UCLA MBA Essays: Tips for 2023-2024

If you are looking for guidance on how to write successful MBA essays for UCLA Anderson, you are in the right place. The UCLA Anderson MBA application can be difficult and time-consuming, but with these tips and tricks, you can be more confident about one of the biggest parts of your application: the UCLA Anderson essays. This article will cover how to compose UCLA MBA essays that will fit the criteria for admissions and hopefully earn you a place in UCLA’s graduating class of 2025. 

At Menlo Coaching, we noticed that most MBA essays will fall into one of a number of categories: personal essays, career goals essays, behavioral essays, etc.. Read ahead for our expert guide on approaching these essays for the UCLA Anderson School of Business.

Impact Essay

  • 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. (text box, 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.

Career Goals Essay

  • Describe your short-term and long-term post-MBA career goals. (text box, 600 characters)
  • How can UCLA Anderson help you achieve your career and/or personal goals? (text box, 1000 characters)

Optional Essays

  • Are there any extenuating circumstances in your profile about which the Admissions committee should be aware? (text box, 250 words)
  • “More About You” Section. 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. (text box, maximum 1000 characters)

Applying to UCLA Anderson

UCLA is a prestigious business school with renowned faculty and a focus on academic success. UCLA wants to admit students who are intelligent, determined, and prepared to undertake a rigorous curriculum. Further, UCLA Anderson values sharing success, thinking fearlessly, and driving change. Applicants should pay attention to the specific requirements and expectations set out by UCLA’s admissions committee when writing UCLA MBA essays. Through these UCLA Anderson essays, applicants have a chance to demonstrate their skills, accomplishments, and personal interests. 

Anderson’s Impact Essay

This UCLA MBA essay involves demonstrating how recent events have influenced the impact you would like to make in your community, career, or both. This UCLA Anderson essay gives you a space to identify how you have developed after recent events. UCLA’s MBA admissions committee wants assurance that you are self-reflective and able to identify why you would like to make a particular impact in your community and/or career.

In this UCLA MBA essay, it is important to be truthful and sincere and to explain what impact you would like to make in a compelling manner. You should include as much detail as possible for this type of UCLA MBA essay. You should reflect on what a recent event has taught you and how your goals have changed based on that event.

In this UCLA MBA essay, you might want to reflect on how you have learned from previous events and how they have shaped you as an individual.

Anderson’s Career Goals Essay

The UCLA Anderson career goals essay provides applicants with a place to let the UCLA admissions committee know how the MBA program you want to attend will help you achieve your professional goals. This UCLA Anderson essay is a great place to explain why UCLA is truly the best fit for you.

It is vital for UCLA applicants to have a solid plan for their post-MBA career aspirations. First and foremost, this is because UCLA wants its graduates to succeed. However, there are a few selfish motivations for the career goals essay, including the fact that UCLA wants to have an impressive employment report and produce graduates who will become donors someday. Further, the UCLA admissions committee wants to ensure that applicants have a career plan that plays on their past experiences and thus ensures success. They also want applicants with the foresight to develop an alternate career plan in case their first choice does not work out. 

Other things to keep in mind for this essay is the necessity to have a career goal that is both ambitious and practical. Applicants should have meaningful goals that fit with what is offered at UCLA’s MBA program. Along this vein, networking is extremely important when preparing to write your career goals essay. The more you know about the program and how it can help you achieve your personal goals, the better. UCLA Anderson also asks applicants to share how UCLA specifically can help you achieve your career and/or personal goals in a separate MBA essay.

Optional Essay

Once you’ve completed your application, the optional UCLA MBA essay gives you an additional opportunity to provide the AdCom with any additional information or clarity that you feel would enhance your application.

One trap that MBA applicants fall into is using the additional space provided by this essay to write on a whole new topic. However, this is not always the best idea.

You should only make use of this essay if you what you write will provide context to an element of your application to improve your candidacy—you don’t want to jeopardize your chances by adding unnecessary noise to your application.


Applicants to UCLA should pay close attention to the specific expectations for each type of UCLA Anderson essay. Although it may be tempting to look up sample essays and draw from these formats, it is most important to let your personal background guide the construction of your UCLA MBA essays. Menlo Coaching can help you throughout your MBA essay writing process, offering one-on-one coaching and exclusive materials.

Early Birds Toolkit

Learn 3 Steps You Should Take NOW to Improve Your Profile for R1 2024

In MBA admissions, starting early can significantly boost your chances. 

But there are no shortcuts, and while R1 2024 deadlines might seem far off, building your profile takes time.

Our Early Birds Toolkit has everything you need to get started right now—leave your name and email, and we’ll send you three actionable steps to elevate your profile, plus time-saving tools for faster progress.