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Real Humans of UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2021

Cindy Gao, UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2021

Cindy Gao, UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2021

Age: 27
Hometown: China
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Integrated Business Administration
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry):
4 years in the financial services industry

Why business school? Why now?
I wanted to sharpen my leadership skills in a systematic way. I also wanted to move to another city at the time of application.

Why UCLA Anderson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The collaborative cohort. The current student and alumni I contacted before I came to Anderson were all very helpful and willing to share their insights with me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
My positive attitude. I always motivate and encourage people around me.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I am a loyal Popeye fan.

Post-MBA career interests?
Investment banking.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Talk to your target school’s current students and alumni.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Wisely plan your time months before the application deadline.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
TOEFL exam. I retook the TOEFL test because the last one just had expired before some round 2 deadlines. I spent seven days reviewing the material and past exams.

What is your initial impression of UCLA Anderson’s students/culture/community?
Warm and friendly.

One thing you have learned about UCLA Anderson that has surprised you?
360 students – it is larger than I thought. We are still a small cohort compared with a lot of other MBA programs, but it is still large and I could not recognize everyone.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Finding a summer internship.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
We won the Women in Investment Conference stock pitch! And the upcoming trek to Israel!

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2021, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: UCLA Anderson

About the Author

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.

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