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UCLA MBA Essays & Analysis 2023-2024

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 2023-2024 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 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at the essays.

Essay 1

UCLA Anderson seeks to develop transformative leaders who think fearlessly, drive change, and share success. We believe the ability to persevere is an essential component of effective leadership. Please share an example from your personal or professional life where you demonstrated perseverance to accomplish a significant goal or milestone. (250 words maximum)
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 and tasks ahead of the significant achievement
  • Action – Describe the actions you took to complete the achievement, with a particular focus on how you had to persevere
  • Result – Summarize the positive outcome

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 as a transformative leader.

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.

Short Answers

Within the application, UCLA MBA applicants have a bit more space to explain their goals and interest in UCLA.

If you wish to provide additional information about academic or personal circumstances not included in your Optional Essay or elsewhere in this application, please do so here. (1,000 characters)
Use discretion when answering this question. Consider what may be missing from your application after you have completed all other elements.

Describe your short-term and long-term post-MBA career goals (600 characters)
With only about 90 words or so, this answer will need to be simple and direct. Identify your desired industry, position and target companies immediately post-MBA. Then define your long-term plans, whether by position and industry or industry and impact.

How can UCLA Anderson help you achieve your career and/or personal goals? (1,000 characters)
With about 150 words, applicants will do well to make each sentence as direct and detailed as possible. Show that you have done your research by accounting for specific offerings of UCLA Anderson’s MBA program that connect to your specific goals. A good test is to see if you can simply sub in another school name without other changes–that means you have not tailored your answer enough.

Clear Admit Resources

Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s UCLA / Anderson MBA essay topics. As you work on your UCLA / Anderson MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s UCLA / Anderson offerings: