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First Year Perspectives: Learning in the Digital Age

About Austin: Austin Weatherholt (’24) is originally from San Jose, California. He graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Minor in Economics. After graduation, Austin worked for HP and Micron in Sales Operations and Finance roles. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and a variety of other sports, cooking, and being outdoors.

Several years removed from my biology and economics undergraduate coursework, I was excited to see how the ever-more digital world had impacted the school experience. UCLA Anderson has successfully leveraged improved technology systems and learnings from the pandemic to bring the MBA educational experience into a new and exciting digital age.  Digital aspects of the MBA experience have added value to the start of my 2-year journey by providing a wider set of opportunities, supplementing the important in-person elements.

Here are a couple of my favorite digital elements:

Bruin Learn: At UCLA we use an online education platform called Bruin Learn, powered by Canvas. This platform brings all coursework into one place, creating a central location for assignments, instructor announcements, and basically, anything class related. The interface has made it easy to stay on top of deadlines and access course material. The platform is also occasionally used to take tests and quizzes and you can get access to video recordings of classes when you miss due to illness. The mobile application has also provided a level of flexibility in when and where I can access course material.

Slack & Campus Groups: Slack is Anderson’s virtual social hub. It is one of the main communication platforms for your learning teams, section, and professional and social clubs. Staying on top of the different channels is important as there are tons of events and opportunities that get posted to this site every day. Campus Groups is Anderson’s hub for all events put on by clubs. There is an endless amount of opportunity to attend different events and meet fellow classmates across programs. Be sure to check Campus Groups often as well, some events have limited space and sell out quickly!

Online Seminars, Speaker Events, and the Summer Immersion: UCLA Anderson has leveraged Zoom and related technologies to allow for increased access to training, networking, and mentoring opportunities than that which could be done purely in an in-person environment. UCLA Anderson and professional clubs are consistently offering opportunities to supplement coursework with additional online training. Access to Zoom has allowed for an increased breadth of personalized interactions with alumni from across the globe. Leadership@Anderson has offered online executive coaching which I have found extremely valuable for my leadership development journey.

In the month before coming to campus for orientation, UCLA Anderson offered in-person and virtual Summer Immersions to deep dive into a specific industry. This virtual classroom experience offered a great opportunity to kickstart my transition back to academia before making the move to LA. I also gained a feel for the teaching style at Anderson and got a head start on refining my recruitment interests.

The digital era of the MBA brings endless opportunities to your fingertips. If you have any questions about the MBA experience at UCLA feel free to reach out to me at Go Bruins!

Student Blogger: Austin Weatherholt ‘24

Undergrad: University of the Pacific (’16) – B.S. Biology & Minor in Economics

Pre-MBA: Sr. Financial Analyst, Micron Technology, Inc.

Leadership@Anderson: First-Year Director, Admission Ambassador Corps; VP of Emerging Technology, Andertech; VP of Strategic Partnerships, HBA; President, John Anderson Golf Club

Instagram: @aussiesgotit

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