Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Taylor Truan, UCLA (Anderson)

Taylor Truan

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Army veteran, engineer, and recreational athlete looking to unite people through sports and entertainment.”

Hometown: Poplar, WI (pop. 599)

Fun Fact About Yourself: I spontaneously entered an international strongman competition while abroad and won a really cool T-shirt for getting 1st place

Undergraduate School and Major:

United States Military Academy, B.S. Operations Research

Missouri University of Science & Technology, M.S. Engineering Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: U.S. Army, Engineer Officer

UCLA Anderson is founded on the Three Pillars: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, and Drive Change. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? “Share success.” Teamwork and collaboration have been core themes in my life from childhood sports to the military and now also at business school. The faculty, students, and alumni have provided immense support so far and I am excited to see what we can achieve collectively.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? Professionally, LA is a perfect place to explore a mix of industries and functions with the wide variety of startups and established companies in both tech and entertainment. LA provides easy access to academic internships, DOJs, and networking opportunities with industry professionals. Outside of school, there is an unlimited number of entertainment and food options. The weather is amazing and allows for year-round land and sea recreational activities.

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? UCLA Anderson’s Entertainment Management specialization and the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, and Sports were the deciding factors for my business school choice. The abundance of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom facilitated by these programs will provide invaluable opportunities for my professional growth.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at UCLA Anderson? I’m most excited about taking on a leadership role within the Sports Business Association (SBA). The SBA provides an array of educational and professional opportunities including speakers, dinners, professional and student panels, and job treks. This will allow me to create professional networks and contacts within this unique business industry.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I spent five years studying and training to lead soldiers in combat. I had that privilege in 2017 when I led a combined arms platoon in Afghanistan doing counter-explosive operations. We partnered with the Afghan security forces and NATO allies to help reclaim land in eastern Afghanistan held by ISIS-K.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? During the pandemic, I focused my new-found abundance of time on the aspects of my life that were most important to me. My girlfriend, now fiancée, and I prioritized our relationship by taking time to understand each other’s needs and goals, thereby building a much stronger connection. I was also able to reflect on my past career and make a plan of action for the new life that I wanted to build in Los Angeles.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My future career options in the military did not align with my passions or goals in life. After earning my MBA, I hope to work in the sports and entertainment space while continuing to serve the veteran community.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Berkeley Haas, USC Marshall, and UVA Darden

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UCLA Anderson’s MBA program? Connect with an Anderson student club representative with a similar interest or background as you. Current students and alumni are always eager to talk to prospective candidates! Also attend the information sessions held by the administration or professional clubs. Take all this and your personal research to better understand and articulate why a UCLA Anderson MBA is best for you.


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