Rob Weiler (’91) is associate dean of the full-time MBA program, overseeing everything from admissions to career services to student affairs. Rob spent his post-MBA career working in finance prior to returning to UCLA Anderson, where he has been for nearly nine years. Here he talks about why UCLA Anderson MBA students will be arriving on campus to start the program on August 1, more than a month earlier than in past years.
Q: The UCLA Anderson MBA program is starting on August 1. What was the rationale behind starting the program earlier than in past years?
The August 1 start for all incoming UCLA Anderson MBA students is a radical change from the past. (Actually, our international students are already arriving today for International Orientation!) This earlier summer start was born out of a desire to solve two issues: first, our previously later start relative to other MBA programs put our students at a disadvantage in having sufficient time to explore career options and build skills necessary to secure summer internships; and second, the first fall quarter was extremely intense and very quant-heavy (students took statistics, economics, accounting and finance or marketing). This heavy load was exacerbated by how quickly students had to get moving on recruiting.
Q: What will students be doing during this additional time in the program?
Faculty from our organizational behavior and statistics courses offered to adjust their syllabi and teach their normal 10-week course in five weeks. This will allow students to take only three classes in the fall quarter and will allow our “less quant-able” students to ease into the MBA experience more easily. During the first six weeks, students will take a crash-course in being a student at UCLA Anderson, hear from staff with whom they will work for the coming years, and also take the Leadership Foundations course with our organizational behavior faculty. That will be followed by five weeks of statistics and organizational behavior. Woven throughout these six weeks will also be career-related programming from the Parker Career Management Center. After the completion of summer session, we will engage the students in more traditional orientation activities, as we have done in the past.