To Our Applicants

I’ve been in college admission for nearly 20 years, which is likely longer than most incoming freshman have been alive. Yet each year, I look forward to the opportunity to meet with newly admitted students and their families as they consider which campus community they’ll call home this fall. With all of the stress that can sometimes accompany the college search process, it’s nice to take a breath and focus on the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

The fact that we received over 102,000 apps, more than any other university in the country, is often what attracts attention and questions. Each of these applications are read multiple times (every app is read at least twice…many more often than that), so we feel as though we’ve come to know our potential new Bruins quite well. Our larger challenge, however, lies in the amazing quality of applicants in our pool. UCLA attracts the best and brightest students from throughout the state of California, around the U.S., and throughout the world. And now it’s that time of year again – we’re finally set to release admission decisions.

But this is also a very emotional time of year for the students and families that won’t receive good news. I can speak on behalf of my admission colleagues here at UCLA and say that this is both an exhilarating and excruciating process for us. Nothing in our work in college admission is more challenging than saying no to good students. Ultimately, we are able to admit fewer than one in six of our applicants. This is a profound responsibility and one we take very seriously. For those students that did not receive the decision they were hoping for, know that these were very tough decisions for us.  It is, however, unavoidable in highly selective admission processes. I’m also reminded of the pendulum that is the college admission process. Each fall, as admission deadlines approach, colleges and universities wait in anticipation of who will choose to apply for admission. The pendulum then swings to students and parents/families as they eagerly await news of the admission decisions. Now, it’s our turn, once again, to wait and see where you will enroll.

Regardless of which colleges and universities you’re considering this fall, enjoy being back in the driver’s seat. Visit college campuses, ask financial aid questions, meet current students, and get to know our universities beyond the brochures and websites that make us all look so good. You will grow, both in and outside of the classroom. You will learn from incredible faculty and engage in groundbreaking research. You will study abroad. You will make lifelong friends. You will continue on your own journey of becoming the amazing individual your family, friends, counselors, and community know you will be. And you will make whatever university you attend better. Take the time to celebrate and to be proud of what you have accomplished and look forward to the college experience. It’s a big deal.

Remember that there are two names on every diploma…the university’s name and your own. At UCLA, our faculty, current students and alumni will ensure that every opportunity is made available to you. But you have to walk through that door and take advantage of those opportunities. The experience we offer at UCLA is second to none, but it can’t be amazing unless you come here and continue to MAKE it amazing!

To our applicants, thank you for allowing us a brief glimpse into your life. We wish each and every one of you the very best, wherever you choose to enroll this fall. And for those of you who choose to make the halls of Westwood your home, we say…

Go Bruins!

Gary Clark

Gary Clark is the Director of Undergraduate Admission at UCLA.

The Optimists: Alyson Kim

Have you met the UCLA Optimists? Over the next several months, the Bruin Blog will be highlighting our student Optimists. These current UCLA undergraduates will give you insight into the application process and tips, student life and culture, and what it means to be a Bruin.

Alyson Kim.jpgBefore applying to UCLA I had never been to the campus or really thought of it as where I wanted to attend college. The academic prestige and athletic excellence excited me. However, having lived in Southern California for nine years, I had planned the next four years to be in the east coast. I wanted to attend a small school, where I could have the opportunity to know everyone, have smaller classes, and easily get involved. I definitely had no plans to attend a big university, let alone the most applied to school in the nation. Now I am writing to you as a rising senior at UCLA, so obviously the east coast small school plan didn’t happen. However, my journey at UCLA has been everything I could have ever wanted.

Upon admission to UCLA, I decided to attend an Admitted Student Day on campus, about 40 minutes north from my home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. The minute I stepped onto this campus, something felt right. I hopped on a tour and listened to students and faculty as they gave their testimonies of their experiences here. The day ended with a video highlighting the work of students and faculty, finishing with a video of 8-claps all around the world. This short video moved me. It moved me because it was a testament to how powerful this campus is and how this campus community could empower me and help me pursue my passions.

My whole life I knew there was more to this world than my own personal needs. Therefore, I knew my passions lied in discovering societal issues and solving them. That’s why I was interested in engineering – it is all about problem solving. So, I decided I was going to apply to UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Two principles that I live by are: everyone deserves access to clean water, and no human should sleep cold and without shelter. Therefore, I chose Civil and Environmental Engineering, which includes the concentrations of hydrology, structural and environmental engineering, to find cost efficient, eco-friendly ways to make clean water accessible to everyone and sustainable infrastructure for anyone without shelter.

My passion to tackle problems in this field was strong, but I began to realize how exciting it would be to address my passions here. Coming in, I was competing with students who had already mastered the language of C++, who were able to disprove physical theories with my professors, and knew how to build robots at the age of sixteen. My experience was limited to the Advanced Placement math and science classes I took in high school that I somehow did well in. My first quarter in the school of Engineering, I learned how important my classmates would be in my academic success. The community here is strong and through our study groups, career fairs, and engineering projects (like building a canoe out of concrete and racing it) I have become close to many of my classmates and plan to stay close beyond my four years here. The study groups alleviated my individual approach to understanding the toughness of material in my classes, all the while making learning challening concepts tangible and interesting. My friends and I will sometimes stay up for hours discussing the dielectric and semi-conductive characteristics of materials and how those properties affect and help us understand everything in our physical world. Trust me, if you take the course Introduction to Materials Science Engineering, your mind will be blown. The campus has also given me so many opportunities to pursue my passion of sustainable infrastructure as I am doing research in LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification for existing buildings on campus. In addition, the career fairs hosted at UCLA aided in establishing my internship this summer for a construction management company as a project engineer. Lastly, I have been able to work on service projects such as the Navajo Project within our chapter of Engineers Without Borders, where we are providing a clean water system for a family on the Navajo Reservation. The initial academic challenges I faced were a struggle; however, I can say with true fervor, that I was more prepared than I realized to overcome such challenges and that has made me stronger, shaped me into who I am, and given me the ability to pursue some of my deepest passions.

I am surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds in a university filled with opportunities waiting for me to take part in. The UCLA campus is overflowing with excellence and I am so honored and blessed every day to be a part of it. Being a Bruin means you get to be surrounded and supported by a campus of people who will push you to achieve whatever you want. Trust me, we have it all at UCLA.

Alyson Kim is a third year Civil Engineering major from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

The Optimists: Ah Lim Lee

Have you met the UCLA Optimists? Over the next several months, the Bruin Blog will be highlighting our student Optimists. These current UCLA undergraduates will give you insight into the application process and tips, student life and culture, and what it means to be a Bruin.

IMG_3227.JPGWhen I was younger, I frequently had a hard time coming to terms with my cultural identity. I am a South Korean citizen, but I was born and raised in Indonesia due to my parents’ employment, and so I went on to attend Jakarta International School for all of my formal education. This odd mixture of being disciplined through Confucius ideologies at home but learning about Western principles at school, while immersing myself in the Indonesian culture through my everyday interactions, gave me an appreciation for my multi-faceted identity, but also created a conflict within myself. I constantly asked myself, “where do I belong?” or “with whom do I belong?”.

On the other hand, despite internal conflicts, one thing I knew for certain was that since I had grown accustomed to it, I wanted to continue my American-style education. On the other hand, coming to UCLA was a bit of an unexpected surprise. However, there was one moment when I knew that UCLA was the school for me. After receiving my acceptance offer from UCLA, I browsed through different resources on the UCLA Undergraduate Admission website to learn more about UCLA, and I came across a motto that really hit home: “WE, The Optimists”. Growing up, my parents always used to tell me that anything was possible with perseverance and hard work, that there was no barrier you could not break if you really put your heart into something. Over time, I came to take these optimistic and forward-looking words to heart as a guiding principle on how I aimed to live my everyday life. Given that, when I read those three words, I knew I wanted to be a Bruin because I had met the school that captured the spirit of who I was and who I wanted to be.

My first year at UCLA, I put aside my little identity crisis and focused mainly on integrating into UCLA campus life and culture, making new friends, and exploring Los Angeles. My first quarter I joined a Professional Pre-Law Fraternity called Kappa Alpha Pi to explore the possibility of law school. When I was in high school, I was convinced that I wanted to study international relations because of my love for Model United Nations and it made sense given the context in which I grew up. But through my involvement in Kappa Alpha Pi, where I served as the Director of Professional Activities, I was given many opportunities to connect with law students and seasoned lawyers in various fields of law which sparked my interest in a more legal than political career. To my pleasant surprise, I found not only an organization that provided me professional development opportunities in my prospective career field, but I also found a community of friends, both domestic and international, who helped me feel at welcome and at home. This made my first year a lot less daunting and lonely than it could have been for an international student 8,972 miles away from home.

Although Kappa Alpha Pi exposed me to the idea of practicing domestic law, it did not fully satisfy the side of me that still wanted to learn more about international relations. It came to my surprise when I discovered that the Political Science department offered a class in International Law (PS 123A) for undergraduate students. For those interested in international law and international relations, this class is the perfect merge between the two because the course material and readings include cases from a variety of international courts and institutions and scholarly articles by political scientists about principles and theories explaining the variation between international courts. Not only that, this class is unlike the traditional university class, which compose of large lectures and minimal participation. Professor Leslie Johns actively encourages students to participate and ask questions, which I love! In fact, usually one lecture each week is dedicated to discussing a case or an article and the whole lecture will be based on Professor Johns asking questions and students responding to the questions. This class has probably been one of the most engaging and interesting class that I have taken and it has prompted me to look for more law related classes that may be relevant to my interests and career plans.

Towards the end of my first year as a UCLA student, I stumbled upon a job opening at the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars (DCISS), which beckoned at me and appealed to my desire to connect my present to my past as an international, third culture kid. I have been working at the Dashew Center for over seven months now and to this day, I am so grateful that I came upon this opportunity because it has given me a space to share and express my identity as an international student. Just last week, I had the opportunity to serve as a panel speaker for a Colleague Training that the Dashew Center organizes every year for staff, faculty and administrators at UCLA. There, I was able to speak about my experience at UCLA as an international student and it empowered me to learn that I could use my unique story to advocate for and emphasize the value of international students in fostering global awareness and education here on campus.

I will say that it is not a walk in the park to be a student in a foreign country. Many days I miss home and my family. It is difficult only being able to see my parents once, maybe twice a year if I’m lucky, and I crave my mom’s home cooked meals, especially when I get sick. But I think what keeps me going every day is the gratitude and happiness I feel being at UCLA. I am grateful for the many and diverse people I have met and connected with, the tremendous and generous opportunities through which I was able to grow as a person, and the fact that I get to learn about the things that spark my curiosity and inspire me to work towards something. There is obviously no replacement for home, but for now, I am proud UCLA is my home away from home.

Ah Lim Lee is a Second Year originally from South Korea, but grew up and went to school in Indonesia.
She plans to graduate in three years.

The Optimists: Brad Fingard

Have you met the UCLA Optimists? Over the next several months, the Bruin Blog will be highlighting our student Optimists. These current UCLA undergraduates will give you insight into the application process and tips, student life and culture, and what it means to be a Bruin.

Brad Fingard.jpgUCLA is frequently rated one of the best public higher education institutions in the country and there are many factors contributing to this success. Yes, we do have some of the most innovative and intelligent professors in the country. Yes, we do have an ample supply of funding for research allowing faculty and students to make breakthroughs in virtually every field. Yes, we have a rich history of athletic excellence with the most NCAA Championships in the country (113, if you’re wondering). Yes, our alumni are leaders in every field imaginable and continue to support their alma mater. And yes, we do have THE BEST dining halls in the country. While all of these factors contribute to the eminence of UCLA, I personally do not believe that any of these markers are what makes us one of the best schools in the country.

I believe that what separates UCLA from other schools in the United States is our unmatched diversity. UCLA is arguably the most diverse elite institution in the country with about 29% of our undergraduate population coming from low income backgrounds. Almost a third of our students are the first in their families to go to college. In addition, UCLA is home to people of varying racial and ethnic communities, religions, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. The increasing diversity on our campus hasn’t just happened. In addition to efforts by the University of California system, the success we have achieved is due in part to student initiated, student run access and yield projects for underrepresented student populations to provide opportunity to all high school graduates. There are also dozens of student groups and organizations where you are able to discover, connect to, and explore your identities further, such as Hillel, Afrikan Student Union, Muslim Student Association, First to Go, or one of the organizations within the Queer Alliance – just to name a few!

Fortunately, UCLA administrators are also proactive in addressing the varied needs of our diverse undergraduate community. In 2015, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), led by Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang, was created to implement changes within our institution and I have had the honor of serving on the inaugural Student Advisory Board. As members of the board we have been tasked to serve as advisors to EDI, liaisons to the campus community, and problem solvers for the any number of issues facing undergraduate and graduate students. In my role, I have had the opportunity to help write a funding application for diversity related programming, which seeks to bring attention to a multitude of marginalized identities as well as encourage sustainability and collaboration. I have also been developing a training program for men aiming to critically engage male undergraduate students in sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention. Another ongoing project I have been involved in seeks to create a standardized EDI training module for all students as well as frequent follow-up trainings as allyship is an ongoing process. The work I have been able to do seems to really make a difference and it is encouraging that our administration and leadership take the student voice so seriously.

Equity is something to be pursued as too many people have been denied access to opportunities, too many people have been dealt with unjustly by society, and too many people continue to experience these hardships on a daily basis. Diversity is something to be celebrated as each of us comes from a unique background. We have all had our own experiences informed by our identities. The expression of these varied experiences may challenge others’ worldviews, but it is only through challenge that we are able to grow. My own worldview has been challenged through my experiences in the classroom and through my activities around campus.

Here at UCLA, the students, faculty, and staff community members are among the most diverse and the best and brightest, but we are all human. We constantly push ourselves to be better than we were the day before. We can always learn more, do more, and love more and that’s what we as Bruins – The Optimists – try to do on a daily basis.

Brad Fingard is a 3rd Year from Chicago, IL
majoring in Political Science with minors in Public Policy and Education.

5 Tips to Help you Prepare as an International Student

I attended school abroad and knew, all along, that I wanted to study at a university in the United States. When I finally received my university’s letter of acceptance 3 months later, I was ecstatic! But the emotions that settled in after that were confusing: I was going to leave my family and live alone in a foreign place; I was going to say goodbye to my friends; I would have to adapt to a new culture and speak English every day. I was happy, yes, but I also felt this emptiness in my heart because I was not going to live at home anymore.

I know first-hand how scary the university admission process can be. Although decisions for UCLA have not yet been released (they will be released in late March for freshman applicants), here are a few things I learned from my experience that can help in  your transition as an international student:

  1. Check and read your emails: Almost all information that is shared from our admission office is done electronically. Between now and decision release, we may request more information or provide other announcements. Make sure our emails are not going to your spam box, and that you are reading what we send to you carefully. Some emails may be time-sensitive so make sure you read our messages thoroughly.
  2. Understand what documents are needed. UCLA does not request letters of recommendation or transcripts at the time of application. There are some exceptions if you are applying to our School of Theater, Film & Television, School of Arts & Architecture, School of Music and our School of Nursing, but for the most part, our decisions are based on information you have provided in your application You or your school do not need to mail or email us any documents unless we request it directly from you. We understand that you are a stellar applicant and you want to mail us all your certificates or email us all your projects; trust that you have done a great job in completing the University of California (UC) application and allow us to carefully read through it.
  3. Send your official test scores. If you have not done so by now, you must send your official SAT or ACT and if required, TOEFL or IELTS scores to us. Official scores are sent directly from the testing agency to us. Paper copies or copies that are transmitted outside of the testing agencies are not considered official scores. And remember: if you have applied to more than one UC campus, send your score to one of our campuses and we will share it with the rest of the campuses to which you applied. The only exception is the IELTS exam; you will need to send it to each individual campus.If your name on your UC application is different from the name you used on your tests, please let us know! We want to make sure your scores are matched correctly to your UC application.
  1. Applying for a Student Visa. As an international (non-U.S.) student, you are required to obtain a student visa in order to study in the United States. All universities will ask students to provide proof of financial support (in the form of bank statements, financial documents, etc.), and the amount of this proof will vary by university. Once a proof of financial support is received and verified, the university will mail/issue you a Form I-20. This document makes you eligible to apply for a U.S. student visa (typically an F-1 visa), and you will use data in this document to schedule your visa appointment at your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy.At UCLA, once you are admitted and decide to commit to us, you will receive instructions on how to submit your proof of financial support from our Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars. You do not need to send any of these documents to us until after you decide to commit to UCLA. Don’t worry, our Dashew Center will give you details and guidance on how to apply for a student visa.
  1. Don’t contract “senioritis”. Your final year of high school is also known in the U.S. as your senior year. Just because you are done with university applications does not mean it is time to party! If you are admitted to UCLA, we will still require you to perform at the same level (or better) as when you applied to us. We do check your final year grades so make sure you continue to do well.

130514_UCLA_1283.jpgWaiting for decisions is a very exciting yet nervous time for everyone. And as an international student, you certainly need extra time to make sure documents and other things are done properly. We completely understand, and have consciously built in enough time in between decision release and start of school to allow you to do all of that. In the meantime, keep these 5 tips in mind as you hear back from all your universities (and from UCLA). And once you receive your decisions, don’t forget to congratulate yourself on all the hard work you have put in!

This post was written by Olivia Loo, Senior Assistant Director, International Recruitment
UCLA Undergraduate Admission

Read Season from a Readers Point of View

College admission is an annual cycle. As admission professionals, many of us spend most of our time on the road during Fall. We visit as many high schools and community colleges that time allows, participate in college fairs, and speak with countless students and counselors! While we love the fall, we look forward to putting away our suitcases and beginning the application review season following the application deadline.

After our annual training to kick off reading season, our staff dives into the hefty supply of UCLA applications. And wouldn’t you know it, this year we received over 100,000 applications  from high school students. As a UCLA alumnus, many of my former peers and colleagues share and repost the headlines from different news sources stating, “UCLA breaks 100,000 applicant mark” with captions or comments like, “Go UCLA” or “Proud to be a Bruin!” All I can think to myself when I see those posts are, ”now we get to read them all…twice!”

Heading into my third year of application review, I’m happy to report that read season doesn’t intimidate me anymore. Years prior, I became anxious of review season due the responsibility and number of applications our office receives. Nowadays, the work is manageable and enjoyable as I read about students from across California, the United States, and the world. I am able to get a quick look into the lives of students and learn about who they are and what they have experienced as well as help select them as future Bruins!

After three years of going through this process, the one thing that continues to amaze me is how the quality of our applicants continue to rise. I’m convinced that students who apply to UCLA today no longer have time to sleep! The vast majority of our applicants are doing incredibly well in the classroom, and at the same time doing more outside the classroom than you would expect: learning instruments, playing sports, overseeing organizations, conducting research, building businesses, working part-time, taking care of family members, writing books; I mean you name it, and there is a student out in the world doing it (probably more than you think). These young minds are inspirational and tireless and always make me question whether or not I’m doing enough each day! Which only makes reviewing their applications even more rewarding.

Like many universities, we use holistic review at UCLA. This means that we take every part of a student’s application into consideration . Every application is reviewed at least twice by two different admission readers. We consider the quality of academic work, where and how the student spent his/her time by making an impact outside of the classroom with respect to extracurricular activities or responsibilities, and who they are through their responses to the Personal Insight Questions.

By the end of this month, most Undergraduate Admission office staff will be deep into the read cycle and some of us will be exclaiming, “I’m ready to hit the road again!” However, we remain glued to our reading location of choice, often with caffeinated beverage in hand, as we review every application, one–by-one, until we reach our admission decision release date. For you prospective students awaiting your decision from UCLA, I wish you the best of luck, and Go Bruins!

Joel Ontiveros is an Assistant Director at UCLA Undergraduate Admission and regionally based in San Francisco, CA.

How UCLA helped me decide my post-grad plans

After four of the best years of my life, I cannot believe the time has almost come for me to graduate. The days and the weeks just keep getting shorter and shorter as everyone tries to squeeze in as much social time as possible before mid-June. Talk has become much more about the future. Many people have been excitedly announcing which graduate programs they will be attending or which companies they will be working for, and many more people still have no clue what they’re going to do or even where they will live come July (and that is totally normal and okay!).

One thing my UCLA education has really highlighted for me and taught me about is about is educational inequity and the educational achievement gap in the United States. Although I come from a middle-income household, I grew up in a low-income community and I attended schools in that community until I graduated high school. I did not notice the difference in education I had received until I came to UCLA. Here I realized that many of my peers from higher-income communities received much more preparation for college than I had had. Likewise, many of my peers from lower-income communities and families than mine had received much less preparation for college. I learned that I am very lucky to have grown up in a middle-income household that could support me throughout college.

This sparked an interest in me and I decided to take on a minor in education. I also volunteered for campus organizations like Jumpstart and UniCamp that serve low-income populations in an effort to close the achievement gap. Now, I am proud to continue my work in education and low-income communities upon graduation through Teach For America as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut. Teach For America takes leaders on college campuses and trains them to become successful and impactful teachers in low-income classrooms.  I first took on an interest for TFA when I saw someone who graduated from my own very small high school recruiting for them on campus when I was a freshman (when you come from a very small home town, you notice right away when you see someone from there on campus!). We talked about the problems we faced transitioning from our small under-funded high school to UCLA and agreed that it was rough. We talked about how many of our friends from high school probably would not attend college like we were. We agreed that change is needed in many low-income communities in order to ensure all students are able to make it to higher education. He explained to me that this was TFA’s mission.

TFA’s mission is what inspired me to begin working with them as an intern in my junior year. As a senior this year, I took on a part-time job with TFA’s recruitment team at UCLA. This year UCLA was the school with the most qualified candidates. This means no other school in the nation had more accepted applicants to the TFA 2015 corps of teachers than UCLA did. Having a desire to leave your college-town comfort zone and work as a teacher in a low-income community takes courage. Getting accepted to Teach For America is difficult. I think that this shows UCLA students are a special kind of people who are ready to make change in a humble and meaningful way. Although I’m sure I have no idea how crazy this next part of my life will be, I am super proud to be a part of the group of Bruins who Teach For America upon graduation.

Welcome Baby Bruins

rebecka post 1On April 11th UCLA hosted the 5th annual Bruin Day to greet approximately 14,000 parents, guests, and the newly admitted class of 2019. I was lucky enough to work in the Statement of Intent to Register lounge where 246 students decided to submit their acceptance to UCLA and join the Bruin family. During this time there was so much happening, from staff doing the 8-clap loudly and proudly (approximately 246 times) for every student who accepted their offer to UCLA to families tearfully hugging in commemoration of their child’s big decision. Immediately afterwards families and friends were ecstatic to celebrate the big decision by ringing the victory bell which is given to the winner of our annual rivalry UCLA vs. USC football game. I would also like to note that this is our third year that our baby bruins have had the opportunity to ring this iconic bell.

Being a fourth year and witnessing this process for the fifth time (including my own Bruin Day), it never gets dull. Each year the UCLA staff does their best to make Bruin Day bigger and better for the baby bruins, families, and guests. “We made the Statement of Intent to Register process more than just a mundane task of filling out forms,” said John Talbert, UCLA’s Undergraduate Admission Programmer Analyst Supervisor. “We made it into a memorable and special experience and I am sure the new bruins will remember it for the rest of their lives.”

Go Bruins, and congratulations to our newly admitted students!

UCLA Nursing


Though I am part of one of our school’s smallest undergraduate majors, I like to think that the students of UCLA School of Nursing have the biggest hearts. I am currently in my third year in the program and am absolutely loving it! Are you also interested in nursing? Here’s some advice and information about the program taken from my experiences:

Getting in: We accept freshman admits as well as junior-level transfers so if you are thinking about changing your major once you get into UCLA to nursing, unfortunately that cannot be done. The school accepts about 40 new freshman per year and 10 transfer students so this is a competitive program but don’t let that discourage you! I would advise to get involved in hospital/health related volunteering and maintain a strong academic record. Make sure to apply to both the general UCLA application due November 30 as well as complete the supplemental School of Nursing application due sometime in mid-January. The supplemental application includes 2 letters of recommendation and a 2-page personal statement.

Congrats, you’re in! The first two years of study focuses on general prerequisites such as life sciences, math, chemistry, psychology, and communications classes. You will still take at least 1-2 lower-division nursing classes each quarter though! You last two years are more focused on clinical work. You will take 2-3 upper-division nursing classes as well as have a clinical rotation requirement per quarter. You will get to work 6-hour shifts initially and gradually work your way up to several 12-hour shifts per week at some of the top hospitals in the Los Angeles area (UCLA Ronald Reagan, UCLA Santa Monica, Cedars Sinai, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Kaiser, etc.). Your rotations include medical surgical, critical care, pediatrics, labor and delivery, public health, among others.

The BS in Nursing program is an amazing, hands-on experience that is truly unlike any other major here at UCLA. It is the most rewarding and enriching experience being able to directly influence the lives of patients and be the future of healthcare 🙂

A Cappella and Dim Sum

RV firecracker run

Random Voices has been one of the most formative components of my experience here at UCLA. Founded in 1999, Random Voices A Cappella is UCLA’s oldest all-female a cappella group. I auditioned for RV during the first week of fall quarter my freshman year. I was immediately blown away by the talent, sass, and incredible kindness of every single girl who I met, all of whom I am now able to call some of my best friends!

In addition to hosting our very own concerts, RV participates in numerous events, gigs, and performances not only at UCLA but throughout the greater Los Angeles community. Awhile back, RV performed at the annual Los Angeles Firecracker Festival, an event surrounding a 5K run that happens in Chinatown every Spring. We all woke up at 6 in the morning, drove East to perform the 7:30 AM National Anthem, sang our complete musical set, and were able to stroll into our favorite Dim Sum restaurant before 9:00 AM. It was an early, hilarious whirlwind of runners, firecrackers, and music. When I made it back to Westwood at 10:30 that morning, both my roommates were still sleeping—go figure!

These awesome LA experiences would not be available to me without my a cappella community. Getting to be a part of RV has been one of the best things that has happened to me at UCLA, and I am so thankful for the creative outlet, fun, and family that RV provides me.