Thursday, April 9, 2009

UCLA Anderson R1 interview

My UCLA interview took place at the end of 2008 in a hotel bar with a french UCLA alumnus and lasted for 1h15, 30min in english and the rest in french.

Here is how it went:

When I received the notification I got preselected for an interview, I contacted the selected alumnus and we agreed to make the interview in a place convenient for both of us. As he let me decide the place, I chose a hotel bar in my street where I often saw business people having discussions. When I arrived at the bar, my interviewer was already there, we greeted each other and I ordered some drinks.

It started bad as the bar was only for the hotel residents but I tried to do my most sympathetic smile and the waitress agreed to serve us our drinks. (it's obvious but really make sure what kind of place you choose if you are asked for :D)

Then my interviewer introduced himself. He was a strategy consultant and was handling a business in parallel. He was very friendly and very open to discussion and therefore I relaxed a bit. He then asked me to introduce myself in english and describe my career to date.

Afterwards he asked me the traditional MBA applicants questions:
  • Why MBA?
  • Why now?
  • What are your goals post-MBA?
  • Why UCLA?
As it was my first interview, even though I had prepared these questions thoroughly, I felt a bit hesitant at first but then retook the lead and found myself explaining my background, goals and reasons well enough.

He then asked me about challenges I encountered at work. He had prepared the interview well because he asked me some very specific questions and then came a funny anecdote when he mentioned that one of his neighbours was my former CEO :).

Then he asked about what other schools I applied to and thought it was a coherent set of applications regarding my goals.

Then he asked me whether I had any questions. I had a lot actually as I had quite similar post-MBA goals to his. Therefore I could ask a lot about Entrepreneurship at Anderson, the AMR program, Visa issues for Internationals and life at LA.

One thing was that my interviewer loved to talk and I felt at that moment I was loosing control over the interview. He was so thrilled about his experience at Anderson that I felt he could have talked about it for days!

The interview finally ended and we said goodbye.

After that I had quite a good feeling but a bit later I wondered whether the laid back style of the interview was not intended to put off my guard. Ok it was laid back but I made sure to be coherent regarding my application file and honest about my goals and potential schools' choices.

I guess it went well as I finally got in for September 2009!

The Parisian MBA

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