Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6

Meet UCLA Anderson’s MBA Class of 2020

Mariana Barraza

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Family-oriented value creator with a passion for making guacamole.”

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was part of Mariachi Cardenal, Stanford’s student-run mariachi, and had the opportunity to perform with Japanese mariachi groups in Kyoto and Tokyo during spring break of freshman year.

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, Class of 2012, Management Science and Engineering, Human Biology minor

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Accenture, Management Consulting Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:

While on a telecommunications project as a Change Management Advisor in Mexico City, I led the launch of new a program. More importantly, I gained the respect and trust of my clients. My ability to adapt to their workstyle and master the industry standards enabled me to guide their strategy post-launch, creating opportunities for revenue growth as my client looked to disrupt the telecommunications market.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Humble! Since day one of orientation, I have found my classmates to be humble in their interactions. While everyone has an impressive background, I haven’t found anyone bragging about their past experiences or discussing future aspirations. I am are more likely to be asked if I’m joining a beach trip than which companies I will be targeting during recruitment. I often run into my section mates at the outdoor pool for a swim before class, and we are holding each other accountable to swim regularly!

Aside from your classmates, 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? Deciding to attend UCLA Anderson was coming full-circle for me. Not only would I be pursuing my Masters degree, I would be returning to where I first learned of an MBA. I learned of UCLA Anderson and the MBA degree as a junior in high school through the Riordan Scholars, a program at Anderson focused on encouraging individuals from diverse and underserved communities to consider and prepare for careers in leadership. When it was time to decide on a business school, I knew that the community and support system at Anderson would be unparalleled, having witnessed since high school the commitment from faculty and professors to students’ success. From fellow students serving as mentors to established institutions such as the Parker Career Management Center, I knew that I would have the resources to make the most out of my MBA experience and explore my various post-graduation career interests. Plus, did I mention the weather and location?

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Traveling internationally with classmates. The first trip is already on the calendar!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As I worked through my various projects and had increased client interactions and visibility, I started realizing my clients’ expectations and trust called for more than what was explicitly defined in my role description. As clients started looking at me for more direction and entrusting in me more of their business decisions, I found that I wanted to take time to invest in myself and broaden my skill-set to be better equipped to help them through their most challenging phases. While I was surrounded by extremely talented and educated team members, I wanted to ensure that I could speak to the different aspects of a business and understand how specific consulting projects fit into the overarching picture.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Aside from being a personal goal of mine to obtain an MBA, speaking with alumni and current MBA students really helped me decide that an MBA is worth the investment. While everyone had different experiences prior to their MBA, the degree was essential in their career advancement.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? GSB, Wharton, HBS, Haas, Ross, MIT Sloan, Fuqua, Columbia

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized career-development resources, location, and culture. Since I knew that I wanted to explore different career options, I spent time not only reviewing historical hiring reports, but understanding how alumni landed their full-time offer (via traditional on-campus recruiting or through off-campus opportunities.) Like mentioned above, hearing first-hand from alumni about their own experiences really helped me evaluate how I would benefit from the school’s resources.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? As a sophomore, I decided to switch my major to Management Science and Engineering, after being more than half-way through the pre-medical requirements. Making that decision felt like the first time I was doing something for myself rather than because it was what was expected of me. At that point, my experiences at Stanford had opened my eyes to the plethora of resources and opportunities that were truly unique to my time as an undergraduate, and really pushed me to follow my interests and be comfortable with changing courses along the way. Had I not switched majors, I would not have pursued a career in consulting and decided to obtain an MBA degree.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am exploring pivoting to product management at a technology company or returning to consulting. I want a role where I can leverage technology to help businesses provide their customers an opportunity to lead more efficient lives.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years I see myself in a decision-making position, defining and creating value for a tech company. I also see myself as a champion for inclusion and diversity in the workplace, providing mentorship opportunities to underrepresented students.