First of all I would like to say I am still alive! I am very sorry for the lack of posts but first quarter has been super busy (also super fun)! Today I want to talk to you guys about some tips that might be useful when starting your MBA life. Regardless of which MBA school you go to this will be useful (Though of course you should go to UCLA Anderson!). Lets get right to it:
- Your first MBA loan check won't be ready when you arrive at UCLA. Why? As soon as you get to Los Angeles you have to go to the financial aid office and personally sign a contract and hand in some documents. Without this the loan process can't start and If I remember correctly this whole process takes about 2 weeks. The good news is the financial office will kindly extend your tuition payment deadline but you still need to pay for your living expenses so make sure you have some savings or borrow some money from a family member for those 2 weeks.
- Don't go grocery shopping crazy. I stocked up on food and cleaning supplies as soon as I arrived at Los Angeles. BIG mistake! First of all during orientation UCLA will provide you with breakfast and lunch. Once classes start, clubs have so many events and left over food it is not very hard to get a free lunch almost every day. Groceries will expire all the time so buy only what you think you will use in one week.
-Using a mac laptop for class is doable. If you look at the laptop requirements for school in this page, you will see windows and office are necessary. Alot of people in our class were worried about if they should use BootCamp, Parellels, or just buy a windows laptop. I do not own a mac computer so I don't know how they solved the problem but as you can see in the following picture many people in class use a mac and they manage:
-Get a roommate, preferrably from a different country than you. Alot of people will disagree with me since they prefer to live alone or feel safer getting a roommate from their country that they can relate to. I say be adventurouse, you go to an MBA to have new and exciting experiences and UCLA is so culturally diverse it is a shame to miss this opportunity. My roommate and classmate, Nhung Phung, is from Vietnam (I am from Mexico) and it has been an awesome experience sharing a home with her. I totally recommend it!
-Strive to do things out of your comfort zone. This is the time to experiment, really. No one here will judge you, in fact people here are so nice that they support you and help you on anything you try. Here is a picture of me and some of the friends I danced with on a play during orientation. If you have ever met me you know I am the world's worst dancer, seriously. Everyone in that picture was super supportive and patient with me!
-Push yourself to talk to new people every day. Once classes starts you might find yourself trying to hang out with the same people all the time, don't. Try walking up to a circle of people you have never spoken to and introduce yourself, you don't want to miss out into meeting all your awesome classmates!
-It is true you don't need all the books. I was warned by second years to wait and see if I actually needed all the books for class and I did not listen. Now I have a $200 dollars book i bought for a class and I never even read it!
-Listen to second years. Really they know better, I wish I had listened to them more. They are all very nice and happy to help. It is a great community so don't be afraid to ask for advice. You can always contact me, I am happy to chat with anyone interested in UCLA Anderson!
-Have fun. The MBA life is very busy and stressful but it is also the most fun you will ever have so make lots of friends and enjoy it :)!
-Alejandra Rodriguez '14
Follow UCLA Anderson at @UCLAMBA