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Student Perspectives: Is Parker really a reason why I should pick Anderson?

This post is a part of the Student Perspectives series – each post is written by a current UCLA Anderson student, and provides first-hand perspectives and experiences about being an MBA student at UCLA Anderson.

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To answer my own question — Parker was not my reason for picking Anderson. However, I got very lucky that my other reasons led me to UCLA Anderson and Parker. 

Prior to Anderson, I attended a pretty well-reputed undergraduate institution. A couple reasons why I chose to go there for undergrad were its collaborative culture, location, and course/professor opportunities. So, that being the only time I’ve ever picked a school, when it came time for me to pick a Business School I naturally gravitated towards evaluating business schools through similar parameters. 

Looking back, that’s not necessarily the best idea. I had different objectives for going to business school, I was at a different point in my academic and professional career, and my goals had shifted. However, everything worked out well in the end and my final decision was to attend Anderson.

Now before starting Anderson, we had a Parker Career Center presentation and they gave us some homework before starting school. To be very honest, I thought this was going to be busy work and not that helpful. Initially, I even was resistant to making some of the changes they suggested. My thought process was that I did well in undergrad recruiting, I’m comfortable during interviews, and I have several great achievements that employers will like. However, given it was homework, I did what they ask with the mindset that if needed I can go back to what I originally had. 

After doing my first resume iteration just by following Parker’s videos,  it amazed me that anyone even had the patience to read my old resume. It had a non-standard format, read as a job description, and was not aligned at all with the industry I wanted to pursue. Over the course of the quarter, I’d met several times with various Parker career advisers and every single experience was a critical learning experience for me. They taught me much more than how to build an attractive resume or memorable cover letter, but instead they taught me how to present myself to employers, how to approach questions (whether it be interview or casual conversations), and really how to leave a memorable impression. 

These skills that Parker taught me aren’t taught in any classrooms, but rather can only be taught by dedicated one-on-one guidance from very skilled advisers. Furthermore, these lessons are skills that I know I will take with me beyond just MBA recruiting. These are skills that are essential in every professional setting, and is the foundation to building a successful career. 

So overall, I just got very lucky. I didn’t care too much about Parker when I decided to come to Anderson — but they’ve taught me some of the most important lessons for my career. So, I really encourage you that when you consider schools you should evaluate aspects you may not have thought of. Talk to individuals on why they made a specific choice and how that worked out for them. And, always keep your end goal in mind. For most, the primary goal of business school is to get a good job or start their own company. Once you have your end goal work backwards and see what skills do you need to be successful and make a plan on how you will build those skills. 


Student Blogger: Prithwis Mukhopadhyay ‘20

Hometown: Woodbury, MN

Undergraduate Studies: MIT, B.S. Biological Engineering

Pre-Anderson: Senior Client Engagement – Broadway Technology

Post-MBA Goals: Management Consulting

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