Today’s application topic is all about work experience and extracurricular activities. While UCLA Anderson does not require work experience to apply, the vast majority of students here have some level of full-time experience prior to starting the program (our class profile has more details).
The admissions committee considers a variety of factors when evaluating work experience and extracurricular activities, among them leadership/managerial potential, readiness/fit for an MBA at Anderson, and ways an applicant can enhance the overall learning environment for their peers. It's a lot of information to convey in a limited amount of application space, so it’s important that you take advantage of all the opportunities you have. Be sure to completely answer all questions pertaining to work experience and extracurricular activities in the online application. (We really DO read everything!!) Also, check that your resume is current and formatted properly so that we can quickly find important accomplishments like milestones achieved, leadership roles, and career progression. Remember that the quality of your words, not quantity, is what matters so limit your resume to 1-2 pages.
UCLA Anderson values diverse perspectives in the classroom, and we welcome applicants from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds. Bankers and consultants are important to have in the classroom, but you won't learn much from your peers if they comprise your entire class. Coming from a unique background can add a distinct point-of-view that can prove to be quite valuable in classroom discussions and learning teams. If this applies to you, use it as a way to differentiate yourself in the application process - just be sure to make a strong case for an MBA and present focused career plans!
Extracurricular activities, especially those in which you held significant leadership roles, can help supplement your work experience, especially for those who we call "early career" candidates with less than 2 years of full-time experience. In addition, this involvement helps us assess how you'll contribute in our network of clubs and other organizations, which is a very important part of the UCLA Anderson MBA experience. Activities during and after college, inside and outside the workplace, are all taken into consideration.
For more on work experience and extracurricular activities, check out the Application Requirements section of our website.