Meet the MBA Class of 2021: The Go-Getters

Jacob Markus

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“On the corner of “eccentricity” and “mania” – if you hit “certainty” then you’ve gone too far.”

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: Finished an entire 15 oz. of Nescafé on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Undergraduate School and Major: B.S. Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Facebook, Capital Planning Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was gaining the respect of my Chinese Sales Partners while on rotation with Apple in Beijing. After beginning my project as an outsider, I sourced more and more of my information from local teams to show a willingness to understand regional challenges. Six months later, I felt accomplished at the way my assessments were said to have a valuable “flavor” and used as part of the discussion to reach a final decision on the forecast.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Suggestible— we are all here as “yes” men and women that consider opportunities beyond the current horizons available to us.

UCLA Anderson is founded on three pillars: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, and Drive Change. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? Share Success. I have seen first-hand how a competitive culture can gradually erode the genuine passion of a group. Every interaction I have had at Anderson so far has reinforced a collaborative, “one team” approach to education and recruiting. This is a breath of fresh air.

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? Anderson stands out as an institution with astounding international exposure. This is apparent in the opportunities I will be exploring from Global Immersion to unique academic catalog offerings like “Ethical Considerations in Business.”

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most looking forward to the capstone project in my 2nd-year. I am excited to tackle a real-world challenge through collaboration and applying my career experience with my MBA perspective.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The hardest question I faced was during the interview process regarding my interest to pursue an MBA for technology given that I already had extensive experience. Although I have “been to the mountaintop” with respect to Big Tech, I recognize how limited my perspective is and I want to build upon this by working with peers from other industries and extending the variety of challenges to which I’m exposed.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’ve seen the limitations of my ability to message and communicate certain ideas in my career. While there are certainly other ways to address this, I found that the MBA experience goes beyond this to provide a community with lifelong learnings that will follow you long after graduation.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to a variety of programs on the east and west coast with my keyboard and brain but my heart was always with my UCLA application.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized my interactions with current students and my targeted cities/industries following graduation. My career goals were fairly set so I spoke to as many students as possible to get their take on the way those particular career goals were nurtured at each institution. It wasn’t long before I noticed a pattern with Anderson students. Not only did they encourage “reaching for the stars,” but they had concrete examples of peers and alumni that did – and offered to connect me to them. Almost every call resulted in an important connection that furthered my understanding of both my career goals and the UCLA Anderson experience.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? One of my most formative experiences was recording an album with a few friends in high school. We had played together for years and were looking forward to finally getting some studio time to capture the energy of our sound. Slowly, the sessions were mired in apathy and perfectionism. Why were we spending hours re-recording the timbre of a quiet backing track that the listener would never appreciate? This fatigue had replaced the passion we had for the craft. In hindsight, this shaped me by highlighting the need to keep an element of fun and freshness to projects and diagnosing the moment when this changes.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I want to be leading a diverse team to execute unprecedented technology projects which will change the world, in an environmentally conscious manner. Of course, I will still be deeply connected to the Anderson community to ensure that I can collaborate with the brightest interns next summer.

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