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Michael Leve
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My last post on application tips was rather explicit. Here, I hope to share a reflection on the personal growth that is all too palpable on campus in these first few months at Anderson. It is something that is incredibly stimulating and exciting, and I hope it gives a more implicit, broad perspective on what the first quarter at Anderson is like. A 2007 Harvard Business Review article by John Potter listed 8 steps to transforming an organization. As I, and my fellow students, are now 6 weeks into the MBA experience, I cannot help but recognize that we are all in the midst of our own personal transformation. It makes me wonder how many of the 8 steps to organizational change are related to those at an individual level, espcially in the microcosm of business school. Take, for instance, Potter's first point: "Establishing a Sense of Urgency". Our Parker Career Advisors had us engaged mid-summer, investigating industry(s) and function(s) of interest and understanding the complexities of the organizations and industries that we found to be most compelling. On the academic front, urgency is in the need to comprehend material quickly; the academic rigor does not wait for you to adjust from post-professional life to an academic environment. Needless to say, I wouldn't be back at school if I didn't love the challenge. Next, Potter discusses the need to Form a Powerful Guiding Coalition. With a 1st-year student body of 360 students, class section of 70 students, primary learning team... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
"U-C-L-A-, UCLA Fight, Fight, Fight!" For the past two weeks, our neighbors in Westwood could hear the UCLA 8-Clap (above) at virtually any hour of the day. That's because we were in MBA Orientation - and for those who seek the coveted MBA, Orientation is as monumental as the moment Charlie first sets eyes on Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and sees all the scrumdidilyumptiousness of what the next two years will bring. To expand, the MBA Student Voice Blog Team has collaborated to tell you about our best experiences at Anderson Orientation! We start with...James Huntington: "One of the main reasons why I decided to attend Anderson was because of the people. Everyone that I interacted with before stepping foot on to campus was great! They were happy, friendly, down to earth, and driven. My impression of the people at Anderson was further solidified during Orientation. It was a blast getting to know so many members of the Class of 2016 over the past few weeks. It is honestly humbling to be around such amazing and accomplished people. My favorite things about Orientation was getting to know the other 73 students in my Section, good ol' Section C. Whether is was doing a crazy scavenger hunt in 100 degree weather or doing a random Bollywood dance in our section skit, it was great being around such awesome people. I am excited to continue to get to know the members of my class over the next two years. Hopefully we will... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
With UCLA Anderson's Round 1 Application Deadline for the Class of 2017 quickly approaching (October 22!), I want to begin the first of my ongoing series of application tips. Please note: they are drawn strictly from my own experiences. I hope they are helpful for you! We've begun our first-year orientation and, my goodness... Anderson simply cannot be beat. I am blown away by the orientation experience, but mostly by all of my colleagues! My classmates are intelligent, confident but not overly so, social and engaging, inquisitive, friendly, and dynamic. It's overwhelming to think that after only four days I know these are going to be friends for life. In today's entry, I'll start by breaking down my application tips into three main categories. They are: 1) Show you can do the work 2) Show that you are a great fit 3) Show that you have an idea of what makes you extraordinary, and can apply that to a career of relevance Show You Can Do the Work Plain and simple, this boils down to GMAT/GRE and GPA. Be sure to check the school's 80% range for each. Anderson is very transparent about this, so aim to achieve somewhere in the 80% range. If you can go higher, do so. However, let me share with you this: one of my personal misconceptions in the application process was devoting a disproportionate amount of anxiety to the GMAT. Once you have a good score, move on. Seriously - demonstrating well-roundedness, career focus,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
It's an inevitable part of the MBA process. In order to get where you're going, you have to leave where you're coming from (deep thoughts by Michael Leve). In order to attend an MBA program, you're going to have to leave your job. That's not a very easy thing to do, and I found there to be a fine line between investing my energy toward getting into the program that was the right fit, and remaining engaged in my current role. My previous position demanded a lot of personal commitment, both in regards to time spent on the job and the myriad of personal relationships that formed the basis of my career. As an applicant, you'll have to decide the right approach for how you handle your responsibilities at work and balance the difficult task of applying to business school. As for me, I worked for a medium-sized, Chicago-based company with about 1000 employees. Since fitness is very much a service industry, I was very close with my colleagues, clients and customers. Personally, being as transparent as possible about my business school endeavors felt like the most appropriate way to go, so whenever possible I made certain there were no secrets when it came to the next steps in my career. For those that may doubt if transparency is a viable approach, I'm happy to share with you that last week I was thrown a going-away party and was blown away by the volume and encouragement I received at my... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
One month to go before descending upon Los Angeles. At the moment, 360 future friends and colleagues are doing some pretty amazing things out in this great big world. In the month prior to matriculation at Anderson... Matt Inouye: Hiked the John Muir Trail, from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. Sean Keegan: Traveled through China by train, plane, and automobile with my wonderful siblings. James Chou: Tied the knot with the love of my life and moved across the globe. Jim Li: Went through a series of medical examination, stayed up late for farewell parties and gormandized in night markets. Amy Barth: Hiked up one half of the Annapurna circuit and mountain, biked the other and in the process got 15 leech bites in one day, fell in a river, got knocked strait off my bike by karabatic winds and was attacked by hundreds of namaste-ing children. James Huntington: I sold my house, moved to LA, got my son started in kindergarten, surfed, and am knee deep in the HarvardX Intro to Computer Science course. Blake Nixon: Connected with new people, reconnected with old friends, and disconnected from stress. Saki Takasu: Hiked in Peru with llamas, saw breathtaking Machu Picchu, got lost in Bolivia and will party in Argentina! Ryan McKee: will be visiting family, road-tripping across the US, and spending many days at the beach. Daniel Feith: Packed up, wrapped up, reached out, and looked in. Andrew Jiwoo Lee: Ventured Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand with some amazing friends in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
I’m sitting on my return flight, LAX to ORD, reflecting on the previous two days of apartment hunting in Los Angeles and attempting to wrap my head around exactly what it was that sold me on the apartment I ended up with. I approached the search with numerous criteria in which to find the perfect place, and was well aware that while it may be impossible to satisfy every dimension on my priority list, I was going to try my hardest to make it happen. My initial criteria were: - Proximity to campus: within a short bike ride or, ideally, a short Big Blue Bus or Metro ride to campus, to save on travel expense and commute time - Cleanliness: I function best when I can return to a clean and comfortable home - Price: Frugality is going to be key for the next two years, so I was looking for a modest place to call home. My threshold was the equivalent of what a similar on-campus housing option would cost After browsing Westside Rentals ( and Trulia, my boyfriend, Paul, and I set out on Tuesday with three showings. We very quickly felt as though we were filming an episode of House Hunters. The first apartment was absolutely perfect, but outside of our price range without room for negotiation. The second apartment was right on budget and close to campus, but next to two undergraduate fraternity houses and not up to snuff with style or cleanliness. Our third was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
With roughly two months to go before descending upon Westwood, I've taken some time to do some presearch. I call it presearch because these months prior to matriculation really seem to be an integral part of the MBA process itself; a healthy balance of research and relaxation in what feels to be the prequel of an exhilerating, transformative life experience. Presearch in its most literary sense includes Case Studies and Cocktails, a 600+ page quick-read (seriously, with the exception of some finance jargon it's a quick read) on the ins and outs of what to expect from business school, written by alumns from a handful of top b-schools. Presearch also includes The Little SAS Book, industry trades such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, The Wall Street Journal (but of course!), and a book I picked up on my trip to Washington D.C. entitled First Presidential Messages which, as the name implies, is a compilation of every Presidential Inaugural Address since George Washington's 1789 Address. I figure, what better way to be a student of leadership than to read the words from our nation's leaders as they enter into their own transformative experience? Presearch also includes a plethora of networking opportunities. In early May, I had the distinct honor to join approximately 120 UCLA Anderson alumns at the Anderson Cup, an annual golf tournament with proceeds benefiting the Anderson Fund and Alumni Events Fund. The event was held at Mountaingate Country Club, just north of UCLA's campus. My foursome included... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at The MBA Student Voice
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Jun 13, 2014