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

  • MBA2018

    I agree with this observation 🙂

  • 2and20 are absolutely out of your mind if you think Marshall is in the same tier as Stanford or Haas. Sincerely, an employee at a tier 1 employer filled with HBS and Wharton grads.

  • C. Taylor

    Impressions and preferences of some folks aside, it is solidly in the 2nd tier. Marshall grads find success.

    Below the usual suspects, rankings are pretty ineffective comparators.

  • Red Layug

    The top employers do not regard Marshall an equall of Stanford and Haas.

    Those top employers that regularly attract Stanford and Haas grads (often, are also the same employers that attract HBS, Wharton and Sloan grads) do not hire Marshall grads, unless, perhaps, you are the top 1 or 2 guy from Marshall and you went out of your way to earn a spot at those companies/firms.
    The Marshall MBA is a good program. But to the sight of the top students and top employers, it sadly is a tier 3 program.

  • Red Layug

    “University of California schools are lower in reputation and resources.”

    That is so undergrad mentality. Most business schools have some level if independence from the mother university. Haas is only about 90% dependent on UC Berkeley, due mainly to the presence of the undergrad profram which is still receiving funding from the mother university. But even that will soon change.

  • HBS 2018

    While people are debating below regarding which school in Cali is better, can I just mention that Alexis from page 10 is kinda cute.

  • Ronaldo

    It was ranked low because of the same reasons that put INSEAD ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and MIT in the FT ranking! The same reasons that put Texas McCombs ahead of NYU in US news ranking, the same reasons that put Duke #1 in BW ranking last year! This is the point, rankings alone do not determine the quality of the institution, the major things in my opinion are: quality of students, quality of faculty, school history, employment stats, firms recruiting its students, alumni base and achievements, and location and links to industry. No one can deny that USC marshall is the world’s best university for entertainment industry , movie , and films. The school of cinematic arts is the center of world movie industry with all its technological innovation in visualization , animation, and display. Second, USC is one of the world best universities (if not the best indeed) in mobile telecommunication industry. Marshall school is one of the top ten in accounting and international business. Technology and business analytics are one of the strong areas at Marshall. The school location is another big advantage. It also has incredible base of highly successful and strongly loyal alumni. All these factors help USC Marshall to be solid tier 1 school, a solid top 15 school, with a tiny margin to any one of the top 10. I am not affiliated by any mean to Marshall, but I know it from searches and readings and I know for sure it is very very underrated by rankings. Just look at their latest employment report and see the quality of recruiters, positions, and salaries.

  • Amy

    I hate to be so blunt but then how do you explain the low rankings Marshall consistently receives, especially relative to the other California schools? I am assuming you are either a graduate or an employee of the school so I’m hoping you can enlighten us 🙂

  • Ronaldo

    If the stats such as GMAT, GPA, selectivity are the main things to differentiate between good or not good schools, then IIM-A in india should be the world’s best, by far. with selectivity less than 1%, GMAT of 760 or so as average and nearly perfect GPA. Another example is Duke university with GMAT less than 700 yet, it is by all measures a top tier business school and core institution for MBB and prestigious firms and offer the exact quality of education of Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, while on the other hand, UNC-Kenan Flagler has a GMAT over 710, however, it is far behind duke. The point is stats alone don’t determine the quality of the institution or prestige.

  • MBA-Recruiting

    I did not mean the ranking of marshall or anderson in these rankings, I meant that I don’t take these rankings as the major measure for the two schools quality and strengths. This is very important as it could be very misleading to judge schools merely (or largely) based on ranking.

  • Eddie

    All three 2016 rankings that are out (FT, Economist, US News) have them in that exact order similar to last year. The gap between Anderson and Marshall isn’t exactly close in any of them…

  • Amy

    Let’s not get carried away here… I mean no offense to the USC Marshall crowd but it is silly to say that the school is comparable to Stanford (look at number of applications, GMAT scores, GPA, selectivity etc…). The avg GMAT at Marshall isn’t even over 700…

  • Ronaldo

    No, Marshall School of Business is comparable to Stanford Graduate School of Business. The two schools offer high quality education and attract the brightest students from across the globe. University of California schools are lower in reputation and resources.

  • MBA-Recruiting

    I respectfully disagree. Rankings are subjective and most times do not reflect the real value. It is hard to believe that NYU is in 20s rank! (US NEWS rank, despite being the most reliable ranking). In FT MBA rank, INSEAD is better than Stanford and Harvard! and IE better than Tuck and Duke!! In the economist ranking, you find every mess you would have imagined. In BW they put Duke number 1 last year !, So, my point is to take the ranking with a barrel of salt! There are things that determine which school is top tier or not, such as, its alumni, statistics, employers, strengths of mother university, location, history, faculty reputation, quality of students, etc.. If you take all those factors together and try to evaluate the top four business schools in California, Stanford, Haas, Anderson, and Marshall, you would find that Stanford is the best, followed by Haas, and it is quite hard to differentiate between Anderson and Marshall.

  • Eddie

    You had me until you put USC Marshall and Stanford in the same sentence. Then I realized you were another Marshall troll. Or maybe the same one that has been trying to convince people in comments that it is somehow a top 10 program.

    Among California programs it goes like this: Stanford (Top 2-3), Berkeley (Top 8-10), UCLA Anderson (Top 15), USC Marshall (Top 30)

  • Edward

    This is strong class. UCLA Anderson has managed to have this solid cohort of talents. This school increasingly becoming direct threat to USC Marshall and Stanford in quality education, prestige, and attracting the strongest applicants.