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MBA Insider

Inside the Black Box of MBA Admissions Evaluations

Our MBA Admissions Committee (AdCom) is busy reading applications here in our peak season, and now we’d like to give you a little peek inside the black box that normally hides our evaluation process from view.

Every MBA application gets a thorough and balanced review, as we consider the individual’s attributes and what they could add to the dynamic mix in our class. Context is everything as we see what the applicant achieved relative to their peers in the years available. Excitement feels contagious, so people who do good research share their enthusiasm for the opportunities that UCLA Anderson can provide to boost careers and change lives.

Part of our holistic process involves ratings on an “ACE” scale, where we consider Academics, Contribution and Employability as primary factors:

Academics: To check readiness for the intellectual rigor of our MBA program, we look at undergraduate grades and courses, plus any scores that are provided. Quantitative coursework, business-related classes and certifications can boost academic profiles.

Contribution: Community involvement and leadership development are vital at UCLA Anderson, so we look for such strengths in applicants’ university years and afterwards too. Adding diversity to the class in terms of background, career, geography, interests, etc. is always a plus.

Employability: Strong applications show transferable skills and an action plan that will leverage MBA resources to maximum effect. Coachability is also key, as are skills in communication and perseverance that are the raw materials for success in school and in life.

Candidates who submit a compelling application are invited to interview with us. This conversation is a friendly chance for applicants to make their case verbally for their goals and why an MBA at UCLA Anderson will make a huge difference in their lives. The real challenge is to figure out the case to make in the application, and then the interview will be fun!

In sum, we look for candidates who ACE the application process by showing they are prepared to hit the ground running here and make the most of the MBA experience. The best applicants come and prove how much potential they have to boost themselves up, add to our community and ultimately benefit the world.

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