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Student Perspectives: The Path to Creating Your Own Business with BCO

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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I came to Anderson knowing I wanted to do Business Creation Option, or “BCO,” as my capstone project during my second year. BCO is a 20-week program in which a student team launches a business. I had a lot of fun during my first year preparing for BCO by refining my business idea, assembling a team of classmates, and completing the prerequisite courses.

A few months before I started Anderson, I had several frustrating shopping experiences. I generally prefer dressing in a masculine-of-center style but had trouble finding clothes in this style that fit a woman’s body. After doing some research on the space, I found a gap in the market for this type of clothing and realized BCO would be the perfect opportunity for me to solve this problem.

My first step was joining an ACT team during Fall Quarter with other first-year classmates who wanted to start a business. Our team was led by three fearless second-year students who had completed the first-year entrepreneurship curriculum and were actively starting their own businesses in BCO. We met weekly to assemble the basic components of a pitch deck and listen to second-year and alumni entrepreneurs share their experiences. At the end of the quarter, we pitched our ideas in front of two entrepreneurship faculty members, who are active investors, and received their feedback.  

During Winter Quarter, I signed up for the first prerequisite course for BCO, Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation (frequently referred to as “EVI”). I assembled a team to work on my idea, learned about starting ventures from case studies and guest speakers, and ultimately completed a feasibility study on my idea. My team concluded that the idea could become a viable business and that we could continue working on it in the next prerequisite course, Business Plan Development, or “BPD.”

I really enjoyed the BPD class. Each week we complete one component of the business plan for our idea. For example, we built a preliminary financial model and this week we are developing a sales and marketing strategy. We also learned about these various functions in startups from cases and weekly guest speakers. At the end of the quarter, I created a completed business plan that I can take into BCO.

While my BCO teammates headed off to their summer internships, I decided to stay in LA to work towards launching this company thanks to the Wolfen Fellowship.  I’m very excited to launch this company soon with a team of rock stars during BCO!

— Katie Farias ’19

Katie Farias

Student Blogger: 
Katie Farias ’19

Scranton, PA

Undergraduate Studies: 
Georgetown University, Anthropology

MUFG Securities Americas, Corporate Accounting / Capstone LLC, Marketing Strategy

Post-MBA Goals:
Launching my apparel business

Out@Anderson, Retail Business Association, Admissions Ambassador Corps

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