Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Jasmine Gipson, UCLA (Anderson)

Jasmine Gipson

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“The one with the wild (but good) ideas and fearless spirit of hustle.”

Hometown: Monroe, LA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am the youngest of 8 children and the “cool” auntie to 11 children.

Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard College, Sociology and African American Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: National Landing BID, Planning and Economic Development Manager

UCLA Anderson is founded on the Three Pillars: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, and Drive Change. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? Of Anderson’s three pillars, Think Fearlessly resonates most deeply with me. I believe this pillar highlights Anderson’s culture of inclusion. My classmates are a wonderful group of diverse and brilliant individuals. Without their voices in the classroom, my own learning would not be as rich. I believe this pillar allows us to share our ideas, differences, and deepest concerns without fear, making the Anderson family a place of genuine learning.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? Los Angeles can’t be beat in terms of access to opportunities in entertainment, real estate, and marketing. The giants in those industries are essentially at your doorstep. I am still new to LA, but the people of Los Angeles are some of the kindest people I’ve encountered. Everyone is friendly and constantly offering a helping hand. Lastly, the great weather and beach vibes never hurt!

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of UCLA Anderson’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Anderson’s Parker Career Center was the key in my decision to attend UCLA. I find the depth and breadth of the team to be impressive. My Parker advisers, Angela and Ashima, are both caring but also clear and honest in offering the advice I need to prep for interviews and secure my dream internship.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at UCLA Anderson? I am most excited to complete the Business Creation Option (BCO) which is Anderson’s experiential learning course where students form teams to create a new business venture. Entrepreneurship has always been a goal of mine, so I plan to grow my entrepreneurial skills and ability to lead a team through a creative process during my BCO experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I co-founded the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion taskforce at my first job. To be honest, I was terrified of presenting our idea to the CEO, but he welcomed the idea with open arms. Through the taskforce, I was able to work with a brilliant senior leader and now CEO, Lyse Ratliff. Being able to provide value to my colleagues on a topic that matters to them personally and professionally, transformed my self-concept. I continue to carry the same fierce insistence on equity with me to the classroom.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 helped me focus on creating more joy in my life. For many years, I made career and life decisions based on how I felt my decisions would resonate with others. However, during the pandemic, I realized I was making choices that did not bring me joy. To quote Beyonce, “Now, I have given myself permission to focus on my joy.”

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Previously, I was working in a role with a natural progression toward a master’s in planning. However, I realized that the idea development and marketing aspects of my roles were most exciting to me. I felt an MBA would allow me to continue the creativity and marketing work I love while challenging me to become an effective leader and learn to quantitatively analyze my decisions.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Stanford GSB, Wharton, and Berkeley and Ross. My goal was to apply to schools with a mix of culture and strengths in entertainment and entrepreneurship.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UCLA Anderson’s MBA program? I would advise applicants to spend time reflecting on their career and life thus far as well as where you see yourself in the future. Talk to students and alumni to understand how Anderson contributes to their success. Then, in your application, highlight how you believe Anderson and its programs specifically will get you to your goals. Also, don’t forget to let the admissions committee know how you plan to bring your special skills to the Anderson community. Lastly, consider applying through the Consortium to join a community of business leaders who care about social equity.


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