Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Xinyi (Mary) Wang, UCLA (Anderson)

Xinyi (Mary) Wang         

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Born musician with an accounting major, became PM in renewable energy industry”

Hometown: Beijing, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have performed at churches in 7 cities with University Chorale as the only student from business school.

Undergraduate School and Major: Binghamton University – Bachelor of Science in Accounting, University of Notre Dame – Master of Science in Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Shell, Commercial Advisor

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 resonates with me from the first day of the program and creates a virtuous cycle that makes Anderson successful. Not only are professors, faculty, and alumni sharing success, but our current MBA classmates are supporting each other and sharing resources so that we can all contribute to the success of the Anderson MBA program. Everyone comes from a diverse background and adds value to the program by leveraging our strengths and learning from each other’s expertise. It will have a lifelong impact on our future careers to establish a collaborative culture in the workplace and lead the team to achieve success.

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? Parker Career Management Center at UCLA Anderson really stands out among career centers at top MBA programs. Even before our MBA program started, the director of Parker Career Management Center, along with all advisors, hosted info sessions to answer questions from prospective MBA students. For international students, we had a Parker small group meeting with Ms. Chrissy Ercole who has tremendous expertise in International Student Advising and Corporate Outreach. After the MBA program starts, there are other programs including Anderson Career Teams, advising, and recruiting activities held by Parker. We also have Parker Career Series as a core course in summer quarter so that we can define our career objectives and prepare for the internship search. I am very impressed and thankful to have Parker as part of our MBA program because it shows that the school really cares about students’ professional growth and makes more efforts compared with other schools.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at UCLA Anderson? I took the “Foundations of Inclusive Leadership” class during our orientation week. It was truly an insightful experience for incoming MBA students to start reflecting on our previous career paths and working effectively to reach our future professional goals through practices at the MBA program. Professor Craig Fox has set us an example of an inclusive leader who promotes psychological safety in the classroom and encourages everyone to express different views. He also supports informational sharing so that we can all learn from others’ expertise and make effective group decisions. As inclusive leadership is much easier said than done, UCLA Anderson’s MBA program is valuable experience to practice our leadership skills in a safe and risk-free environment to utilize inclusive leadership capabilities.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  My biggest accomplishment is supporting Shell to enter the renewable market in Asia to transform the business and generate more low-carbon energy such as solar and wind power. I conducted market research on the renewable energy industry and performed financial analysis for executives on the Shell Global Renewables Leadership Team. Under the global fuel shortage, it is truly meaningful to serve the goal of net zero emissions in my career and work for a sustainable future for our society.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Through years of project management experience in the renewable energy industry, I have gained in-depth industry knowledge and developed a strong capability of identifying and evaluating investment opportunities both theoretically and physically. While my academic and professional experiences have provided me with essential business skills and industry expertise, an MBA degree is necessary for developing management and leadership skills, technical knowledge, and an influential network to overcome challenges in order to fulfill my career goals. Besides developing adaptive governance and strategic planning skills, UCLA Anderson’s MBA program will enable me to step out and reflect on my previous work experience more deeply and improve respective skills to turn my passion for environmental concerns into impact.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you enjoyed and would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? I really enjoyed listening to “Bruin Success,” a UCLA Alumni Association podcast, and highly recommend it to prospective MBAs! It is a great way to learn from UCLA alumni who are actively innovating, disrupting businesses, and making history. It further motivates me to become a successful alumna and give back to UCLA in future.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford, Berkeley

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UCLA Anderson’s MBA program? In general, I would recommend the following three steps to potential applicants:

  1. Do in-depth research on required and elective courses, student clubs and employment reports of UCLA Anderson’s MBA program.
  2. Have a clear goal on what you would like to get out of the MBA program and how you would like to contribute to the class.
  3. Reflect on why UCLA Anderson MBA program is a good fit for you and show your passion in the application.

Last but not least, enjoy the process and best of luck!

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