After compiling a long list of recommendations for MBA students in general, I wanted to pay service to my own alma mater by creating a list specific to UCLA Anderson. UCLA is an amazing campus, but as business school students, we often feel disconnected from it and rarely understand the full range of benefits available to us. This post is intended to help you get the most out of your two years as an Anderson student. Please note that the list includes several links that are active at the time of this writing, but will probably be dead the next time UCLA does an IT upgrade.
Get Free Software Training From Lynda
As a UCLA student, you’re login and password will grant you access to Lynda.com, a learning website with thousands of training videos for several different software programs. The two software programs that will probably be most relevant to you are Excel and PowerPoint. If you haven’t developed proficiency in these tools, Lynda is a great way to catch up to your peers. Doing so will make your life much easier during group projects and your summer internship. You can also use Lynda to train on design tools such as Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator.
Wait for UCLA Store Sales to Buy Gear
When you start at Anderson, it’s tempting to walk right into the Ackerman UCLA Store and start buying UCLA gear to represent our newly established Bruin pride. But you should definitely wait a few months before doing so. First of all, you’ll probably get a lot of Anderson gear just from all of the professional organizations you join. Secondly, almost every quarter the UCLA Store holds a massive sale where all items are marked down by 20% – 30% and clearance (red tag) items are made available in the patio area. If you want generic UCLA gear, you should to Ackerman Union; all the Anderson branded gear is at the LuValle bookstore. For the clearance sales, make sure to get to the store early; if you get there late, there will only be XL and XXL clothing left.
Buy Tickets from the Central Ticket Office
UCLA’s Central Ticket Office is like a concierge service for UCLA students. In addition to offering tickets for all of UCLA’s sporting events, you can also get discounted AMC Gold Tickets as well as tickets for several theme parks. These include Universal Studios, Disneyland, Legoland, Sea World, etc. The Central Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and is located between Pauley Pavilion and Ackerman Union.
Given that you’re automatically enrolled in GSHIP (Graduate Student Health Insurance Program) and are thus already paying for dental insurance, one of the first things you should do when you get to campus is find a good dentist. Below are the ones in the area that were recommended to me, all of whom take GSHIP insurance. During my two years, I was a patient of Cynthia Cheung’s office and she’s by far the best dentist I’ve ever had.
Use KREC Instead of Wooden
One of the worst things about going to business school is being reminded how old you are. This usually happens when you walk into the campus gym and get to work out next to a bunch of 18 year old undergrads. UCLA’s main gym is the Wooden Center. By any standard, it’s clearly a world class gym with pretty much all the equipment you could ask for. The problem with Wooden is that it’s always crowded with undergrads. Not only does working out there remind you of your fleeting youth, but you’ll usually have to wait a while before you can get on any equipment.
UCLA recently opened up a gym just for graduate students called the KREC (Kinross Recreation Center). As an MBA student, you’re eligible to use the KREC. It’s a little south of the main campus and assuming you have a parking pass, you can usually park nearby for free after 4:30 pm. It’s not crowded, the equipment is decent, undergrads are banned, and it has free temporary use lockers.