MBA Student By Day, ‘Hamilton’ Dancer By Night

It’s one thing to be an MBA student. It’s another to be an MBA student while performing six days per week in the Hamilton ensemble.

For Sam Aberman, a Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) student at UCLA Anderson School of Management, it’s just regular life. In an exclusive interview with UCLA, Aberman described her diverse background and how she’s been able to balance being both a poet and a quant in UCLA’s FEMBA program.

A ‘CAREER SUPPLEMENTER’

Aberman, originally a dance major at the University of Florida, could never be solely defined by one thing and one thing only. At the University of Florida, she also studied applied physiology and kinesiology. Since then, she has had a tenured position performing on a cruise ship, worked as an intern at a cake shop, enjoyed a stint as a personal trainer, and labored at a law firm—all before landing a role on Hamilton. Aberman’s path has been unique and she describes herself as a “career supplementer,” as opposed to a career switcher.

“I’d perform for a while and my brain would itch and lead me to pursue something else,” she says. “For most creative people, that journey isn’t unusual — it’s an asset to not necessarily have such a direct line to a final career outcome.”

THE VALUE OF DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES

To many, Aberman’s varied career path may seem strange. But her variety of experiences was a perfect match for UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA program. According to UCLA, the FEMBA Admissions Committee “values diverse perspectives gained through studying and interacting with professionals from a variety of functional areas, industry segments, and cultural backgrounds. Candidates are carefully selected for their overall abilities and the contributions they make to their own educational process.”

Aberman, interested in pursuing her interest in business, decided to apply to UCLA’s FEMBA program.

“I’ve always had a desire to run my own business — or run someone else’s,” she says. “It could be in any field. I wanted to develop confidence, to be able to have someone trust me with their business.”

Since being accepted to UCLA’s FEMBA program, it seems she’s found a place to call home.

“I’ve realized my strengths as the program has gone on,” Aberman says. “I bring to the table skills I might have felt awkward claiming before.”

Sources: UCLA, UCLA

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