1. The road to UCLA
My name is Matthias B. and I am studying business informatics. A fellow student at my home university (Pascal K.), whose contribution can also be found here at MicroEDU, recommended that I study with Mr. John Ullmen for a summer session via MicroEDU at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In the following I want to explain to you why I decided to follow the advice of my fellow student.
Here I would like to say a very big thank you to my supervisor Tanja Bauer and the others from the MicroEDU Team. During the registration process for UCLA, I was provided with the most important documents and information. MicroEDU’s guidance was very helpful, especially in keeping track of the many operations. I was informed in good time when there was a deadline and my questions were answered very quickly. At the end of the summer session, we even received an e-mail asking us how best to order a sheet music printout, which my fellow students, who were at other organizations, did not get.
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
According to the Shanghai Ranking, UCLA is one of the best universities in the world. Over 100,000 people apply each year, which is partly due to the very good reputation of UCLA. Furthermore, UCLA is of course also an important part of your résumé.
It was one of the main reasons I applied to UCLA. John Ullmen holds a Masters degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. done at UCLA. He has now been teaching at UCLA for over 10 years. His book “Real Influence – Persuade without pushing and gain without giving in” has already been translated into over 10 languages and is one of the “Top 30 Books in Business”. In addition to teaching at UCLA, he also works as an individual coach. His clients include influential top executives and companies (including Apple) from a wide variety of fields, most of which are featured on the Forbes list. John Ullmen conveys theory and practice together in an excellent way. I took the following two courses with him, which conveniently took place on Mondays and Wednesdays one after the other from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
- MGMT 88: Management Success With People In Organizations (Seminar) 4.0 Units
- MGMT 180: Management Interpersonal Communication (Lecture) 4.0 Units
If you want to get an impression, you can watch his Lynda videos:
- Communication Fundamentals: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Communication-Fundamentals/141501-2.html?org=ucla.edu
- Influencing Others: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Influencing-Others/148625-2.html?org=ucla.edu
- Executive Leadership Fundamentals: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Executive-Leadership-Fundamentals/167027-2.html?org=ucla.edu
- Developing Executive Presence: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Developing-Executive-Presence/197201-2.html?org=ucla.edu
- Connecting with Executives: http://www.lynda.com/Business-Business-Skills-tutorials/Connecting-Executives/140378-2.html?org=ucla.edu
The book ‘Real Influence’ and the Lynda videos are also given in his two courses as homework to prepare the courses and serve as a basis.
I chose Summer Session C, which took place from August 3rd to September 11th. In the 1.5 months, the material was dealt with in a “normal” semester. The reason why I decided on the summer session is that the period fell exactly into my semester break and so I never missed a semester at my home university.
Now I would like to give you a brief insight into my experiences during my stay in Los Angeles.
Upon check-in, you will receive a UCLA sweatshirt, a tote bag and a drinking vessel. There was also a Telekom pavilion to find out about possible prepaid cards. Personally, I got by without a cell phone card as there is free WiFi on every corner in LA. You can get your student ID near the UCLA store. It can be topped up with money at machines and can then be used to pay anywhere on campus.
Compared to the German universities , the UCLA campus has a huge area, which is very fascinating from the first minute with lots of green spaces, trees, flowers and beautifully designed buildings. Despite the summer session, the campus is filled with life as it also offers recreational opportunities for the students, such as a fitness studio, basketball, volleyball, Drake Stadium (athletics), tennis courts, pools, UCLA store, and much more. The UCLA store is a huge one Campus Store where you can get UCLA clothes, books, computers, stationery, food and all sorts of useful odds and ends.
There were also a few mini-restaurants above the UCLA store: Panda Express (Asian), Green (salad buffet), Sbarro (Italian), Rubio’s (Mexican).
Meal Plan: There is the option to purchase meal packages through UCLA that contain either 11 dishes, 15 dishes, or 21 dishes per week. The packages must be redeemed in the respective week and cannot be postponed to the next week. You are also bound by meal times and I knew that one time or another I would go on longer trips. That’s why I decided against it when I applied. But I still went to eat at the buffet once, for which the meal packages are used so that I can get an idea. The food is very varied and the quality was also very good. By the way, if you have an apartment on campus, you have to book a meal package. Which brings us to my next topic: Accommodation.
I had chosen the university apartments, which are not on campus, but only a few minutes’ walk away. With the off-campus apartments you have the option of getting a room just for yourself. My apartment was in Glenrock 555 and I shared the large apartment with my own kitchen (stove, refrigerator, microwave) and living room (armchair, coach, fireplace?) With another student. Each of us had our own room with our own bathroom. All household utensils such as pots, pans, cutlery, etc. have to be bought. Sheets, blankets and pillows were provided. You have to bring towels with you. Washing machines and dryers were available on every floor and could be used with coins.
For the entire time I got a cheap rental car through a relative. But it is also possible to take the bus in LA. For longer journeys such as Las Vegas or Newport Beach, however, a rental car is a good option.
UCLA is in the Westwood neighborhood, which is very well geared towards students. There is the Target supermarket there, which offers food as well as all household items that you can use for your apartment. For food, however, I can recommend Ralph’s, which is open 24/7 and has a very large selection. There is also a Starbucks in Ralph’s as well as food counters such as a good sushi counter. A good tip: the free reward card, with which you can save a few dollars. A good pizzeria is “800 degrees”, which had the pizza of the day for under $ 5 every Tuesday evening.
Also interesting is the “Boiling Crab”, a restaurant with different types of crab. And when you come home from a party, you can stop by Fat Sal’s, which has greasy sandwiches that are topped with all sorts of things (French fries, beef, cheese sticks,…) The “BJ’s” bar doesn’t just have delicious beer / Hefeweizen (note: alcohol only from 21 years), but also a warm cookie with ice cream on top. Across from BJ’s there is “Diddy Riese”, where you can get a sandwich made from two cookies and an ice cream for $ 2. You should definitely go there in the afternoon as there is always a very large line in front of the shop in the evening. Read more student reviews on Mcat-test-centers.
There are also cinemas nearby. There I was with friends at the Fox Theater to see “Mission Impossible Rouge” and “Straight Outta Compton”. Note: There is only salty popcorn with butter and you feel like you have just eaten two whole steaks. In addition to the Fox Theater, there is also a Starbucks.
There are fraternities and sororities around the campus. But the fraternities are interesting, because that’s where the cool parties take place in the evenings. Some of the fraternity houses even have a pool. Girls shouldn’t have any problem getting in there. Boys, on the other hand, have a harder time. Tip: Go to the party with a few girls, then you have a chance to be let in.
There is a bus every 10 minutes (BlueBus Line 1) across from UCLA on the corner of Weyburn Ave. / Westwood Blvd. to Santa Monica. The student ride is $ 1, which I think is very fair. Santa Monica offers the Santa Monica Pier (you should have been there during the day and at night), good opportunities to go shopping, a delicious hot dog and burger shop called Steak n Shake and the opportunity to ride a bike on the promenade towards Manhattan Beach, what you absolutely have to do. We chose ‘Santa Monica Beach Bicycle Rentals’ because we thought the further away, the cheaper. It was also the shop that was open the longest. A bike there costs $ 15 for the whole day. The shopkeeper is a Dutchman who could also speak German well.