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UCLA︱MBA (Full Scholarship)︱Career Goals Essay

From writing stories for NY Times to building my own stories.

UCLA︱MBA (Full Scholarship)︱Career Goals Essay

What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and how will an MBA from UCLA Anderson specifically help you achieve these goals? (700 words maximum)

For more than two years, I’ve worked as a journalist in Asia, where I collect and tell compelling business, political, and cultural stories to help foreign readers understand the dynamics of this region.

I’m now seeking an Anderson MBA to achieve my goal of helping US companies expand in Asia. The longer I follow the story here, the more I realize that business stands at the forefront of foreign relations, economic development, and social progress. Trade, especially with the US, has benefited Asia by lowering political barriers, bringing greater democracy and rule of law, and creating higher living standards that lead to better labor practices and environmental protection. Instead of merely following how business is changing the face of Asia, I want to be a part of it. I plan to study marketing to help American consumer products and technology companies build relationships, launch brands, and expand CSR projects in Asia. I strive to become a country manager for a major multinational firm within six years.

Marketing is a natural shift from my journalism work. My current role requires me to capture my global audience by producing content that people outside of Asia can relate to, whether it’s a problem they also face, or a value they also share. Being abroad has made me enterprising in finding resources and contacts in a foreign environment, all while working under constant deadline pressures.

On the opposite end, I’m regularly hounded by organizations trying to pitch stories to me. I’ve become adept at filtering out poorly executed marketing campaigns, while digging up worthy organizations, products, events, and opinions that have a wide appeal.

My ability to build relationships, analyze information, find trends, and write with clarity has landed me several freelance marketing projects. They include conducting new market research for the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam International, creating English press releases for Taiwanese computer maker ASUS, and developing products for Circos Brand Karma, a branding startup for the hospitality industry. This work has made me realize that, instead of collecting stories, I want to be on the other side, building the story of a business and developing its brands. I want to help companies sharpen their narratives, communicate their values, and build product relationships with their Asian customers.

An Anderson MBA will be critical to make this transition, giving me the tools to solve business problems and graduate ready to lead. Anderson’s marketing track and global management specialization provides the exact course of study I need to achieve my goal. I plan to take the global marketing management and international business strategy courses, where I will learn solutions for business expansion challenges in emerging markets. Anderson also offers depth, including Asia-specific courses, as well as the Global Immersion Program, which I will use to boost my local knowledge on the macro and micro business environment of China and the Asia-Pacific region. Another key component will be the AMR Program. To gain practical experience, I will find an opportunity to do market research for a company that is trying to bring its products to hard-to-reach consumers in a developing country.

What I value the most about Anderson is its tremendous support for entrepreneurship and mentorship, especially in LA, a hotbed of companies looking across the Pacific for expansion. I plan to take full advantage of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Vistage, Dinners-for-Eight, and Days-on-the-Job programs to learn from current executives on how they overcome the challenges of bringing new products to market and increasing sales overseas. Likewise, the Entrepreneur Association’s Global Entrepreneurship program will be a great primer to business challenges, and opportunities, in the developing world.

This exposure is crucial for tailoring my internship, and future job search, to the needs of employers. My plan is to seek a marketing internship with a company in the US West Coast with clear ambitions in Asia. On the media-entertainment side, I have eyed Walt Disney, which is scheduled to open a new theme park in Shanghai. I’m also keen on technology companies that are working to reclaim the upper hand in the China market, including chip maker Qualcomm and Apple.

The Anderson MBA will ensure that I am prepared and tested, ready to go abroad and hit-the-ground running.

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