Meet UCLA Anderson’s MBA Class of 2019

Denice Gonzalez-Kim 

UCLA, Anderson School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A progressive woman, daughter of Mexican entrepreneurs and business owners in Los Angeles.

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love being outdoors, especially taking long runs. I started running in my high school cross country team and have since completed six Los Angeles marathons and multiple half-marathons across California.

Undergraduate School and Major: UCLA, Global Studies and minor in Public Affairs

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  •  School on Wheels, Partnership and Project Leader, 2015-2017
  •  AmeriCorps, VISTA, 2014-2015
  •  CBOL Corporation (Aerospace Industry), Assistant Program Manager, 2010-2014
  •  After-School All-Stars, Program Coordinator, 2009-2010
  •  Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK), English Teacher, 2008-2009

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Hands down, working with homeless children on Skid Row, Los Angeles. Homelessness has always been a huge issue in Los Angeles and I wanted to work in this space before going into my MBA program. I worked at School on Wheels, which provides educational access to K-12 homeless children in Southern California. They have one of the smartest and most humble teams of working professionals making a huge difference for some of the most vulnerable children in the nation. I learned a lot from the team professionally and I learned a lot from the most resilient children I have ever met. My heart will always be with them.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Get the GMAT out of the way earlier so that you can give yourself space to focus on the other parts of the application process. The GMAT score is valid for five years. Once you know you want to go to business school – before you do the school research and start crafting your story – take care of the GMAT. You will remove a lot of unnecessary stress from the process once you do that.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Location was incredibly important to me since I see myself staying in Los Angeles. I wanted to stay aware of West Coast current events and potential opportunities, while at the same time expanding my professional global experience. Anderson was the perfect fit. The school has a global reach, specifically through their Center for Global Management. However, they also have a lot of initiatives relevant to the West Coast. Years before I was enrolled I would follow the UCLA Anderson Forecast which provides forecast for the economies of California and the United States.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Anderson is great at fostering a community that supports one another. I am naturally a risk-averse individual and I came to Anderson specifically to take risks personally and professionally. A successful first year would be one where I have pursued opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone such as participating in case study competitions. I would also like to continue my passion for increasing diversity in higher education institutions. Anderson has a lot of opportunities for leadership positions working with administration on diversity efforts.

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