Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Jacqueline Sims, UCLA (Anderson)

” Good about myself. Comfortable with who I am.

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Fun fact about yourself: I learned Spanish on my own by listening to salsa and bachata. Then I also accidentally became a pretty decent salsa/bachata dancer.

Undergraduate school and major: Loyola Marymount University, Business Marketing

Most recent employer and job title: Product Marketing Manager at a SaaS technology company

UCLA Anderson is founded on the three pillars: sharing success, thinking fearlessly, and leading change. Which pillar speaks to you the most and why? Lead change. It’s truly a blessing to be in this position and fearlessly think about my career choices and what I want my impact on the world to look like. It took courage to change the status quo of my career, intentionally change its trajectory, and align my work with what my heart desires. Drive Change particularly resonates with me because obtaining an MBA is an opportunity that allows me to break the generational cycles that are perpetuated within my community and my family. It’s also not lost on me that “leading change” requires a certain degree of privilege. However, I look forward to using my educational background and experiences to help others become architects of change within our communities.

What makes Los Angeles a great place to get an MBA? Los Angeles is truly an incredible place. I’ve lived here for over a decade and I love this city as much today as when I arrived. The weather is unmatched. Access to nature is unparalleled. The food scene is unreal. The variety of things to do is incredible. There is no other place in America that can check ALL of these boxes. Hike with a view of the Pacific Ocean? Eat as you please anywhere in the world? Admire the sunset on the beach? Want to see your favorite artist, band, sports team or celebrity? Check! Professionally, Los Angeles checks the boxes for a diverse set of industries and businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. If you’re looking to accelerate your career or pivot, Los Angeles is home to entertainment, aerospace, technology, sport – the choice is yours.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key element of the UCLA Anderson MBA program that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Anderson’s core value, Share Success, is very similar to the core principles of Ubuntu, an African philosophy that I adhere to in my everyday life. The concepts of shared success and Ubuntu encompass the concept of success as a collective victory. Everyone is truly invested in helping each other succeed here at UCLA Anderson: students, staff, and alumni. In exploring different business programs, it was the community that became the most important deciding factor. If I was going to invest two years of my life, I knew I had to find a community that wholeheartedly believes in helping each other succeed.

What class, club, or activity are you most excited about at UCLA Anderson? UCLA Anderson connected me with an incredible learning team. We are from all over the world (US, Canada, Korea, India, Chile), collectively speak five different languages, and come from very different industries. To celebrate our diversity and connection to one another, we started a monthly tradition where we each take turns hosting an event or activity that celebrates and highlights the beauty of our differences. We are big foodies, so this naturally manifested itself in the form of sharing meals. Last month, our Korean learning teammate took us to a Korean barbecue restaurant, where we learned about the social traditions of dining and the respectful way of toasting among Koreans. Next month we are “heading” to India or Israel. Very exited!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Swivel. I can tell you about some impressive numbers on my resume, but the biggest accomplishment I’m proud of is moving from customer success/digital marketing to product marketing. I cold messaged hundreds of marketers on LinkedIn, sought mentorship, applied to countless PMM positions, and spent months interviewing and “shooting my shot.” Pivots are never easy, but I view pivots (of any kind!) as an accomplishment because you have to identify the change you want and do the work to change.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? The million dollar question! I give myself the grace to explore without fear. Although I like to plan many years in advance, I have personally witnessed a lot of loss over the past few years, which has forced me to focus on the present. Life has proven to be incredibly short, so I intentionally appreciate the “now” and let my passion and intuition guide me. I find joy in work that sits at the intersection of technology, people, and innovation. So to answer the question directly, it can look like a lot of things. Maybe in food and drink. Great technology. Entertainment. Health care. The world will have to wait and see!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission to the UCLA Anderson MBA program? You’re already great. No program can validate this for you. Although the MBA application journey is exhausting and emotional, truly believe in your greatness. Remember: you won’t miss what’s for you! Also take advantage of your supportive community. It’s best to spend this journey with others who can encourage and uplift you. I am incredibly grateful to my tribe of supporters, the fellows and my coaches at Management for Leaders Tomorrow (MLT) and the Forté and Consortium networks.