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Fridays from the Frontline: Max Olivares on Embracing Diversity at Anderson

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Creating equitable spaces that address a range of experiences is not only essential to a great education, but it’s how students, particularly MBA students, prepare to navigate business in an increasingly globalized world.

UCLA Anderson’s recent Embracing Diversity Conference was a two-day forum featuring an “elevated conversation about intersecting identities” among current students, alumni, corporate partners. The goal was to showcase what a “learning environment informed by academic, professional, geographic and cultural student diversity” is like.

Current Anderson student Max Olivares MBA ’21 took to the UCLA Anderson MBA Insider’s Blog to discuss his Embrace Diversity Weekend experience.

Student Blogger: Max Olivares on Embracing Diversity at Anderson

Max Olivares, UCLA Anderson MBA ’21

About Me: I was born in San Diego, but grew up in Baja California, Mexico. Prior to Anderson, I attended Cornell University and moved to the Bay Area, where I work at Oracle in technology sales for the past 4 years. Over time, I realized that I really enjoyed the client-facing aspect of my role, but I wanted to focus more on the financial advisory of impacting growth companies rather than simply selling software/hardware. At UCLA Anderson, I plan to focus on Finance & Technology and recruit for a technology investment banking role during my time at Anderson to advise growth companies.

What advice would you give attendees for having an awesome experience at Embracing Diversity?
My advice is to not take yourself so seriously and enjoy the moment. You will meet people who are at different stages in the application process, whether they are just thinking about business school, are taking the GMAT, are about to apply, or have already interviewed (I had interviewed the day before). Don’t compare yourself with people who are ahead of you in the process and try to be engaged in the activities (both academic and social) to get the most out of your weekend. Meet as many people as you can, but make sure to build some lasting friendships with at least a few people. Lastly, engage with current students/alumni to get a better sense of the community and the opportunities that will be available to you based on your interests.

What’s one thing you wish you had known before attending Embracing Diversity?
I think some people assume that at any MBA event hosted by admissions you will constantly evaluated, but that is not the case here. Feel free to ask questions and participate without feeling like you will be judged on the questions or answers you give. Enjoy the current student/alumni mixers and go out to any social events that are going on.

When did you know you wanted to come to Anderson?
I felt that after attending a Marketing Class going over a case study on Jay-Z’s Decoded campaign, staying at the Luskin Hotel prior to my admissions interview, and attending Embracing Diversity Weekend, I saw myself going to school at Anderson for the long-term. I was always considering going back to the east coast after having spent 4 years in San Francisco, especially since most investment banking jobs are in NY, but I felt at ease when after spending almost an entire week on campus. Overall, I felt that current students at Anderson always encouraged me throughout the process and referred me to others who had successfully pivoted to my careers of interest, so I had a chance to get a better understanding of Anderson’s career resources. Given my interest in tech banking, I discovered that the Parker Center has great relationships with investment banks in San Francisco where most Tech groups are located, which made it easier to finalize my decision.

Student Blogger: Max Olivares ‘21

Undergrad: Cornell University

Pre-MBA: Technology Sales, Oracle

Leadership@Anderson: Director of Finance, Anderson Latino Management Association; Director of Academics, Latin American Business Association; Director of Partnerships, Anderson Wine Club

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.