Learn about Anthony Bulaclac’s experience as a student at UC Davis, who chose to pursue an MBA to gain supplementary skills to maximize his impact on his community.
I was a U.S. Army officer and I earned a mechanical engineering degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As a company commander and battalion operations officer in the U.S. Army, my responsibilities included managing support for sensitive aviation operations throughout the world, including commanding an Unmanned Aerial System company that provided aerial exploitation in support of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.
Q: How did you choose your MBA program? What are your program’s greatest assets?
A: I chose to pursue an MBA from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) because of the school’s close knit community, world-class faculty and support staff. The relatively small size of the UC Davis MBA program allows students to develop close and strong bonds with each other and with faculty and staff who get to know you by name. The GSM’s support staff who focused on our student experience are among the most knowledgeable and caring professionals I have ever met. On top of the prime location in Northern California, the tight-knit and very supportive community of highly collaborative students, faculty, staff and alumni is the strongest asset that sets the UC Davis MBA program apart from the rest.
Q: What has been your favorite classroom experience?
A: There are two standout, powerful classroom experiences that have had positive impacts in my professional development. The first was Professor Gina Dokko’s course on Business Strategy and specifically the topic of industry analysis, which enabled me to better understand the many forces that influence a company’s potential for success. The second was in Professor Andrew Hargadon’s course on the Management of Innovation. Professor Hargadon leads the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management. In his course, I learned about the power of the network, and how an innovation’s surrounding ecosystem can make or break its success. Moreover, I learned that recombinant innovation is a more effective approach to solving our world’s many complex challenges.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges of pursuing your MBA?
A: The biggest challenge in my UC Davis MBA experience has been worklife balance. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family with my beautiful wife and two growing daughters. UC Davis and the Graduate School of Management offer incredible support for students with families. With so many events and opportunities outside the classroom (many studentrun), I have had to limit my participation given my family’s schedule.
Q: How have your classmates influenced your MBA experience?
A: During my UC Davis MBA experience so far, my classmates have taught me that individual talent alone will not make you successful. The UC Davis MBA is a transformational experience that pushes and challenges you. It takes grit and a whole lot of effort to accomplish the MBA mission. Being a part of a cohesive, collaborative class of willing and very talented classmates and working with all of them in teams generates the biggest impacts and probability for collective and personal success.
Q: How did you decide that an MBA was the next step for you?
A: Even as a child, I was fascinated with building things and developing impactful solutions. After earning my technical undergraduate degree, pursuing an MBA degree was the natural choice for me. More specifically, learning the powerful tools and concepts offered by an MBA experience would provide me the supplementary skills to maximize my positive impact and make a difference in my community.
Q: What are your post-MBA plans?
A: After earning my UC Davis MBA, I will have the honor and privilege of continuing my military service as an officer in the United States military. As I reenter the operational component of the Army, I look forward to translating and apply the business tools and concepts I have learned to further improve the effectiveness of the military enterprise. In the future, I would love to see more people pursue the path that I have taken—young bright minds in the military seeking to gain a valuable MBA skill set.
Interested in receiving an MBA or Business Master’s Degree? Check out UC Davis’ website to learn more about their graduate business opportunities!