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First Year Perspectives: Unexpected Benefits of Attending UCLA Anderson

About Jack: Jack Wilson (’24) is originally from San Francisco. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science and a minor in Computer Science. After graduation, Jack moved back to San Francisco where he worked in retail merchandising for the last four or so years. Jack loves to golf, surf, and spend time with friends. Jack is planning on working as a retail consultant immediately upon graduation.

While the advertised, and maybe even cliché, benefits of attending UCLA Anderson have proven accurate with students successfully pivoting careers, creating a strong network of future business leaders, and learning the necessary skills from a rigorous curriculum, I’d like to offer three benefits of UCLA Anderson that I did not anticipate prior to matriculation that have already had a substantial positive effect on my perspective and experience. Anderson offers the unique opportunity to meet (and befriend!) international students, create strong and lasting roots in Los Angeles, and gain early leadership skills from our strong club culture.

Anderson’s recent 2024 class offers a 40% international student split. With 2 out of every 5 students being foreign-born, the opportunity to meet and learn from folks from Taiwan, Chile, Ukraine, etc. is an incredibly unique offering – one I would argue is nearly impossible to find anywhere else. For example, students recently visited Tokyo and Osaka, led by 3 Japanese-born (and speaking) students each showing off their home cities. Beyond the cultural richness and fun of celebrating each other’s cultures – the future professional opportunities from a foreign network are strong.

In my opinion, the location of your MBA experience holds more weight than most students consider. Choosing your MBA location will in turn – likely be choosing where you work and then where you live after graduation. Los Angeles is – without a doubt – one of the best cities in the world. It is culturally rich, with a diverse population and incredibly delicious food. It is naturally stunning with nearly perfect weather, excellent beaches, and parks. While expensive – the cost of living is more reasonable than NYC or San Francisco – other popular options for recent MBA grads. Creating roots and friendships in Los Angeles will prove invaluable for your future happiness in a city with so much to offer.

UCLA Anderson’s club culture is strong and ever-present in students’ lives from the first day you set foot on campus. As a first-year student, I was lucky to hold leadership positions in the Management Consulting Association, Tech Business Association, and the Admissions Ambassador Corps. I have the Consulting Association to thank for my internship and the social clubs to thank for my new friendships. I’m looking forward to my upcoming Vice President role in the Consulting Association and very much underestimated how important clubs would be to my UCLA experience.

Exposure to international students, a Los Angeles network, and club involvement have proven to be three of my most beneficial, and unexpected, UCLA experiences thus far and I look forward to further immersing myself in these experiences during my 2nd year of school.

Student Blogger: Jack Wilson ‘24

Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis ‘17

Pre-MBA: Senior Category Manager – Chubbies Inc.

Leadership@Anderson:  Director Roles in Admissions Ambassador Corps, Management Consulting Association, Tech Business Association, Retail Business Association

Instagram: @jvwillz

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