Working as a marketing director in Mexico City, Ron Friedman decided it was time to earn an MBA – in the U.S. In addition to wanting to open new doors in his career and gain a better understanding of the marketing field, he also wanted to follow in his brothers’ footsteps by going to a top school in the U.S.
We asked Ron, who graduated last May and works as a senior brand manager for L’Oreal, to talk with us about why he chose to come to UCLA Anderson and to share some of his experiences as an international student. Here’s what he had to say:
“I decided to come to Anderson because it was the best cultural fit. I felt a different energy here that was very welcoming and vibrant. Also, Anderson is known for its collegial atmosphere and that fit both with my personality and also my line of work in marketing, which is more team oriented.
“After interviewing with an alumnus in Mexico City, I was admitted and my wife and I moved to LA. Immediately upon arriving, Anderson held a special Orientation program just for international students, which was really helpful. It turned out that around 40% of my class was from all over the world. We even have six other Mexican students as well as many students from throughout Latin America. Our study groups always included an international student or two so that we were exposed to American students and vice versa.
“As we got into the school year, I became president of the Latin American Business Association and we held a ton of academic and social events that focus on the Latin American region like a Brazilian Carnival party last winter. International students play a big role at Anderson and all students are impacted by and benefit from each of our cultures.
“On the academic and career side of things, there is a lot of support for international students. We can participate in programs to help with things like improving our language skills and we have our own staff member in the Parker Career Management Center who works with students who have international career interests or need assistance with Visa issues. The school really puts an emphasis on taking care of the international students.
“Living in Los Angeles was a great experience as well. With a big international airport, we could easily fly home to Mexico City, but we also had access to great restaurants and cultural events in the city. LA is a microcosm of the world and it’s easy for international students to find places of comfort that remind us of home.
“During the last two years, I’ve met an incredible number of interesting people and had so many opportunities both in terms of my career search and future endeavors. Coming here from Mexico was completely worth it – it’s been the best experience so far in my life.”