Transitioning from Working to Being a Full-Time Student


MP Guru
About Pete: Pete Severs (’23) is a first-year student at UCLA Anderson. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy for his undergrad degree, where he majored in Ocean Engineering. Upon graduation, Pete commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, where he served on two warships and a support staff located in Hawaii and San Diego. After Anderson, he is intending to transition into management consulting. In his spare time, you can find Pete chasing after gainz at Kinross Rec Center, repeatedly getting stumped by the NY Times crossword, or dreaming about his next scuba diving trip.

As I was nearing the end of my obligated active-duty military service and beginning to explore options to transition into a different career field, I became increasingly enticed by the opportunity to pursue a full-time MBA. I was excited by the chance to further develop my leadership and management skills, increase the quality of job options available to me, expand my professional network, and make new friends with whom to enjoy some of the memorable experiences embedded into the full-time MBA curriculum. However, there was one idea that made me a bit nervous about this new endeavor, and it was the dreaded prospect of going “back to school.”

My memory of going to school may have been slightly more stringent considering my undergrad experience at the Naval Academy was “non-traditional” to say the least. But I was still hesitant about the idea of sitting through lectures, writing countless papers, studying (ok cramming) for intensive exams, and all the other tasks associated with being a student again. Additionally, my undergrad educational background in engineering, combined with my military experience, was unique compared to some of my classmates coming from the business world. This made me wonder how I would ever keep up in classes covering some of the core business principles such as accounting, finance, and marketing. However, after spending close to a year in Anderson’s MBA program, I am pleased to report that those fears were premature and have gone unrealized.

For one, all of Anderson’s core classes are taught from the assumption that each student has no prior background in the subject. This was great for someone like me, who started accounting at the 2+2=4 level and was able to keep up with class material from the start. Additionally, most core classes are taken within your Section, a group of about 75 students, and within each Section students are placed into a Learning Team of 5-6 people. Nearly all assignments are completed by each Learning Team, which is great for balancing expertise and busy workloads, especially during the fall recruiting season. There were countless times that my Learning Team saved me, whether explaining the homework that I was still a bit confused about or stepping up to tackle a heavier part of the workload when I had a busy week with recruiting or other tasks. Additionally, I have found most classes to be genuinely interesting (although not hard to be more interesting than thermodynamics). Most professors go out of their way to incorporate real-world events into their curriculum, such as discussing Super Bowl commercials in marketing class or relating how current global supply-chain issues can be analyzed through core economics principles.

All things considered, returning to be a full-time student hasn’t been nearly as daunting as I expected, and instead has been quite the opposite. I’ve enjoyed escaping the grind of working full-time to take classes in business subjects with which I was previously unfamiliar. Combined with the other amazing aspects of the Anderson student experience such as top-notch recruiting opportunities and support, extracurricular clubs to be involved in, and nonstop social events for a wide array of interests, all with the famous Los Angeles sunshine constantly smiling upon us, the transition from working to being a full-time Anderson student has been everything I could ask for!

Learning Team at Dogers Game
Learning Team at a Dodgers game!

Section B Holiday Party
Section B Holiday Party​

Student Blogger: Pete Severs '23

Undergrad: U.S. Naval Academy ‘15

Pre-MBA: Surface Warfare Officer, U.S. Navy

[email protected]: First-Year Director, Anderson Ambassador Corps; Director of Alumni Affairs, Management Consulting Association; Director of Corporate Outreach, Anderson Veterans Association; Director of Joint Ventures, Cannabis Business Association


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