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UCLA MBA Essays & Analysis 2022-2023

ucla mba essays

The following essay topic analysis examines the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management (UCLA / Anderson) MBA admissions essays. The UCLA MBA essays are for the 2022-2023 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for additional leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

UCLA MBA Essays & Analysis 2022-2023

Anderson introduces their questions with a preamble:

We look forward to learning about your perspectives and plans via your essay responses. Essays complement the answers you provide throughout the application to show us your whole profile. The best applications are introspective, genuine and succinct in directly answering our questions and showing clear plans for the future.

Let’s take a closer look at the essays.

Essay A

For the 2022-2023 application year, we have one essay question that is required for first-time applicants and optional for re-applicants:

Tell us about a recent personal or professional achievement and how it connects to your MBA goals. (250 words maximum)

Strong essays describe the impact of your achievement and clarify its connection to your future MBA plans in the short- and long-term. We look forward to learning about the specific ways your achievement helped set you up for future success.
Within the application, there are fields to define your career goals and address your interest in Anderson. Re-applicants will also have additional space to address improvements or changes in test scores, employment, activities, academics and other areas. This leaves this essay to really expound on your recent achievement and forge connections to your goals.

In terms of structural approach to this short answer, you may consider using the STAR technique to structure your story:

  • Situation – Set the stage
  • Task – Identify the challenges, tasks ahead of the achievement
  • Action – Describe the actions you took to complete the achievement
  • Result – Summarize the positive outcome

Then, explain how the accomplishment connects to your goals, whether by arming you with a relevant skill, refining your perspective on an industry or another lesson. Remember that past behavior is often seen as a predictor of future success, so try to reflect on action-based changes in your life and how you could carry on to make direct impact in your goals.

Optional Essay

No preference is given in the evaluation process to those who choose to respond to this optional essay, so please use your best judgment:  Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware? (250 words maximum)
The narrow framing of this prompt — along with the additional suggestion that applicants exercise judgment in responding — suggests that this response will be best reserved to address glaring weaknesses or liabilities in one’s application (as opposed to offering “bonus information” about one’s candidacy). Applicants should keep their responses brief and to-the-point, offering explanations without making excuses and humbly bringing mitigating factors to the reader’s attention.

Re-applicants will have a chance to account for updates to their test scores, work experience, academics, activities and anything else they deem fit within the application data form. If you have refined your goals, for example, you can select “other” in the data form field and address those related improvements there. With all of this in mind, this prompt should be reserved for extenuating circumstances that happen to fall outside of these categories.

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