Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Emily Dinino, UCLA (Anderson)

Emily Dinino

UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Type A extrovert. Lover of cats, comedy and Copenhagen. Passionate about gender equality and education.”

Hometown: Westlake Village, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: Received formal zombie training and endured hours of zombie makeup to appear in the film Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.

Undergraduate School and Major: Vanderbilt University, Economics Major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: New Classrooms, Finance Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I am interested in impact investing and Anderson offers academic and extracurricular opportunities to explore this area. I was attracted by the opportunity to earn a social impact specialization, join Anderson Venture Impact Partners (student run impact fund), or pursue an internationally focused, pro-social Applied Management Research capstone project. I also had a chance to interact with members of the Parker Career Management Center and knew I would be supported in pursuing a meaningful career.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? While living in New York, I realized how much I missed the beach, the mountains and the sunny winters. The more laid-back lifestyle of Los Angeles also really appealed to me. Los Angeles truly has everything, and I can’t wait to continue exploring the city.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? My classmates are uniformly well-rounded, humble and inclusive, and this current atmosphere also highlights their resilience. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and remote learning, I truly feel my class is committed to getting to know each other, working together and making the most of our experience. I have been especially impressed by the international students, who are dealing with visa challenges and time zone obstacles. With so many brilliant and driven students at Anderson, a humble and collaborative environment isn’t a given. I experienced that unique culture when I visited Anderson, and I feel it within my class.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at UCLA Anderson? What makes you most nervous about business school? I am excited to meet so many amazing people, expand my network, learn about myself and develop as a leader. I know I will leave with a supportive community and the knowledge and clarity to continue growing personally and professionally. I am nervous about the remote experience continuing, but trust in the administration, the second years and my class to make the best of this unfortunate circumstance.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After two years in New York doing investment banking, I moved to an EdTech non-profit called New Classrooms. Making this decision and successfully navigating the transition were big accomplishments for me. I had to overcome the discomfort of working in new ways, in a different environment with varied team structures. Leaving the comfort and security of banking took courage, and ultimately helped me to identify my career goals and strengthen my commitment to social impact.


What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
When reflecting on my existing skillset and passions and what abilities and experiences I needed for my next career steps, an MBA was the clear choice. I have had these two diverse professional experiences and feel prepared to take advantage of all an MBA program has to offer.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I knew I wanted to live in California, so other than Anderson I applied to Berkeley Haas and USC Marshall.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I was asked in an interview: “Tell me about a time when you had to work in a team situation with a difficult individual.”

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The factors that were most important to me were a culture of collaboration not competition, an attentive career center that truly forms a partnership with students, social impact offerings and an active and supportive alumni network. I prioritized campus visits and did as many virtual or in person admissions events as I could. I found speaking with students and alumni to be the most useful tool in evaluating schools and learning about the culture. I was so impressed by the response rate and willingness of people from Anderson to speak with me. That alone said volumes about the community at Anderson. Through these conversations and my research, I was able to ensure there were alumni at organizations I would be thrilled to work for. Attending interview days and admit weekends also really helped me envision myself as part of the class and see who my classmates could be.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? When I was in middle school, my brother and I both found that the traditional school system could not serve our needs and decided to create an independent study program. For my brother, who has ADD, traditional teaching methods often interfered with or masked his learning. He excelled in the independent study environment, able to learn in different modes and at increased speed. In my case, I was told by both public and private schools in my area that they could not accommodate students deviating from the standard math progression. The independent study program allowed me to take classes at the local community college, where I could freely pursue my love of math and complete calculus in 8th grade. Choosing to question and step outside the box was scary, but it has served me well ever since.

Working at New Classrooms, which creates innovative personalized learning models for schools, was an incredible opportunity that deepened my understanding of the challenges in our current education system. These experiences have shaped my views on the importance of physical, emotional, and intellectual access to a quality education and meaningful work. This perspective on adaptability and innovation have prepared me well for business school.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? There are many successful and inspiring companies that are having a positive impact on the world. A few of my favorites are Patagonia, Sweetgreen, Lemonade, Allbirds, and Warby Parker. I think it’s critical for business students to see that companies can balance profit and purpose.

DON’T MISS: MEET UCLA ANDERSON’S MBA CLASS OF 2022