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The first month of school has really flown by, but the experience has been so intense that I can barely remember what life before FEMBA was like (except that I had more time to sleep).
First quarter core classes are stat and OB. It’s been a really long time since I’ve had to attend lectures so switching into school mode after being away for so long was challenging to say to the least. There was (and still is) quite a bit of homework and reading so it took a few weeks for me to figure out the best way to prioritize my tasks and manage my time. Before the quarter started, I talked to all my friends who had already taken stats and nearly all of them said that it is one of the more difficult classes. I went in knowing I’d probably need to put in a lot of time to keep up with the material. I dedicated 75% of my study time working on stats and 25% on OB. After week 3, I realized that I needed to reallocate my study time so that I could spend more time on OB. I still do spend more time working on stat (since it is more of a challenge for me) but now it’s probably closer to 60% stat and 40% OB.
Now that I’m in the second half of the fall quarter, I’ve realized that I’ve gotten a lot more efficient and effective with the time I spend studying. The first half, I felt like I only had time for work, class, and studying. Now, I feel like I have a bit more free time for non-school related things. Making to-do lists has helped me keep track of the things I need to get done and when and entering all my appointments in the calendar on my phone so I don’t double myself for events (which has happened a few times this quarter).
The #1 question I get from my non-FEMBA friends is some variation of “how do you stay awake in class?” Like everything else, some nights are more draining than others and of course caffeine definitely helps (coffee, tea, and other refreshments are provided!) but I’ve found that lectures and discussions have been engaging. For me, class has been refreshing change from the day-to-day work grind.
Highlights: Professor Unzueta’s lectures, Leadership Foundations, happy hours, and Halloween party.
I’m really enjoying being a FEMBA and look forward to sharing my experiences with you as I work my way through my first year.
Hi and welcome! We are 3 current Anderson FEMBA students, representing each of the various schedules available to students (Tuesday/Thursdays, Saturdays and Flex).
As a team we have committed to keep the content on this blog fresh, meaning doing our best to have regular updates on a weekly basis.
So we wanted to use this first blog to introduce ourselves, we've also included our emails/linkedin, so if you have any questions, want to grab coffee or just would like to chat feel free to connect with us!
Sr. Producer/Product Manager - Activision Blizzard
Santa Monica, CA
If I had to choose one, I would say that it is definitely the people I have met since starting the program. Before starting b-school I had an idea of what I thought the typical MBA student would be like (finance, consulting, suit and tie, all type A). However since starting Anderson, I couldn’t be more wrong! I’ve met so many different people who are not only at the top of their fields, but are also friendly, willing to help and challenge my own ideas and perceptions. It’s a great feeling to know that we’re all here to better ourselves by taking on this large endeavor together.
Regardless of where you are at in the admissions cycle (just starting research on schools, actively applying, waiting to hear back, etc…) it is always a good thing to consider what your personal story is. Namely, “Why do I want to get my MBA?”, “Where do I want it to take me?”, “Why is the Anderson part time program the best fit for me?” Not only is important for you to know internally the answers to these questions, but also to be able to communicate it to others as well. No one is asking you to have all the answers, but we want to get to know you and what you bring to the table. Who knows, your next best connection could be one conversation away…
Anything related to the Golden State Warriors, 49ers, or SF Giants (can you tell where I’m from?). Also love walking with my wife and dog, talking technology trends/innovations, playing hoops and finding the best food around.
Manager - 21st Century Fox
Downtown Los Angeles
I get fewer hours of sleep but am so much more efficient with my waking hours. I'm also surprised that I look forward to going to lecture (on most) Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's a nice change to get your brain to shift gears and think about big picture stuff.
Travel, food (eating not cooking), and spending time with family, friends, and my dog
IT Customer Engagement Lead - IBM
24 hours used to be a lot of time before school started. Not anymore. The fun part is that there is always something to do – assignments, quizzes, learning groups and so on. I used to waste a lot of time doing non-productive stuff but this schedule has just forced me to be super efficient. You just become better at multi-tasking and quick decision making.
Come visit the school campus and the various open houses and other admissions events. Enjoy the admissions process and give your best shot to the essays and let your personality shine through. Talk to current students at events, talk to us and ask anything you want to know. Once admitted, you might need to give up your favorite TV show or hobby for a while but it will be worth it because this journey will be rewarding. Open up and socialize/network with everyone around you – at school, work or in day-to-day life. Lastly, be ready to gain a few pounds and attend a million happy hours. Don't cancel that gym membership! Good luck!
Hiking, traveling, pig out at food trucks and restaurants, sports, current affairs and anything to do with 'Breaking Bad' and 'House of Cards'
FEMBAs choose to be or end up being unemployed for part of their MBA. Fully
Unemployed MBA (FUMBA) is a somewhat sarcastic term coined for this brave lot.
I myself chose to be a FUMBA and will talk about the reason for my decision and
the common struggles and joys of being a FUMBA.
FEMBAs looking to switch careers usually quit their jobs towards the end of the 2nd year and part or whole of the last year. Usually taking up an internship at the end of 2nd year is an impetus to taking this step. You can either land an internship through the On Campus Recruiting (OCR) process or outside of it. The OCR process requires FEMBAs to quit their jobs before accepting the internship. If you land an internship on your own outside the OCR process then there is no such requirement. In the latter case I have known FEMBAs who have taken a sabbatical for the summer and returned to their jobs in Fall. In rare cases I have known FEMBAs who continued working full time with the companies that they interned with.
FUMBAs are able to immerse themselves in the full time experience and also use this time to find their next gig. Some activities include, playing leadership roles with the clubs they are associated with, attending on campus events as well as industry and alumni events.
One common concern I hear is how to manage expenses without a pay or a lower pay. Here are some methods that are possible:
1. Consider downgrading vehicle insurance to
2. Consider downgrading medical insurance to catastrophe only. Possibly get rid of it totally and rely on public clinics such as Westside Family Health Center in Santa Monica. Unfortunately you don’t qualify for university sponsored insurance offered to Full Time MBA students.
3. Pursue internships in the industry and function that you are interested in.
4. Consider moving into University Apartments (http://map.ais.ucla.edu/go/1002103 ).
Three years of FEMBA can take a toll on you, especially if you have a spouse or a steady relationship. Taking some time off allows you to focus on what is best for your family and reenergize yourself before getting back in the workforce.
Submission by Saurabh Khurana
Bio: Saurabh is a FEMBA 2013. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and a Lakers fan. His background is in technology and is interested in Big Data and Digital Marketing Technologies. He was VP of the HTBA club and an active member of the MCA club. You can find him on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/saurabh-khurana/0/787/459
After a short but sweet Spring Break, I'm sure most grad students are getting ready to hit the books again as the quarter kicks off. For the 2013s though, we're feeling the senioritis and looking forward to graduation in a few weeks!
Looking back on the last three years, it’s amazing to see how much time and effort went into completing the program, even for those who finished early. Along with a few gray hairs from late night studying, endless group projects, and devoting 6 months to a “little” project called GAP, there is an awesome sense of accomplishment.
But what if we could have saved ourselves a little bit of stress and some of the headaches? I would have loved some candid feedback and advice when starting the program or even as I went through it so I asked some of my 2013 classmates for the advice they have for current and incoming students. Here is what they said:
doesn't get any easier, but that's not what you signed up for. It stays fun if
you give it a chance."
– Charlie Aldave
embrace the opportunities ahead because these short three years are for you.
Never lose focus of the overarching reasons why you joined the program and
build as many working relationships as possible - these will carry you through
the next few decades of your career."
- Grace Chang
more social events if possible because those memories are what matters at the
end. Pick a good team that you can get along with for GAP - it's more important
than the other factors."
- Pete Santhappan
“My advice is to
embrace this crazy new schedule, which will quickly become your "new
normal." Adjust your schedules accordingly. Make time for family, friends,
travel, and also quiet time for yourself. Balance is key!”
- Jamie Greenspan
“My advice is motivated by regret. Ironic, because I say
skip the regret. Do you want to switch careers? Quit your job, hit summer
internship recruiting hard, land the offer, and don’t look back. Also,
remember to enjoy the company of your FEMBA classmates – and often – because
the student life party will be over before you know it.”
- Daniel Kim
scheduling back to back classes as much as possible! You won't realize it but
having that day between classes is just the amount of breathing room you need.
Anything less is suffocating."
- Jerry Sun
“Time and time again, the opinion I hear is that team
dynamics is key to a successful GAP experience. From my experience, I
completely agree. Look for group mates you have worked well with.
Leadership Foundation group and study groups are good places to start.”
– Bob Park
Other students had general comments as well. One student told me, “You can handle more than you think,” and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s not easy to balance a full-time job, part-time school, and life but somehow you find enough hours in a day to do so. Or as classmate Alex Valente urges, “Get involved. It's more fun to have a voice and a great way to meet people outside your section.” Great ways to do this are to get involved with student council and join clubs. You can also take your professors out to lunch to get to know them.
For those of you who are looking to switch jobs, my classmate Bob Park advises, “Start the process early. Meet all career center recruiting requirements in the first year and begin recruiting at the start of the second year. If you wait to recruit until your third year, GAP will add significant demand on your time.” Even if you don’t plan to go through the formal recruiting process, it can be good practice as another classmate told me, “OCR workshops are good exercises to go through even if you have no plans of actually going through with the recruiting.”
And if any of you are interested in the study abroad trips, you should definitely sign up! It’s a great a chance to meet people outside of your section and do something different outside of the classroom. As a classmate told me, “I think one of the things I wish I would have known is how awesome the study abroad trips are. I didn’t take one until my last year and it was a really awesome experience and I wish I would have signed up for more of them earlier.”
Perhaps one piece of advice that sums up the FEMBA experience is as classmate Alex Valente simply puts it, “The more you put in, the more you get out... increasing marginal returns baby!”
-Renee Eng (FEMBA 2013)
So, I may be a little a-typical for a business school student in that my job and career doesn’t really require a lot of quantitative rigor. In fact, as someone who works in environmental policy and public affairs, I’m probably a better candidate on paper for law school. Yet, when I decided to go back to school for a master’s degree, I intentionally picked something that was outside of my comfort zone. I also knew that if I wanted to work outside public affairs, I would have to learn about business operations, finance, econ, etc., and this meant building my math muscles.
Even though I looked forward to the challenge, I had a lot of anxiety going into my first quarter math class at Anderson. There was good reason for this anxiety; while past performance certainly isn’t an indication of future results, smart money wouldn’t have put my grades in the top 10-25% of my Q1 stats class. The fact that statistics was up first also didn’t help. Statistics, and especially probability, were not strong areas for me on the GMAT and I got a ‘B-‘ in the one stats class I had in undergrad (something that was noted during the admissions process). Still, I felt that I wanted to be successful in business school badly enough that I decided to make this a personal challenge and a priority. So, I set a goal for myself: Straight A’s in my first quarter. I wrote down the goal, put it on my to-do list and created a couple of sub tasks that I thought would help me get there.
I started by getting myself as ready as I could for that first quarter by doing the following:
1. I took a “Math for Managers” class at UCLA Extension taught by Dr. Bijan Raphael, and I wasn’t the only 2015 FEMBA in that class (I figured this out after-the-fact during a conversation with a classmate at Leadership Foundations).
2. I watched several Kahn Academy videos on statistics to re-familiarize myself with the subject.
3. I completed the beginning Udacity.com course on statistics before starting the program (free 5 min lessons that I did on my lunch breaks).
4. I took the Statistics Workshop offered by Anderson.
5. I took the Manhattan GMAT Excel workshop (free for anyone who took their GMAT prep class).
Once I got to class, I did everything I could to learn the material, even though it was painful at times. I did all the practice problems and problem sets. I went back to the book and my notes to make sure that I knew what the right answers were and how there were derived when I got them wrong (which was often). Probably most importantly, I reached out to fellow students and joined or formed study groups. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one who was struggling and that there were people who were good at math who were willing to help. Moreover, I managed to convince myself that I was a math person and that I really liked doing it. It helped that Prof. McCardle was a good lecturer and had amusing examples to make a dry subject more interesting and relevant.
It was a lot of work, but totally do-able. I put in about three hours a day, which I broke up between before work, lunch break and after dinner, Sunday through Thursday, so that I could spend Fridays enjoying dinner and a glass (or bottle) of wine with my girlfriend.
My final grade in stats: A- (I also got an ‘A’ in Organizational Behavior.)
I accomplished what I set out to do for my first quarter. My friends in the program, the staff and the faculty all helped me to get there. If math is something that makes you hesitant about applying to Anderson, just know that it’s up to you if you want to excel. And to quote Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy, “You can do it!”
- Alex Pugh (FEMBA 2015)
Wait – there’s a blog? Why did we create a blog?
FEMBA Speaks is a place for current FEMBA students to share our academic, social, and professional experiences as we journey through the 33-month FEMBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. From core to electives, Anderson clubs to football tailgates, and case competitions to promotions, our goal is to bring to you glimpses into the life of a FEMBA as we strive to make the most of this incredible experience.
Stay connected and follow this diverse group of writers as we explore and bring to you different facets of the FEMBA experience. To get regular updates from the blog, bookmark this page or add our site (http://blogs.anderson.ucla.edu/femba/) to your Google Reader subscriptions or other favorite RSS reader app.
We hope you enjoy the blog and come back often for new perspectives on the FEMBA student experience!
Your Student Bloggers,
Kali Falk, Amber Jackson, & Prashant Talwar
FEMBA Class of 2015
Hi everyone! This is a brief post to tell you more about the new Flex program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management!
In addition to offering the full-time MBA program, UCLA Anderson also offers a Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program on a part-time basis for working professionals. Flex is a new education platform that leverages a hybrid format (part of the education delivery takes place online, and part on campus).
Check out THIS VIDEO to learn more about Flex!