UCLA Representative visits West Ranch High School


David Lee, Staffwriter

On Jan. 27th, 2023, Megan McKenna, a representative for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), came to West Ranch in order to educate 9th grade students about the pathway to UCLA and life in college.

She first began her presentation with the academic opportunities — chances for students to better their college education — present at UCLA. She explained, “With more than 125 majors and 3,900 courses to choose from, you can create the education you want.” The abundant amount of courses UCLA has to offer proves that it is a school that can accommodate all types of people with all different types of interests.

McKenna described different opportunities for a student to pursue their path of learning, including interactive classes: courses that allow students to engage in hands-on learning and study from staff, through a class of 10 to 20 students.

UCLA’s internship courses allow students to work and gain knowledge in fields they may wish to enter as graduates. The representative explained that “you can intern at major high-tech and entertainment companies as well as government and community organizations.” 

Another major academic opportunity is UCLA’s study abroad programs, which allow those who take the program to “experience different cultures and explore natural wonders…UCLA offers 100 plus programs in more than 40 countries.”

Besides academic life, McKenna also described student life on UCLA campus. The hill is where freshmen live, giving first years a view of the campus through a student perspective. Below the slope lies the university, a community that behaves very similarly to a city, with classes, restaurants and festivities. McKenna explained, “UCLA will guarantee up to four years of housing.”

After she finished describing life at UCLA, McKenna began explaining the best path freshmen can take to get into UCLA. Regarding grades she elaborated that “We will be looking at the sophomore and junior years. I would also recommend that they get involved in something that they’re passionate about and dedicate some time to that outside of school.” She also noted that UCLA prefers students who focus on one interest rather than multiple different interests.

After the Representative’s speech, 9th grade participant Jason Shin commented, “I really felt inspired by that speech, I always thought high schools wanted a person who had a little bit of everything not a person who finds their passion early on, this changes everything.”  

While UCLA may seem like a far away dream, it is not as unattainable as many may think.