UCLA Round Two: Why I Decided to Return to Anderson for Business School

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About Kat:Katerina (Kat) Friese (’24) is originally from St. Louis, MO. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in Communications and Political Science, including a concentration in International Relations, and was also a member of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team. After graduation, Kat stayed in LA and worked for ChromaDex in a variety of marketing roles from influencer marketing to global project management. Kat returned to Anderson intending to pivot into technology marketing, specifically product marketing management.



Not long after graduating from UCLA (the first time) and settling into my new job, I realized that I needed an MBA to bridge gaps in subjects like finance, accounting, and strategic management in order to achieve my long-term career goals. UCLA Anderson was the first school I considered and after an application journey filled with multiple GMAT/GRE’s, essays, and interviews, I received an acceptance call from Anderson on a rainy-day in December 2021.

I accepted the offer and was ecstatic to come back and claim my title as a “double bruin.” Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Los Angeles: It’s a global city, and you can find your fit anywhere. Whether its sports, music, food, hiking, the beach, fashion, or technology, UCLA Anderson happens to be at the center of all of it. Surrounded by the three B’s (Brentwood, Bel Air, and Beverly Hills), UCLA Anderson’s convenient location empowers students to explore all parts of the city—so long as you avoid the 405 at 5PM rush hour. Even though I’ve lived in LA for seven years, I often still feel like a tourist in my own city. The idea of sharing this city I know and love with 330 new friends ignited a belief that I could bring more to my MBA class than simply classroom engagement.
  2. Industry Switch: A huge part of what brought me back to UCLA for my MBA was the industry and job function after graduation. I planned to use business school to pivot from Bioscience-CPG marketing to tech (product) marketing. Over 25 percent of Anderson’s MBA class has work experience in the tech industry, and it has one of the highest tech recruiting classes of any MBA program. Pivoting industries isn’t easy, and I wanted to ensure I had the best resources and support available to make a smooth transition, especially during recruiting season (Amazon’s interview process is no joke!) Some of these resources came from the Parker Career Management Center and the Tech Business Association at Anderson (AnderTech), both of which I knew I was going to utilize if I wanted to successfully pivot into product marketing management. Regardless of your career goals (industry pivot, skills enhancement, entrepreneurship), Anderson’s vast resources are designed to support all students both in the short and long-term.
  3. MBA Capstone Project: Anderson encourages its students to take its classroom learnings and apply them to real world scenarios. Rather than write a paper or take a comprehensive exam, Anderson’s capstone projects include (but are not limited to) consulting with Fortune 500 companies, investing money through portfolio management, or even creating and launching a company, all with Anderson’s resources. Outside of pivoting into tech, I’m highly interested in entrepreneurship. The solidifying factor in why I decided to return to UCLA and attend Anderson was the freedom to explore this interest in a low stakes environment through The Business Creation Project (BCP) capstone.

Two quarters in, I already feel like I made the best decision returning to UCLA for business school. There are a handful of double bruins in the class of 2024, and we wear the title as a badge of honor. From the classrooms to Pauley Pavilion, all the way to the Rose Bowl, I feel like I clicked the heels of my blue sparkly shoes three times (not red: wrong LA school) and said, “there’s no place like home.”



Student Blogger: Katerina (Kat) Friese ‘24

Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (’19) – B.A. Communications, Political Science

Pre-MBA: Marketing Project Manager, ChromaDex

[email protected]: Director of Interviewing, Admission Ambassador Corps; Director of Communications, Women’s Business Connection; Director of Community, Tech Business Association at Anderson (AnderTech)

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