Hello readers, I hope your 2012 is off to a great start! Today I have a guest post from Joel Rosenzweig, a first year student who helped coordinate our first open house geared towards LGBT prospective students. Please read on for highlights on the event as well as Joel's perspective on UCLA Anderson's LGBT community. He also shares some helpful application tips for you at the end!
On November 16th, the UCLA Anderson MBA Office of Admissions, in conjunction with Anderson’s LGBT student group Out@Anderson held our first Preview Day geared specifically to prospective LGBT students. The turnout was impressive, with prospective students attending from around the country and world. Candidates spent the day on campus, learning about the Anderson program, community and student life, with representation from Admissions, Financial Aid and the Parker Career Management Center. After class visits and a campus tour guided by members of Out@Anderson, an informal reception was hosted so that candidates could mingle with staff, current students and LGBT alumni. Dean Judy Olian even showed up to speak with prospective students, which was a treat for us all!
I am continually amazed by the passion that the administration, faculty and members of the Anderson community show towards embracing diversity. Anderson proves to be not only a world-class institution, but also one that is welcoming to people and perspectives of all backgrounds. Feedback from the event has been universally positive from those who attended. We anticipate that this is the first of many such events in the future intended to build a stronger bridge between prospective LGBT candidates and the Anderson community.
One question that came up repeatedly throughout the day that I would like to personally address was most predictably regarding the admissions process. Many candidates asked how ‘out’ they should be on their application. Now I have to admit that at this point in my life I could not come across as “in” if I tried! But, in all seriousness, why not embrace who you are? After all, that is the entire point of the application- to highlight your accomplishments and shine a spotlight onto yourself. As far as your achievements in life can be credited to your orientation, I believe it can only make a stronger case for yourself. I, for example, am extremely passionate about serving the LGBT community and felt it was both necessary and relevant to elaborate upon this in my application. I knew that whichever MBA program I would choose to attend I would continue to serve in this capacity. My passion for service is a strong fit with the socially minded entrepreneurial culture that thrives at Anderson. I am certain this is one of many elements that gained my admission to the Class of 2013.
I encourage all prospective students to spend the time learning about the school, its student body and their interaction with the surrounding community. Is it an island onto itself or is it fully integrated into the neighborhood? I desired the latter. Los Angeles has historically been one of the most inclusive and progressive destinations in the world for LGBT individuals. As the entertainment capital of the world, LGBT’s for many years have flocked to Los Angeles for jobs opportunities, a fresh start and general acceptance. As such, I feel comfortable and welcomed being ‘out’ both on campus as well as outside of it.
Please reach out to me or other members of Out@Anderson if you have any questions about the application process, our decision to come to Anderson, or the “good life” in Los Angeles. To me, UCLA Anderson represents a place where I can truly be my true, unabashed self.