We are very glad to hear that candidates appreciate our straightforward MBA application, as we get to know you well through all aspects of the admissions process. There are plenty of opportunities to share your background via the questions on our form about awards, family, and extra-curricular activities, for example. Even your resume is like a background essay, as ideally it illustrates the arc of your professional story and highlights the transferable skills you will bring to your post-MBA career.
The 1 essay we ask for is about your vision for the future -- why do you want an MBA, why now, and why at UCLA Anderson? Naturally this is the most challenging question of all, and it requires some introspection and detective work on your part. The trick is to find post-MBA career goals and a long-term path that inspire you, and then share your logic and passion in the essay. Our MBA students are great role models who are just a few steps ahead of you on their paths. Feel free to find contacts who share your professional, personal or identity interests through our students' Clubs and Associations pages and ask for their perspectives.
If you have something distinctive to say and you cannot find a place to share it, then you can always use the optional essay. In addition, we appreciate the objective perspective that your recommender shares with their submission. But we realized that finding a second recommender can be much harder for you than finding the first one, and the perspective they share is usually not that different. So 1 recommendation is enough for us, and you can spend the extra time figuring out what makes you excited about opportunities at UCLA Anderson and beyond.