(Riordan Scholar ’04, B.A. ’08, ’19)
As the Anderson Admissions Ambassador Corps (AAC) co-VP of diversity as well as a first-generation graduate student, I take great pride in participating in UCLA Anderson's annual Embracing Diversity conference, which is designed to acquaint prospective students with our MBA program. I contributed to two panels and, with my classmate Estefi Medina ('19), the AAC's VP of admit weekends, hosted a dinner for prospectives. And I was reminded why, when deciding which business school to attend, many people gauge the school's culture by its level of diversity.
I was eager to share how much I appreciate our Anderson community. Incredible women are leading efforts to achieve gender equity; a community of LGBTQ+ students and allies are educating their peers about inclusive workplaces; and a strong team of diverse students is working to increase our historically underrepresented minorities. Those of us who belong to these groups also have amazing classmates who don't fall into underrepresented "categories," but they support us and are our greatest cheerleaders.
The Embracing Diversity conference is important not only for prospective students but also for current students. It provides a platform where we voice our concerns about embarrassingly low numbers of minorities in MBA programs across the U.S., and enables us to envision how we can help change that. It was evident that applicants were eager to hear about the specific actions our school is taking to create an inclusive environment. I shared how UCLA Anderson student groups work with school administration throughout the year to discuss and explore how we can start to see consistent improvement in our numbers.
We hope everyone felt welcomed. Embracing Diversity was important to me this year because it reminded me why I love my Anderson community so much. I felt lucky to share that with people who brought with them valid concerns about low numbers of women and other underrepresented groups. They, like me once upon a time, are trying to find a school where they belong. I hope they found that Anderson is a great fit for them!