Compare that to five years ago, where tech’s share was just 14% of the graduating class. In fact, only northern neighbor U.C.-Berkeley places a higher percentage of its class into tech (with top employers at the school including Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon, Apple, and Google).

That’s no surprise: You’ll find many of these companies in Los Angeles’ famed Silicon Beach, a west Los Angeles encampment of high tech startups and incubators that spawned big names like Snapchat, Hulu, ZipRecruiter, and TrueCar.  Sprawling across Santa Monica, Venice, and Culver City, the area was ranked by Project Genome as the third-best global startup ecosystem in 2015 (topped by only Silicon Valley and New York City). This concentration has drawn waves of talent and investment capital, which creates synergies and opportunities that translate into big paydays for Anderson MBAs, including $114,932 average starting salaries for 2015 graduates, along with $27,335 average bonuses and other guaranteed compensation approaching $20,000 annually.

Google office in Los Angeles

Google office in Los Angeles

Although the school carries a decidedly tech bent, you won’t a student body marked by social awkwardness. Like Berkeley, Anderson is best known for its friendly and supportive culture. This is something that has been a long-heldtradition at the school according to Lawrence, a 1999 Anderson graduate himself. “The strengths and culture of school are built in the fact that we emphasize teamwork in many dimensions including classroom activities, career recruiting, social development, and building a strong community on and off the UCLA Anderson campus,” he says. “Many individuals in the incoming class displayed experiences of true collaboration and the spirit of teamwork that makes UCLA Anderson different.”


 That’s not just the assistant dean talking. In the latest Bloomberg Businessweek ranking, Anderson notched the 3rd-highest marks in student surveys and the 6th-best among alumni. After visiting campus and interacting with students, alumni, and administrators, many 2018 class members could really feel the difference at Anderson, whose culture also rests on the mantra of “sharing success.” Here, students are known to drop what they’re doing to prep peers for interviews or merrily mix with classmates, faculty, alumni, and recruiters at Thursday “Beer Busts” before starting their three-day weekends.

This atmosphere was a real selling point for Ryan, who has already seen the best of the Anderson ethos in the incoming class. “While I am a naturally competitive person, I had no interest in joining an MBA community that would be self-interested and cutthroat. I’ve had the chance to get to know my class and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the student body; my classmates are equal parts intelligent, driven, and collaborative.”

The Class of 2018 also raved about the Parker Career Management Center…and for good reason. In the 2016 Economist student survey, it ranked as the third-best career services center in the world (after finishing first in the 2015 survey). What’s their secret? For one, every student is assigned an advisor, generally with experience in their designated field. For another, personnel are heavily involved in students’ personal growth and job search, as evidenced by the center conducting over 4,600 advising sessions per year. For many, this hands-on approach is exactly what they need. “So far, Parker CMC has provided some excellent tools to help me identify my work style and my long term career values,” says Ryan.

UCLA logo

It almost goes without saying that the Class of 2018 os ecstatic to live in Los Angeles, the second largest metro in the United States with access to seemingly every industry and major company —and no shortage of beaches, landmarks, and entertainment options., either “You could never go wrong with being in the entertainment capital of the world with plenty of sunshine year-round,” cracks Droumeva.


Right now, the Class of 2018 has loftier ambitions than cruising Rodeo Drive or viewing the city from atop Mulholland Drive. Ernesto Cruz, a former manager at Deloitte, is itching to do strategy or development for a tech firm. For Vanessa Vasquez, a “museum nerd” who studied biological anthropology at Yale, finance is the destination, preferably in marketing. Others, however, plan to carve non-traditional paths. Goldberg, for example, pictures herself as a Chief Inclusion Officer to improve the place of women in the workplace. At the same time, Truong intends to mix her passion for impact investment with either healthcare or public education. “As a graduate of an underperforming public school in Los Angeles, I am very aware of how lucky I am to be where I am today,” she explains. “A personal and professional goal of mine is to make college matriculation a reality for anyone who wishes to achieve it.”

The Class of 2018 also feels lucky to have landed at Anderson. Over the next two years, they plan to mirror the cultural precepts that drew them to Anderson in the first place. “My number one goal every day is that, after every interaction with someone, that person leaves either having been helped or just feeling more positive about life,” says Meade. At the same time, Middleton intends to improve herself, so she can give back all the more. “I hope my peers will say that they witnessed me stretch myself and grow, that I aided them in their own growth, and that I did something to leave Anderson better than when I arrived.”


To read profiles of incoming Anderson students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.

Abdulkamal Bolutife Abdullahi / Lagos, Nigeria

Ernesto Cruz / Monterrey, Mexico

Katie Donovan / Hingham, MA

Gergana Droumeva / Sofia, Bulgaria

Anna Goldberg / San Jose, CA

Colin Meade / Carlsbad, CA

Tazia Middleton / Dublin, CA

Alexis Ryan / Los Angeles, CA

Joyce Truong / Chatsworth, CA

Vanessa Vasquez / South Gate, CA

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