UCLA Anderson Essay 1

1. Please provide us with a summary of your personal and family background. Include information about your parents and siblings, where you grew up, and perhaps a special memory of your youth. (Please limit to 2 pages, double-spaced)

All essays of Anderson require double spacing. 1 page or two page. I'm not sure what the font size or margin spacing should be. That would affect the word limit a lot.

Well, this essay is a lot different from all the essays of application. It forces you to focus on your personal side. I guess you have to be strictly personal in this essays as they want to know who you are personally rather than professionally. What my thinking says is we should refrain from just stating the facts and focus on experiences. Like, rather than stating, my father is an XXX, my mom is yyy, we should be writing like, my father being an xxx, I learnt abc from him, etc. Got the point? I would be following this approach. Let me know if I'm on track.

I found these analysis helpful
ClearAdmit UCLA Anderson Essay analysis
Accepted.com Analysis

In the meanwhile, I have browsed each and every page of Anderson's website and noted down some salient points about the school which I liked and would be relevant to my post MBA goals.

Well, now over to my essays. Would write about other B-school app experience as well.

If you have anything to share, please do.

Everything You Need to Know About Consultants

A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?"

The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers, "Sure. Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says,

"You have exactly 1586 sheep."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep." Says the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young! man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

"Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?" T

he young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a consultant." says the shepherd.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the shepherd. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew; to a question I never asked; and you don't know crap about my business."

"…Now give me back my dog."

Finally I shortlisted my Univs

It has been a real long break from blogging. Actually I had earlier planned to apply to ISB, but due to some logistics issues, I decided it would be better to apply in Round 2 rather than Round 1. During this time, I also decided to apply to US this time. It was my dream to study in the US but again, some personal issues always held me back.

Now that I have decided, I have shortlisted the Univs in US where I am applying, of course, apart from ISB.

UCLA Anderson - Oct 24
UCB Haas - Nov 5
Darden - Nov 1
CMU Tepper - Oct 29

Of these, Darden and Anderson have rolling admissions. But I guess it doesn't matter now as the deadlines of all of them are pretty near. The dates mentioned are the R1 deadlines.

Before jumping on to writing specific essays, I prepared write-ups of common questions asked:
1. Why MBA - long and short term goals
2. Career Progression till now, specifying all career choices made till now
3. Leadership positions held, the kind of leader and manager I am
4. Prepared my MBA resume (I specify MBA resume because for MBA, you have to highlight a different aspect of yourself rather than when resume is made for a job)
5. In the meanwhile, while researching the schools, whatever points I found interesting or attracted me, I prepared a list for each of the schools. I even noted down the courses I am specifically interested in and would be relevant to my post MBA goal, ie technology consulting.

After that, I started with UCLA Application. Started with first one. 3 more to go after that and only 1 month left. Ok, back to essays.....

Who will read my Application

I'm sorry for being so irregular in the past few days. Having trouble managing time between work and writing my app. I will post my experiences shortly. Till then, here's a piece of advice from ClearAdmit:


As applicants are coming to understand as we move towards R1 deadlines, applying to business school is an incredibly demanding process. In addition to taking the GMAT, assembling academic transcripts and providing recommendation letters, candidates are required to draft multiple essays, job descriptions, lists of activities and more.

With the obvious incentive to save time where ever possible, it’s understandable that many applicants simply cut and paste content from an existing resume and write about their work in the manner that comes most naturally. Indeed, each year countless candidates assemble their materials without ever asking a fundamental question:

Who will read my application?

While the answer to this question may vary from school to school, one thing is certain: it is unlikely that the person reading your file will have an intimate level of familiarity with your specific industry or job function. This being the case, if you use industry-specific jargon or assume prior knowledge of your field on the part of the admissions officer, you undoubtedly will lose the reader.

It’s also important to keep the big picture in mind; many applicants become so mired in the details of their own work and role that they fail to provide sufficient context for a company outsider to understand the importance of one’s efforts to the department or organization as a whole. The solution is to write about your experiences in a way that the average person will understand. While this is easier said than done, it underlines the importance of sharing your materials with an unbiased advisor (ideally not a work colleague or mom and dad) to make sure that you aren’t off-base with some of your assumptions.

To learn more about who will actually read your essays at the various schools or to inquire about our application editing services, simply contact Clear Admit with your CV/resume and sign up for a free initial assessment.


Info on Top 30 US B-Schools

The 2006 rankings of US B-Schools by Businessweek provides good information, viz tuition fee, post-MBA salaries, average work experience of the incoming class, etc. Along with this statistical information, it also provides one-liners on each school which I really found useful:

1. Chicago GSB
Students appreciate option to tailor curriculum to their interests. Living in Chicago gets pricey, but most say facilities and faculty are worth the expense.

2. Pennsylvania - Wharton
Students say competitive program improves the academic experience. Decision to allow students to disclose grades to recruiters has many disconcerted.

3. Northwestern - Kellogg
The word used over and over by Kellogg students is "collegial." School balances individual development and teamwork, case studies and lectures.

4. Harvard
Case method allows students to solve real-world problems. Ivory tower is not everyone's cup of tea, but alumni network is vast.

5. Michigan - Ross
Lack of grades diminishes competition and increases focus on work. Facilities are lacking but undergoing a makeover.

6. Stanford
With Silicon Valley around the corner, innovation reigns. Extensive electives cater to students with interests beyond banking and consulting.

7. MIT - Sloan
MIT offers unique courses with entrepreneurial focus and attracts students with engineering backgrounds. Prominent faculty remains accessible.

8. UC-Berkley - Haas
Tech and entrepreneurial specialties give Haas grads an edge in innovation. Curriculum is not as well-suited for those with eyes set on Wall Street.

9. Duke - Fuqua
Students on "Team Fuqua" enjoy the collaborative learning experience. Good for the hand-holding types but some would like more debate and conflict.

10. Columbia
Students appreciate vast alumni network and high-profile speakers. Access to recruiters for everything from international companies to lesser known employers.

11. Dartmouth - Tuck
Small class-small town leaves something to be desired. But many appreciate the "self selecting" crowd that attends. General management program is specialized.

12. UCLA - Anderson
Students go by an "excellence without attitude" mantra. Active student clubs provide career development, but there's limited access to East Coast recruiting.

13. Cornell - Johnson
Particularly popular among career switchers, Cornell offers small class sizes and accessible professors. Students enjoy new immersion learning programs.

14. NYU - Stern
Local alumni base is large and former students are willing to lend a hand in the job search.

15. Virginia - Darden
Case method works well in small classes, which foster Socratic learning. Students get individual attention from administration and faculty.

16. CMU - Tepper
Tepper's small class size creates intense focus, intimacy, and greater hands-on responsibility. Curriculum is geared toward the quantitative mind.

17. UNC - Kenan-Flagler
Job placement leaves most grads smiling, but international students may not have the same luck. Extracurricular activities and pleasant location add to the appeal.

18. Indiana - Kelley
Kelley is praised for general education but is found lacking in specialties like consulting and investment banking. Strong regional bias limits recruiting options.

19. Yale
Small program size means easy access to alumni and faculty. Students applaud new dean Joel Podolny, cited for being a visionary leader.

20. UTA - McCombs
Complaints include unresponsive administration and poor career placement for international students. Variety of classes and other resources balance equation.

21. USC - Marshall
Strong community and alumni network offer lifelong career contacts. Drop in 2004 rankings led to major program overhaul, but students want further improvement.

22. Georgetown - McDonough
D.C. area offers students many opportunities for work in the public sector and international business. Demanding classes are taught by diligent professors.

23. Emory - Goizueta
Students extol leadership development, accessible professors, and caliber of classmates. One-year program offers a popular alternative to two-year MBA.

24. Purdue - Krannert
Students laud financial aid offerings and diverse, international student population. Curriculum emphasizes quantitative skills and teamwork.

25. Maryland - Smith
Smith grads gripe about regional recruiting and inadequate career services. But tight-knit community and affordable tuition help ease the strain.

26. Notre Dame - Mendoza
Students miss proximity to big city, but enjoy the tight-knit community and finance training. Recent switch from semesters to a 7-week system gets mixed reviews.

27. Washington U - Olin
Small class size means personal attention from faculty, but on-campus recruiting is a disappointment. Campus hosts a noteworthy leadership speaker series.

28. Rochester - Simon
Quality of education, analytical skill development, and personal attention from faculty is highly rated, but poor showing by recruiters frustrates students.

29. Michigan State - Broad
Teamwork focus means most grades are based on group, rather than individual, performance. Students praise outstanding career services center and faculty.

30. Vanderbilt - Owen
Students laud the overall experience at Owen. Grads say that rigorous curriculum leaves them well equipped for future careers.