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Student Perspectives: From Teacher to Student: Lessons From a New MBA Student

About Jordan: Prior to Anderson, Jordan (’22) spent 8 years teaching computer science and mathematics by way of Teach For America in Miami then DC (where he also built a public high school). He’s also spent 14 years in the US Army Reserves. At Anderson he hopes to explore the intersection of entertainment and technology.

Before attending UCLA Anderson, I taught in public high schools for eight years. In addition, my father has been a public school teacher for the last 25 years. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about teaching and learning for a large part of my life. So when I made the plunge to attend graduate school full time, in addition to being anxious about not having worked in corporate America since undergrad, I was very anxious about how I would cope with being on the other side of the classroom.

Teaching is Hard

Learning something new and unfamiliar is hard, teaching is harder. I remember analyzing my professors’ pedagogy at the beginning of term thinking to myself: “I wouldn’t have explained it that way,” or “That wasn’t a great check for understanding.” At times I felt like an injured athlete on the sidelines. But then I remembered that a classroom at UCLA Anderson is much more diverse than your typical K-12 classroom; diversity in professions, undergraduate study, geography, general life experience, and so much more. Finding common ground among 70 very different students every lecture is a tall order. But it is this very aspect that makes this experience so worthwhile; every classmate has a wealth of knowledge and the educator in the room isn’t the source of all the learning.

Forever Group Work

Like other business programs, students are placed into groups of classmates to work on assignments and projects for the entire term. I’ll be completely honest, when I was a teacher I avoided assigning group work to students because of all the things that can go wrong in groups. Here at Anderson, I would not have gotten through a class or two if it had not been for the folks in my Learning Team. Having the initial conversations with my group about the working style profiles we completed through the Parker Career Center were invaluable. And even though it is very apparent where people’s strengths and weaknesses are in the group, people here really do embody the Anderson value of “Shared Success.” So despite my light aversion to group work in the classroom, when it comes to my graduate education I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I would like to take this time to apologize to every former student I lectured about “finding balance,” “prioritizing commitments,” or “learning to say ‘no’.” Business School moves at a very high tempo starting the first day of Fall Quarter. It also becomes apparent very quickly that my experience here will highly depend on how much I get involved and take advantage of all the amazing resources a university like UCLA has to offer. And though I will never minimize the amount of hours teachers across America put in for our kids (teaching is a heavy emotional and intellectual endeavor), I really thought that these next two years were going to be a mini vacation. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s to take my own advice: find balance, prioritize commitments, and learn to say “no.”

Student Blogger: Jordan Budisantoso ‘22

Undergrad: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (’11) – BS Computer Information Systems

Pre-MBA: United States Army and High School Teacher (Math and Computer Science)

Leadership@Anderson: Director, Admissions Ambassador Corps; Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Section B; Director of Allyship, Black Business Student Association; Executive Director, Alliance for Latinx Management at Anderson; Director of Innovation, Entrepreneur Association; Board Fellow;

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