With the winter quarter having wrapped up and spring quarter just beginning, it's hard to believe... I'm 2/3 of the way done with my first-year! All that remains between me and my summer internship are the 10 weeks of Spring Quarter (which will be action packed). On top of that, I'm 1/3 of the way done with my entire Anderson MBA experience! That is even more mind-blowing...
With that in mind, I'm dedicating this blog post to some activities that took place over the end of Winter Quarter and Spring Break.
The one required core class for Winter Quarter is Operations and Technology Management. Above you can see the wheel of knowledge that you move around throughout the quarter. While the class is challenging, as its the first time many of us have been exposed to operations in a granular fashion, I certainly learned a lot. Especially after learning about Queuing Theory - now everytime I see a long line I just want to fix it!
The second core class that you have the option to take in the Winter Quarter (if not in Winter, then you take it in Spring) is Strategy. This was my first class that is truly case-based - every class there was a case to read. Above you can see the themes that we learned about through all the cases. It was an amazing class, and a great way to learn a lot about a wide-variety of industries and companies through the case material.
Our Strategy professor also closed out the quarter for us with some "gratuitous remarks" (shown above). The biggest takeaway I had was that people should keep their minds open to careers they hadn't previously thought of before entering business school - examples include health care, where the large scale reforms require tons of changes that business managers can assist with, and "non-sexy industries" such as baby carrots, where people have the opportunity to do exciting work and make a great living but might not have an exciting job from an outsider's perspective.
UCLA Anderson Harlem Shake
On the non-Academic front, Anderson hopped on the Harlem Shake trend to pull together a video of our own right before spring break. Here it is, along with a look behind the scenes below.
Behind the scenes
And from a smaller group of students, done on a beautiful, 75 degree day in Hermosa Beach... Harlem Shake Hermosa Beach
Japan Spring Break
This trip was unbelievable. 120 first-years, second-years, and significant others visited Kyoto, Osaka, Atami, and Tokyo over the course of 9 days. I need to give another HUUUGGEEE shout-out to the organizers who pulled off an incredible job! Some highlights are below:
In Kyoto we had the pleasure of witnessing the last day of a 15-day long sumo tournament, which rotates cities on a bi-monthly basis. Our timing couldn't have been better! Having heard about sumo, but never seen it on TV or live before, it was quite the experience. There were some epic bouts that really got the crowd going, some matches that ended almost before they even began it seemed like, and plenty of ceremony.
At one shrine along our journey, we had the chance to be instructed in zen meditation. It was a very peaceful moment during the trip, and gave everyone a chance to pause, take a breath, and relax. During the second part of meditation, we had the opportunity for the monk to help us "focus" by asking him to politely tap us on the back with a stick. Apparently this is done to monks in training to help clear their minds - not as painful as I thought it would be!
Another highlight was the trip to one of the Toyota factories and showroom. In the Operations Management class we had a case about Toyota, where we learned all about the Toyota Production System which is world-renowned in manufacturing circles. This was an incredible chance to see what we had learned in action - and also check out some really cool cars. One of the Lexus' on the showroom floor had back massages installed in the back seat!
We had the good fortune of being welcomed by blooming cherry blossoms upon our arrival in Tokyo. Apparently they bloom annually sometime between March 25 and April 4, so we were truly lucky. It made for some gorgeous photo taking and walks around town from one location to another.
Some of my classmates were adventurous enough to go to the Tsukiji fish market to witness the auction that takes place every morning for fresh fish. Now we know where the sushi we eat in LA comes from!
Looking forward into the Spring Quarter, it's jam packed! Over the course of April we have Anderson Admit Days (aka A-Days) where a large number of admitted students from the class of 2015 will come to Anderson for a weekend full of events; we have C4C Sports Weekend at Stanford where the battle for the Golden Briefcase will be decided; we have AnderProm, the annual spring formal; and tons of other events that take advantage of Anderson's location in LA and the beautiful spring weather.
I'll be sure to keep you filled in on all the action!
Until next time,