Past week-end I was in London and I was lucky to attend UCLA Anderson International Conference!It was the first event of this kind for me and I liked it! First of all, the conference was held at Goldman Sachs London office with wonderful views of London!
At the conference I met alums who had been super friendly and supportive! Everyone was ready to give advice on relocation, housing, transportation in LA and the choice of classes. People were so open as to speak about their experience with the school and they spoke with the sence of pride of the alma mater in their voice. It was the moment I realized that I belonged to some special community and I was the part of it. I mean I have known that I belong to the community all the time after admission, but now all these things have acquired real shape, real faces, real voice! Then, the conference began with Dean's speech "The state of the school".
Of course, Dean's speech was mainly directed to the alums to introduce them to the news happening to the school. I was aware of the main trends, but it was a pleasure for me to listen about the latest intake and about career/business of couple of alums demonstrating new school concept "Thinking in the next". I was greatly inspired by Dean's speech, it really touched me to tears and I became more confident and happy to belong to such a wonderful community and be a part of the school. One of the alums, Mary LeBlanc from Novartis told me that she was amazed by the progress the school has done since her graduation. Really, UCLA Anderson is the school that goes in line with the changing world and I can see it now from my "admit" status already. I think I will be able to tell more about it in the nearest future as soon I start my studies.
Also, at this conference I met one of my future classmates, a very smart guy from France, Gregory. As far as I know, there are no current admits from Moscow, so meeting Gregory was a great opportunity to me to discuss some relocation staff (visas, housing, transportation, dates of arrival, intention to take part in different school events and so on). I also asked Gregory for his opinion on the conference and what it gave him personally. Here is what he answered:
"I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see how alive the community of UCLA alumni is. No matter the generation, the alumni were all passionate about their field, be it marketing, finance, leadership, IT or entertainment. The quality of the debates was inspiring as well as the perspective of a global career after graduation."
For me as a marketing person, the most interesting part of the conference was presentation of Sanjay Sood, Associate Professor of Marketing. He is such a perfect presenter, that I decided to take his classes for sure!
To sum up, I want to say that the Conference was very interesting and useful, the speakers highlighted trends in different industries and businesses such as Private Equity, Entertainment industry, Healthcare industry and of course, the state of European Financial Markets was in the center of all presentations. It was very interesting to learn about other industries, especially, Private Equity, which I have never had access to. I got inspiration and pride for my school and I am looking forward to begin my MBA journey this fall! Many alums told me that they are jealous of us just starting our 2 wonderful years at UCLA Anderson.
Here are some London pictures to bring the feeling of London to you!
Alena Kostenkova'15 @UCLAMBA