Nathan True-Daniels alumnus from UCLA Anderson School of Management, reflects on his time spent pursuing his MBA and provides advice for future students.
How would you describe the school’s social scene? What do people do for fun outside of class?
UCLA Anderson is a very social school, which was an important factor to me when deciding what school to attend. One of the big advantages of Anderson is that it is located in Southern California, so there were a ton of social activities happening every week at school all year round. The school has a countless number of student run clubs and organizations, and there is truly something for everyone. A couple of highlights from my time include the Ski and Snowboard club, which had several events at Mammoth Mountain (only a 5 hour drive from school,) and a wine club that hosted wine tastings on campus and even a few trips to local vineyards.
I think the social scene of a school is very important because this is where relationships are formed with your classmates. These relationships help foster the feeling of community at the school, and help people in every facet of their experience, from the classroom to recruiting. These relationships also ensure Alumni stay connected once they graduate, and are active in recruiting and supporting future classes.
Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have advice to students on how to make a decision?
I applied to several programs across the country, and was fortunate to be admitted to most of the places I applied. Before making a decision, I chose to visit each school’s admit day (after all Business School is a very expensive proposition, so what’s a few extra plane tickets to make sure I’m making the right decision?). Visiting the admit days really helped me gain a better feeling for each school, and answered questions such as: What were the students like? What was the environment and energy like on campus? Where were people from, what did they do before school and what are they doing after? As a new student, you’ll be following in the footsteps of those before you, so it’s important to understand the culture of each school to make sure it aligns with what you want from your experience. If you’re unable to visit due to budget or time constraints, ask the school to put you in touch with a few current students or alumni and see if you can chat with them on the phone about their experience. This is a big decision and the more data points you can collect the more likely you are to make the best decision
What is it like to transition back to school after being out for a few years? What advice can you offer students transitioning back?
After five years in the workforce, it’s easy to forget all the good study habits you had (hopefully) developed during your undergraduate time. I found it most helpful to study in groups, and found that discussing challenging topics with my peers often helped me learn new concepts quicker than if I wrangled with them on my own. I also found it helpful to force myself to study on campus where there were fewer distractions that if I studied at home.
Did UCLA Anderson's Career Services have a strong presence in your MBA experience?
Anderson’s career services were instrumental to my success during recruiting. The great thing about the Anderson Career Center is that it has been nimble and open to making changes as the professional/recruiting environment continues to evolve, which allows students to be optimally positioned with hiring firms. Career center employees were very plugged-in with recruiters, and were extremely accessible (having help is one thing, but being able to access the help is another!). During recruiting for Investment Banking, I had multiple final round interviews and offers and many of my friends recruiting in other industries (Consulting, Tech, etc.) had similar success. I, in addition to all my friends, attribute our success in recruiting to the career center and the other recruiting tools (e.g. student led recruiting groups “ACT”) offered by the school.
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