Meet UCLA Anderson’s MBA Class Of 2023

UCLA Campus

A STUDENT-RUN OPERATION

That’s exactly the environment that Anderson builds class-after-class. One way the school achieves this is by having administrators step back and putt students in charge. It may sound counterintuitive — a first domino that inevitably ends with a Lord of the Flies scrum. In reality, students learn leadership by practicing it. Even more, they build community by holding each other accountable to the pillars that connect them and the pay-it-forward mentality that demands bringing out the best in themselves, their classmates, and future students.  Shoshana Seidenfeld, a 2021 grad and P&Q Best & Brightest MBA, came to Anderson nearly three years ago to challenge herself “to grow, evolve, and improve as a leader.” And there’s no place better for that, she adds, than UCLA Anderson.

“Anderson is an extremely student-led program and gives its leaders immense opportunity to create change and make an impact,” she writes. Our Anderson Student Association (ASA) oversees our club ecosystem and council of 70+ club presidents, operates its own budget, manages its own elections, plans school-wide social events, and executes new strategic initiatives and programming. On top of that, our students fully lead our clubs and play an active role in recruiting preparation for first years, with second year students leading interview prep training sessions and facilitating industry career seminars for their peers. At Anderson, second year students are even a part of the admissions process, acting as student interviewers who help select our next class of MBAs. The administration at Anderson truly empowers its students with the tools, resources, and independence to lead and create change, and I think that is extremely valuable and unique.”

In some quarters, there is a myth that urban program struggle when it comes to fostering community. They are dismissed as “commuter schools” where students fan out across the map after class. Over the past two years, Sarah Roberts has found the opposite. A 2022 MBA grad, Roberts says her class treated Anderson as the center of their experience.

“We have a really strong and diverse community of students who are interested in creating lasting relationships with one another in the classroom and outside of school,” she tells P&Q. “I grew up in New York and didn’t know anyone in Los Angeles when I decided to attend Anderson. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find a community of peers that I really connected with in LA. However, I’ve had the opposite experience at Anderson. From the first day, I found an incredible community of students who will be lifelong friends, business partners and allies.”

UCLA Anderson is among the schools with high Indian student populations

APPLICATIONS AND GMATS UP

You can expect the Class of 2023 to follow the same path. This past admissions cycle, UCLA Anderson experienced a 7% uptick in applications, though the school maintained a 360 student class size like the year before. The surge in applications also brought an increase in average GMAT scores, which rose from 706 to 714. The percentage of women also inched up from 40% to 42%, the same improvement that the school produced with minority students (30% to 32%). At the same time, the percentage of international students held steady at 36% from the previous year. Overall, 41 countries are represented in the Class of 2023.

By the same token, the class hails from 202 undergraduate institutions. 26% majored in Business, followed by 20% each in Engineering and Economics. Humanities majors make up 17% of the class, while 10% earned degrees in Math and Science. Career-wise, 22% of the class last worked in Technology, trailed closely by Financial Services and Consulting, which each hold a 21% share of the class. Consumer Goods (10%), Public Sector and Non-Profits (9%), Healthcare and Biotech (8%), Entertainment and Media (5%), and Real Estate (4%) also constitute large student blocs.

As COVID recedes into the rearview, Anderson MBAs are picking up momentum in terms  of pay.  Last year, the Class of 2021 enjoyed saw job offers rise, as placement rose from 83.3% to 93% within 90 days of graduation. In tandem, base pay also increased from $132,460 to $135,273, with overall compensation coming in at $165,150 between base and bonus. Not surprisingly, tech again drew nearly a third of the class. One big surprise: the percentage of Anderson MBAs choosing consulting plunged from 25.4% to 16.4%, as employers of choice included Amazon, Microsoft, Deloitte, McKinsey, and the Boston Consulting Group. That said, Anderson graduates preferred the comforts of the West Coast. 40.4% remained in Southern California, while another 21.8% took up residence in Northern California. What’s more, 11.4% chose jobs in the Western region.

The Anderson Venture Accelerator is housed on the ground level of the Rosenfeld Library at Anderson and is a massive 10,000-square-feet. Courtesy photo

MAJOR GROWTH IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Make no mistake: Anderson MBAs aren’t chilling on the way to a big payday, asserts 2021 grad Parth Chauhan. People may think of UCLA Anderson as a place that is not driven by professional ambitions. They may think of us as a bunch of surfers, volleyballers, and hikers. In fact, we punch well above our weight in consulting, investment banking, big tech, venture capital, and other MBA careers – we just happen to crush our professional ambitions while also surfing, v-balling, and hiking.”

Entrepreneurship is another area where Anderson MBAs punch above their proverbial weight. Some of that stems from the school’s Venture Accelerator. Since it launched in 2018, the accelerator boasts 165 startups, $150 million in VC investment, and a, 85%  success rate.  The profile of an Anderson entrepreneur is much different too. Notably, this year’s cohort features 70% minorities and 50% women.

The Venture Accelerator is only part of the equation, adds Joachim Cassel. “The Entrepreneurship Specialization at UCLA Anderson caught my eye very early on,” he tells P&Q. “You have first-year courses in Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation and Business Plan Development. In addition, there is a second-year thesis project, Business Creation Option, where you can launch your own company while still in school. Either way, the program perfectly prepares you to enter the world as an entrepreneur, all while gaining a holistic and complete education on all things business.”

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management

5 REASONS TO CHOOSE UCLA ANDERSON

1) Parker Career Management Center: “I think this is the place to give a big shoutout to the Parker Career Management Center. As one of the best career centers among MBA programs in the country (if not the best), this was a critical component in my decision to choose Anderson. While the MBA gives you an incredible opportunity to learn more and develop more skills, finding an internship and full-time placement (that is also right for you) after the MBA are equally important aspects of the MBA experience. The team’s dedication to help students at Anderson succeed in their career path is remarkable. You get the feeling they want your success as much as you do! (if not even more sometimes).”
Dmitry Glinets (’23)

2) Los Angeles: “There are so many reasons! As someone who wants to pursue tech after I graduate from Anderson, I know that Los Angeles (and Silicon Beach in particular) would have a plethora of tech companies where I could recruit for both internships and full-time positions. Especially for entertainment tech job opportunities, Los Angeles could give San Francisco and Silicon Valley a run for its money. In terms of lifestyle, there is never nothing to do in LA – delicious food, fun hikes and beaches, and an exciting nightlife. I feel like two years isn’t enough time to fully explore the city!”
Judy Wang (’23)

3) Entrepreneurship: “My MBA has given me a holistic understanding of business, the ability to speak with leaders across any function: product, engineering, operations, finance, and marketing. This ability to confidently speak with leadership has allowed me to speak confidently with investors and successfully recruit people of all backgrounds. The MBA also exposed me to countless entrepreneurial competitions with the most relevant intensity and practice to simulate raising venture capital (albeit nothing can truly prepare you for this other than actually raising capital).”
Michael Vilardo (’21)

“Anderson allowed us to make our startup into a capstone project. This gave us precious time to work on OYA in a risk-free environment while earning course credit! Second, the faculty and staff gave us plenty of one-on-one time to practice pitching in front of them and fine-tune our decks. Finally, they helped us meet other entrepreneurs and mentors who have been helping us as we grow.”
Mitchella Gilbert (’21)

4) Capstone: “I am most excited about the capstone project in which I will have the opportunity to apply the tools I learned during the program to a real-world business challenge. The capstone project can be fulfilled in two ways: (1) the Applied Management Research program (“AMR”), and (2) the Business Creation Option (“BCO”).  While many of my fellow classmates will leverage UCLA Anderson’s resources to build their companies while still in school through the BCO, I am looking forward to the AMR in which I will work as a consultant to help an organization solve a key business challenge, while advancing a pro-social cause and making an immediate, profound impact.”
Daniella Ryskina (’23)

5) Great Traditions: “I am really looking forward to Anderson Afternoons, a tradition where MBA students across all programs come together, as well as professors, administrators and deans, to network and debrief the preceding week. Described as the weekly equivalent of a tailgate, it is a great opportunity to get to know the wider community and make the most of the Anderson’s best resource: its people.”
Joachim Cassel (’23)

“Each month on Zoom, a student shares their AnderStory – a deeply intimate, personal story to present their true selves to their classmates. Despite the online setting, AnderStories has been phenomenally attended, and has become a great opportunity to learn and share vulnerabilities. I am excited for this new tradition to continue at Anderson, especially when it can even more intimately be in person.”
Parth Chauhan (’21)

MBA Team Meeting

ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE ANDERSON APPLICANTS

“Try to find what makes you get out of bed in the morning. What kind of impact do you want to make on your team, your community, and on society? Once you have that, define a high-level trajectory that you think can get you from where you are now to where you want to be. It can be fuzzy and half-baked, but Anderson can help you define that. However, admissions needs to see that you have the passion and drive to achieve your goals.”
Judy Wang (’23)

“The Riordan MBA Fellowship program is a great way to get to know UCLA and determine if it would be a good fit. They provide a free, 10-week application prep series for alumni of the Riordan program, whether or not you’re applying to Anderson. It helped me pace out my application tasks in a manageable way, and they brought in experts to answer our questions and offer guidance.

In your application, tell a cohesive story, about both the past and the future. Explain your history and what led you to pursue an MBA. Be clear about your long term goals and explain how an MBA would help you get there.”
Aliyah Lee (’23)

“Speak with students to understand Anderson’s culture. Anderson is very student-driven: if you are looking to get involved and shape your MBA experience, there’s no better place! The corollary to this is that Anderson is looking for students who will get involved—in Anderson, in their careers, and in their communities. The more you can show your genuine enthusiasm for this in your application, the better!”
Amelia Mockett (’23)

MEET THE MBA CLASS OF 2023

Click link to access student profile.

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Kendall Brown Los Angeles, CA Cornell University Accenture
Joachim Cassel London, UK University of Cambridge Oxbridge Global Tutors
Dmitry Glinets Ashkelon, Israel Technion – Israel Institute of Technology GE Healthcare
Jasmine Gipson Monroe, LA Harvard College National Landing BID
Rohit Kolar Laguna Niguel, CA Stanford University Citigroup Markets
Aliyah Lee Los Angeles, CA Northwestern University Blavity Inc.
Amelia Mockett Seattle, WA Massachusetts Institute of Technology Capital One
Vanessa Nunez Dos Palos, CA UCLA Lifelong Medical Care
Kitt Rosenfield New York City, NY Duke University Facebook
Daniella Ryskina L9s Angeles, CA Loyola Marymount University KPMG
Taylor Truan Poplar, WI U.S. Military Academy U.S. Army
Judy Wang Rockville, MD UC Berkeley Google

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