Real Humans of UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2021
Jordan Stern, UCLA Anderson MBA Class of 2021
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Michigan, B.S Chemistry
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 1.5 Years Management Consulting (Healthcare), 2.5 Years, Technology/Start-up strategy consulting
Why Business School/Why Now?
I learned a great deal about developing and launching technology products and businesses as a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley, but realized that as long as I was a consultant there would always be a divide between myself and core stakeholders of the businesses that I was worked with – this is typical of many client services industries.
I came to business school because I was ready to move in-house at a company in the technology industry so that I had full visibility into the various teams and products at the company. Additionally, I wanted to be able to see all of the projects I work on and strategies I develop all the way through to execution stage, which is sometimes not possible when you are working as a consultant. Business school will provide me with the tools to accomplish that goal.
Why UCLA Anderson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The more objective answer is that I chose Anderson because it, to me, presented the best combination of academics, opportunities for careers in technology, and overall culture – all of which are truthful reasons. But the less tangible answer is that the people that I met on my visits and at UCLA events were the ones that I felt most comfortable being myself around. This was a feeling that I did not get when visiting other top business schools.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
My strong interest in the Food & Agriculture Technology Industry.
Post-MBA career interests?
Working on technology products that have tangible effects on customers like you and me.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit schools before applying to them. It is time consuming and expensive to apply to business schools and it is worth it to check them out in person prior to applying – it really helps you understand if you are a good fit with the school and student culture. Being a “Top” school isn’t a good enough reason to apply.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have asked for more help from family and friends as I moved through the process. You really don’t have to do it all alone.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The essays. I realized at some point that continuing to work on a tweak them only produces diminishing returns. You just have to hit the submit button.
What is your initial impression of UCLA Anderson’s students/culture/community?
One of UCLA’s values is sharing success. I was incredibly pleased to see that the students at UCLA really take this value to heart. Getting help from fellow classmates and new friends, particularly during the first few months of business school, is invaluable and thankfully very common at Anderson.
One thing you have learned about UCLA Anderson that has surprised you?
The breadth and incredible value of the UCLA Anderson network, particularly in the LA area and greater California.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Things start fast and you are expected to keep pace from the second you get on campus. I was most anxious about re-adjusting the being a student again and being able to keep pace inside and outside the classroom (schoolwork and recruiting).
Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I come from a non-traditional background, meaning I had never taken a business class prior to coming to Anderson. I was most excited about learning the theory and process behind many of the financial and economic concepts I had picked up throughout my career as a consultant. That, and the travel that we get to do as a business school student.