Bumpei Yoshida (MBA ’20) earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Kyoto University in Japan. He joined Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. in 2006. Before enrolling in the MBA program at the Rady School of Management, he served as a research and development unit chief for a Sanyo Chemical Industries Ltd. company-wide energy-business project.

1) Why did you choose to pursue an MBA?

I have been working for Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd. (SCI), a Japanese chemical manufacturer, for more than 10 years and have gained a lot of experience as a chemical engineer. However, in order to move up in my career, I feel it is important to learn more about high-level business procedures, such as planning and executing company strategies. I believe earning an MBA is the best way to accomplish this goal.

2) Why did you choose the Rady School?

I chose to attend the Rady School of Management because courses such as Lab to Market will help me understand technology commercialization. Through my career as an engineer, I have faced difficulties putting unique product ideas into the market, and these products were rarely successful. The Rady MBA program will provide me with a wealth of opportunities to learn how to manage such situations, as well as fundamental management skills and knowledge. Also, I am looking forward to collaborating with students at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

3) What do you feel makes Rady unique? How do you benefit from these aspects?

I feel Rady’s small-size class is unique. The number of Full-Time MBA classmates is under 50. However, the backgrounds and nationality are still quite diverse. I believe this environment makes it easier to deepen the relationship between classmates, and allows us to learn more from each other. Moreover, Rady has energetic career support. They pay attention to each of us to help not only in searching for new employers but also in helping us establish meaningful networks for our future careers.

4) What classes are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to participating in the Lab to Market sequence. Through my career, I have been trying to commercialize new chemical products with my company and have learned many things from my failures and a few successes. All these lessons are valuable to me, but the methodology and the way of thinking were always similar. I am eager to expand my knowledge with different kinds of concepts and methodologies for new product commercialization. I am excited to discuss my current business ideas with professors and classmates who have diverse professional backgrounds.

5) How has your perspective on your career or your life changed since you came to Rady?

Before I came to Rady, I rarely came across people who were interested in starting their own businesses. However, many Rady classmates and alumni are seeking the chance to start their own business by taking advantage of Rady’s strong and generous entrepreneurship support. I am happy with my current career and am not looking to switch jobs, but  I want to explore the opportunity to build a spin-off or a joint venture from SCI. Being a Rady student has encouraged me to explore a number of options that I normally may not have considered.

6) What are your goals after graduation?

As a company-sponsored student, my immediate goal after obtaining my MBA is to go back to Japan and to play a role as a strategist for SCI. Specifically, I will seek partnerships with device manufacturers to commercialize innovative technologies that have been developed in-house. My long-term goal is to secure a senior manager position in SCI’s planning division. Although SCI is steadily improving its performance, to sustain this growth into the future, it is essential to reinforce human resources capable of planning and executing company strategies from a global perspective. I want to become one of the key employees for SCI’s globalization.

October 17, 2018 0 comment
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1) Why did you choose to pursue a Master of Finance?

The financial world became my fascination when I realized how it impacts all of us. I am captivated by the mathematics and financial rules governing our world and I am eager to understand the inner workings of the financial field to search for patterns that impact the future. Finance is my chosen professional life and where I am looking forward to making a significant contribution to the betterment of the world economy and its citizens.

2) Why did you choose the Rady School?

The Rady School of Management has earned the reputation of being a modern and very up-to-date program where the faculty and students are focused on the future. Rady highlights both the academic and the professional aspects, conferring knowledge in quantitative finance, but also training in communication and leadership skills that are fundamental for succeeding in today’s competitive world. The program challenges students to work individually, but also with teams and groups, which is imperative to getting real-world experience that will benefit students after graduation.

3) What do you feel makes Rady unique? How do you benefit from these aspects?

Being a relatively new program, its astute faculty and leaders were able to design it to be a modern Master of Finance program. The program offers a unique and original quantitative approach emphasizing data and matching the current job demand in the financial industry. Moreover, the Rady School has an esteemed history in quantitative decision making with Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. If we then consider the exceptional and devoted faculty, the result is a unique learning experience, which forges leaders in the modern data-driven financial world.

4) What classes are you looking forward to taking this year?

First and foremost, I’d like to emphasize that Rady shapes the program on the students’ strengths and skills by offering a superb variety of electives. Among my favorite classes, there is the core Financial Econometrics and Empirical Methods taught by Professor Rossen Valkanov. I am looking forward to taking the Collecting and Analyzing Financial Data, Computational Finance Methods and Analyzing Large Data courses as well. I’m fascinated by the relationship between finance and data science and eager to learn models and techniques by exceptional professors to further increase and deepen my passion for this expertise.

5) What are your goals after graduation?

My goals after graduation are to continue this incredible journey and to study and complete a top-flight Ph.D. program, and to participate in the financial, investment industry. I’m confident that Rady will provide me with all the academic and professional competencies needed to ultimately achieve my goals.

October 16, 2018 0 comment
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Uma Karmarkar received an Early Career Award from the Society of Neuroeconomics for her outstanding research using neuroscience to better understand decision-making.

“The Society for Neuroeconomics represents an exceptional interdisciplinary group of academics, and I’m honored to receive this award,” Karmarkar said.

Karmarkar was one of two award winners selected by the committee to earn the prestigious honor. She and Molly Crockett of Yale University received $1000, as well as an engraved plaque that the recipients will receive at the Annual Meeting of the Society. The award was presented by the society president, Joseph Kable from the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

In order to be eligible for the award, candidates must have a Ph.D. degree and be active members of the Society for NeuroEconomics. They also must not have more than seven years’ experience as a faculty member.

Karmarkar studies the neural and behavioral mechanisms underlying how people use information in the world around them to make decisions.

“Many ‘real life’ choices involve a fair amount of uncertainty,” she said. “One major direction of my current research involves untangling how we use favorable and unfavorable information in situations where we know our knowledge is incomplete.”

About Karmarkar

Before joining the Rady School, Karmarkar was an Assistant Professor in the Marketing Unit of the Harvard Business School, and spent a year as a visiting professor at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.

Karmarkar earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004, and a second Ph.D. in Consumer Behavior from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 2011. Prior to her doctoral work, she received a B.S. in Symbolic Systems (Neural Systems) from Stanford in 1998.

Karmarkar is also an assistant professor at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.

October 11, 2018 0 comment
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Paul Wynns (MBA ’20) has been involved with aviation and aerospace throughout his entire life. His experience includes flying combat missions and managing aviation maintenance programs as a pilot in the U.S. Navy.  As a civilian, his career focused on new product prototyping for military aircraft, where he led teams in cultures and business environments, ranging from startups to the world’s largest aerospace company.

1) Why did you choose to pursue an MBA?

I’m enrolled as a Full-Time MBA candidate because the next steps of my career won’t come from technical credentials, awards or certifications. I need access to communities and networks where I can stretch my collaborative skills and find like-minded colleagues across a diversity of technical and life experience backgrounds. I’m excited to share and learn with the other entrepreneurs and professionals in my cohort, and the Full-Time program provides the perfect environment for collaboration and relationship building.

2) Why did you choose the Rady School?

Rady’s culture of innovation and collaboration resonates strongly with me. My first job after leaving the military was with a defense startup working out of a facility in the back of a strip mall. A few years and two acquisitions later I found myself working for the world’s largest aerospace company. My experience in military, large and small business cultures showed me that innovation comes from diverse points of view.

3) What do you feel makes Rady unique? How do you benefit from these aspects?

Rady’s relative newness as a school allows it to be agile, responsive and forward-leaning in its approach to the MBA programs. Its connections to the local San Diego startup ecosystem are full of exciting opportunities for insight, mentorship and venture capitalist funding. I’ve taken on a position as CEO and president of an aviation training startup, Flex Air, that’s just emerged from its first round of seed funding. I’m eager to apply the lessons and resources that Rady offers toward building my startup. With Rady’s help, I want to create the next generation of commercial and military pilots that will lead us into the second century of aviation.

4) What classes are you looking forward to this year?

I’m really looking forward to the MBA Quantitative Analysis class. My last lap through graduate studies was as an engineering student more than 20 years ago! In the intervening time, the accessibility of statistical and quantitative analysis tools has grown so significantly that they can be used by managers at all levels, not just specialists. It’s exciting to think that deeply powerful, analytical decision aids can be applied directly to my startup using open-source tools.

5) How has your perspective on your career or your life changed since you came to Rady?

I graduated with my master’s degree in engineering at the height of the dot-com craze in the late nineties. It was an exciting time, but I didn’t take the time to cultivate relationships and networks after I graduated. My military career kept me busy, but I’m sure there were missed opportunities. This time I want to focus more on the people that I meet instead of the skills that I’ll acquire. Even after just a few weeks at Rady with my cohort, and a few meetings with the school’s network of supporters and faculty, I’m confident that my new focus is the right one.

6) What are your goals after graduation?

Humanity is entering its second century of aviation, and at a time when commercial air travel demand is larger than ever, our labor supply of qualified pilots for aircraft of all types is very challenged. Recent reports from The Boeing Company have shown that the Asia Pacific region will need more than 240,000 new pilots, while 127,000 will be needed in the North American market. Meanwhile, existing pilot workforces are approaching FAA-mandated retirement ages here in the U.S. There’s huge demand for innovative, agile aviation training that energizes and recruits talent from the Millennial and Generation Z communities. At Flex Air, I’ll continue building a team of aviation professionals, student pilots and investors that will serve this market and create the next generation of aviators.

October 9, 2018 0 comment
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Entrepreneurship is a fundamental aspect of the Rady School of Management educational experience. Whether students are pursuing an MBA, Master of Finance or Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, students have the opportunity to take an idea and transform it into a company at the Rady School. The StartR Accelerator – a free six-month long acceleration program open to all Rady School students and alumni – sets the stage for students to get businesses running through educational seminars, access to funding, mentorship connection and more. Recently, the StartR Spring Class of 2018 gathered to present their pitches to Rady School students, faculty, alumni and the San Diego business community.

Robert Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management, kicked off the event by celebrating the success of the StartR program.

“Since its inception in 2013, the accelerator program has launched 61 companies,” Sullivan said. “Twelve of these teams have been accepted into the prestigious EvoNexus accelerator, and 60 percent of the teams that have been launched are still operational. StartR teams have generated more than $40 million in capital.”

A successful graduate of the StartR program returned to campus to speak about his company, CB Therapeutics. Sher Ali Butt (MBA ’16) entered the Rady School with an idea – to create cannabinoids without the use of marijuana plants. These compounds are not psychoactive. They do not produce a “high” or have potential for abuse and are already sold in the market similar to supplements. Since graduating from the Rady School, CB Therapeutics has been accepted into EvoNexus and Y Combinator, raised millions of dollars in funding and was recently selected as a finalist in a TechCrunch pitch competition in San Francisco.

“Rady was the best thing that happened to me and my business,” Butt said. “I came with an idea and left with a business. As a scientist, I was comfortable with creating the product, but I had no idea where to begin with the business side of things. CB Therapeutics would not have been possible without the Rady School.”

Here’s a look at the companies that were pitched at StartR Demo Day.

TrySpree

If you’re a fan of free stuff, TrySpree is for you. Developed by Ben Koonse (MBA ‘19), the website scrapes the internet to search for products offering free samples. The user is able to select free samples they’re interested in testing and choose to try them risk-free. TrySpree is then able to offer custom-selected samples to the customer based on their selections and interests. The company has created the most revenue out of any company actively involved with StartR, currently generating $1 million in revenue annually.

Hylite

Traditional shopping malls are struggling to meet the demands of dedicated online shoppers, but Rady School student Chuan He (MBA ‘18) is developing a solution to help both malls and customers improve their shopping experiences. Hylite is a precise marketing system that uses LED lights to identify preciswe shoppers’ location within a shopping mall. Shoppers are able to navigate better within a mall and can receive product offers from businesses in the location. Hylite plans to launch in China where almost 1,000 new malls were built last year alone.

AnalytixHub

Modern businesses have more data than they know what to do with in order to make informed decisions. AnalytixHub – launched by current student Fay Mehr (MBA ’19) – created a company that connects data scientists and analytics experts with companies and research institutions. The platform is also moving toward creating a database that provides advanced data analysis services and consultations on demand.

Bevea

Sugar-packed sodas are out and healthy beverage options are in! Bevea, created by Kabir Gambhir (MBA ‘10) creates beverages from a nutrient-dense coffee cherry byproduct. The beverage Cascaraa provides a solution for the 23 million tons of byproduct created annually while creating a low calorie, low sugar and delicious sparkling beverage. The drink comes in five flavors – original, mint basil, lavender, hibiscus, and rose chili.

Evolution Smart Bag

The average American woman owns 13 purses and handbags from seven different brands. To cut down on the clutter, Rady School graduate Suvi Tanninen (MBA ’18) created a smart bag designed to fit the needs of women on the go. The modular, washable and customizable bags come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and are equipped with pockets that provide wireless charging.

In addition to the pitch presentations, Herb Meistrich was presented with the Guru Award in recognition of his mentoring support of students in the StartR program. The audience also voted on their favorite pitch and selected Koonse of TrySpree to receive a $500 check for his company.

Due to the success of their startups, each five teams have chosen to continue building their companies after graduating from StartR.

“It’s inspiring to see these teams succeeding and contributing to the local and national economy,” Sullivan said. “The Rady School community is proud of their efforts and we are looking forward to watching them continue to grow.”

October 4, 2018 0 comment
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Elaine Kub (MBA ’07) was one of the few students who came to the Rady School of Management directly after earning her undergraduate degree in engineering.

“It was great to learn from classmates who had already been out in the real world, and at the same time to contribute a different kind of wide-eyed energy,” she said. “Our class had a good time harnessing the startup spirit for a multitude of new clubs and organizations. Ultimately, it was the math and analytical skills, refined in Rady’s finance and investment courses, which set me on my professional career trading and writing about the commodity markets.”

  1. What impact has Rady had on your career progression?When I entered the program, I was fairly unsure about what direction I wanted my career to take, but my Rady connections opened my eyes to career opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise known even existed. An idea and a connection will get you just so far, however. It was the knowledge and skillset learned in the classroom which truly made it happen. Without the classes and events at Rady, I would have had no idea there was so many opportunities for funding new business ideas, nor would I have known where to begin the formal process of starting a business.
  2. Has your Rady MBA enabled you to change industries or functional areas or even achieve a promotion?I started with just an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and ended up with a career in the investment industry. That might have been possible without an MBA, but my years at Rady were definitely an inspiration.
  3. What event or realization served as a ‘turning point’ for during your Rady School and/or professional career?After speaking at a conference, someone came up to me and asked for reading recommendations on the topic I was presenting (agricultural commodity prices). It occurred to me that there wasn’t really anything out there. Looking at it in the entrepreneurial mindset taught at Rady, that meant there was a market opportunity! I think having a well-rounded education from Rady gave me the confidence to step up and write my book, which fits well into that particular niche of market opportunity.
  4. What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?Early in the first year, we were individually captured on video, just speaking extemporaneously about ourselves. This was so we would have to watch it and truly see how we appeared to others. That was eye-opening. It really showed me the value of growing up and getting “polished” by business school before going out among others in the real world.
  5. What is the best thing about being a Rady alumni?Always having a great reason to go back and visit beautiful San Diego!
  6. Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.So far I’ve been to five of the seven continents. It’s just the long flight to Australia and the next leg to Antarctica which are holding me back!
October 2, 2018 0 comment
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Whether you’re looking to start a company or enhance your entrepreneurial skills, the Rady School of Management supports students eager to develop innovative companies. A new position was created to connect students and alumni to the wealth of entrepreneurial resources located at UC San Diego and in San Diego – one of the top cities in the world for startups.

Karen Jensen, the former program manager for the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID), recently assumed the role as the Rady School’s Entrepreneurship Advocate. Inspired by Rady students’ desire to launch and sustain businesses, the position was created to support students in every step of their entrepreneurial journeys.

“We have an ever-growing list of startups launched here at Rady,” Jensen said. “Our goal is to take these startups and get them beyond the campus environment, connect them with resources and community mentors, and continue to help them grow and flourish once they leave Rady.”

Jensen will also organize the Triton Innovation Challenge, a competition that spotlights commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by UC San Diego’s students, staff and faculty. She will also coordinate mentorship breakfasts designed to connect startups with local industry leaders. She will continue to provide operational support to mystartupXX accelerator program dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students and alumni at UC San Diego looking to get involved with startups.

Local connections

San Diego is a hub for startups and innovation, and Jensen is leveraging her position to serve as a liaison between the Rady School and the San Diego startup community. America’s Finest City is home to a number of prestigious accelerators, clubs, conventions and events dedicated to connecting top talent with individuals eager to break into the booming startup scene.

“I’m looking forward to reaching out and connecting with leading entrepreneurs in our local community,” Jensen said. “One of the most exciting aspects of this positions for me is to identify resources for our startups so that we can connect them and watch them continue to grow. There are so many opportunities and assets here in San Diego that will be extremely useful to our students’ startups.”

In addition to connecting Rady School students with the local community, Jensen is working to get them more involved with the talented and innovative students across the UC San Diego campus. With a number of plans in place to increase collaborations with the brilliant minds of students in the Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and beyond, Jensen’s priority is to ensure Rady School students have access to a diverse network of talented peers.

“There are so many intelligent and driven students here on campus with a diverse set of skills,” Jensen said. “We would be remised to not tap into the talent we have right here on campus. I’m making it a priority to work to forge more connections on campus to see what kind of partnerships and collaborative efforts we can create.”

Future goals

Since Jensen assumed the role, she has been involved in launching the new DRIvE program – Developing Rady Innovative Entrepreneurs, a mentorship initiative that connects current students with industry leaders who serve as coaches to help guide startup founders during their entrepreneurial journey. Although the program is in its infancy, DRIvE has already been able to connect six student-run companies with 25 mentors.

“The idea is that the startups participating in the DRIvE program aren’t just idea or pre-prototype — these startups are launched and have been able to secure some amount of funding,” Jensen said, “DRIvE provides mentorship opportunities to help these startups to the next level so that they can continue to grow.”

As Jensen settles into her new position, she looks forward to supporting students and helping them achieve their goals.

“My favorite aspect of this position is that I have the opportunity to work with students one-on-one,” Jensen said. “I admire their ambition and dedication and I am constantly impressed with their innovations. It’s an honor to be able to help them out during their journey, and I am so excited to be a part of their mission.”

October 1, 2018 0 comment
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About the Company 

Solar Turbines is a $2 billion annual revenue-generating subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. and is headquartered in San Diego. The company designs and manufactures gas turbines and compressors for oil and gas applications.   

The Process

I took Professor Hyoduk Shin’s Operations class (Management 413) and recognized the importance of supply chain management. He highlighted how Tim Cook – the CEO of Apple Inc. – is an operations guy, and that Amazon is successful because of its supply chain. Elon Musk even said, “The supply chain stuff is really tricky.” I felt supply chain was a good field to master. A few students from the 2018 Full-Time MBA cohort interned in the supply chain department at Solar Turbines the previous summer and spoke very highly of their experience. As a local company, Solar Turbines targets UC San Diego and Rady School students for its internship program. Rady Career Connections provided my resume to Solar Turbines for a supply chain internship, and I was very fortunate to receive an offer for the summer internship program.

The Project 

My manager, Jason Brown, leads the team responsible for ordering filter (air inlet filtration) parts, and saw that my electrical engineering and computer science background and MBA are a rare skillset, so he devised a new summer project that would capitalize on both skills. He identified that Solar Turbines needed a revamped product management tool to measure the Life-Cycle Cost of operating a Solar Turbines engine based on different filter mediums.

I was up for the challenge, so I decided to meet with technical leads and engineers and refined the vision of the new tool. After reading a few research papers about life-cycle cost, I found a more accurate model in a research paper authored by a Solar Turbines engineer and used it as a baseline. When I told the engineers what I aimed to make, they were in disbelief. One engineer asked, “When does your internship end? You’re going to make that in a month?” I boldly replied, “Yes. I will.” And I did it. When I started, I didn’t know Visual Basic. I learned the language and coded a seven-page UserForm to run accurate life-cycle cost simulations. The simulator does side-by-side cost comparisons to convince customers to choose one filter medium over another.

When I demonstrated the program to Solar Turbines executives, the reception was great. Senior principal engineers thanked me for the awesome work. My second level manager said it was fantastic. The Executive Sponsor of the Internship Program (the Director of Engineering) showed his gratitude, said it was the best implemented summer project and noted that it will be adopted by the company. Terra Saltzman-Baker, Director of Rady Career Connections, came to the presentation for support. Additionally, my product management professor at Rady, Vish Krishnan, stopped by the office to see a demo of the program as well. This internship was a remarkable experience, and I’m glad I could make an impact this summer.

The Experience

The internship was filled with many events hosted by the internship program coordinators, Ryan McKennon and Jericho Menvielle. We enjoyed campus tours, business unit overviews, professional mixers, an intern lunch, a happy hour and a summer BBQ. Work-life balance is an essential part of the Solar Turbines culture.

Joey Talia graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). He went on to work at Intel for over five years as a Circuit Designer and is now pursuing his MBA at UC San Diego – Rady School of Management (MBA ‘19). He is the president of the Rady Technology Club.

 

October 1, 2018 0 comment
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Christopher Russow graduated from the Rady School of Management’s FlexMBA in 2014.

“I actually started in the FlexEvening program, and during my second year at Rady I ended up switching to the FlexWeekend program for greater flexibility,” he said. “This is a perfect example of why the Rady FlexMBA was perfect for me, as it gave me the flexibility to manage my career, my personal life and my pursuit of an MBA degree all at the same time.”

After graduating in 2014, Russow’s MBA experience helped give him the confidence to leave his previous job to go out on his own and pursue a career as an independent consultant. After consulting for a few years both domestically and in Europe, an opportunity came his way in 2017 to start a business with a former boss and mentor Sean Marsh, who is now his business partner.

“Our startup, Tangello, is disrupting the mortgage industry by creating a mortgage-less solution to affordably finance and buy a home that you love,” Russow said. “Starting your own business isn’t what it looks like on TV, and the skills I learned at Rady, as well as the support of the Rady School and my cohort, have really been invaluable.”

Outside of his current role with Tangello, Russow enjoys spending time with his wife Gabi, investing in real estate and other startups, and tinkering with classic German cars.

Why did you decide to come to the Rady School?

I had been thinking about getting my MBA for several years, and shortly after moving to San Diego to start a new job, the desire to get my MBA bubbled to the surface once again. I weighed the options available to me locally, as well as what I could commute to (either by car or plane) and decided that the Rady School of Management FlexMBA program was the right one for me.

The first thing I thought about was the fact that UC San Diego is part of the California Public School System, and as a lifelong supporter of public education, this was very important to me. Second, there are a bunch of great aspects to Rady’s program offering; the faculty are outstanding, the program is flexible and perfect for people who are working full-time, and it’s centered around entrepreneurship and the idea of cultivating startups and helping its alumni to enter the startup world. Finally, you just can’t beat the location, both of the school (you can see the ocean from campus) and of San Diego itself.

What was the most valuable thing you learned while at the Rady School?

It’s hard to really pick one thing as the “Most Valuable” thing that I learned while at Rady. I could talk about the Business Model Canvas, which is an incredible tool that anyone starting a company should utilize. I could also talk about the Lab to Market program, which isn’t really “one thing” but was a critical part of my Rady education. But even more than what I mentioned above, the thing that really stood out to me was the overall shift in the way that I evaluated business opportunities before my MBA and how I evaluate them now.

Before Rady, any time one of my friends mentioned their “new innovative startup idea” I would share in their excitement and enthusiasm, but not really understand if that idea had strong potential or how it could become a real business. After Rady, I feel like I can comfortably evaluate (on the back of a napkin sometimes) the potential of new business ideas and can quickly assess the value of those ideas in real time. This skill, of being able to evaluate opportunities, is what eventually drove me to start a company, based on what I felt was an incredible opportunity in a market I had a competitive advantage in.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Take your MBA program seriously. I know that should go without saying, but it’s easy to get caught up in work, life, etc. and let some of the deliverables from your MBA program fall by the wayside. The reality is that what you get out of your MBA program will be directly correlated with what you put into it. Attend events, lectures and social gatherings. Take classes that are outside of your comfort zone and that challenge you. The MBA experience is about filling any gaps in your skill-set, forging lifelong bonds with your cohort, and creating a solid foundation from which you can pursue your post-MBA goals, whatever they may be.

September 21, 2018 0 comment
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As I entered my first year at the Rady School, I prepared to hit the ground running in search of my summer internship. It is true what the Careers Connections team warns about during orientation – the recruiting season is well underway by the time first year students start at Rady. It is important to start the job search early! In October of 2017, I attended an on-campus IBM panel featuring IBM employees in different roles, including distinguished engineers, offerings managers and Summit Program representatives. After the event, I used LinkedIn to connect with the Summit Program panelist to set up a call to get a more detailed perspective on what the Summit Program entailed. The Summit Program representative had gone through the program and was able to answer my questions and provide guidance on how to apply for the internship successfully. What I was not aware of initially was that this representative had direct access to the program’s recruiting team and recommended me on the back-end for a position.

Assignment

A few months before the start of the internship an IBM in San Francisco, the Summit Program managers paired me with an industry leader for the State of Washington. My assignment was to conduct a sales prospecting analysis to help implement best practices for the territory sales team. Working closely with each team member was valuable in that I got 15 different perspectives on what it is like to be an IBMer and learn about the company culture simultaneously.

Travel

The Summit Program sponsored travel to Dallas for orientation and to your host region for summer assignment purposes. Since the territory I was assigned was Washington State, my host manager and I planned for me to fly to Seattle twice, one for client-facing meetings and the second for internal planning meetings. The opportunity to travel was a nice perk to have as an intern and it also gave me a taste of life at IBM.

Takeaways

Participating in a summer internship is an invaluable experience for an MBA student pursuing the corporate track.  What better way to “test drive” a new industry, company and geography? My experience this summer allowed me to explore the tech industry and live in the Bay Area where tech is king. While my summer was filled with travel and a heavy workload, I was able to find networking opportunities inside IBM and in the San Francisco area. Needless to say, it was nice to have a month off before my second year at Rady commenced!

Elizabeth Castaneda is a member of the Rady School of Management Class of  2019 MBA cohort. She is also the president of the Women of Rady student organization. 

 

September 20, 2018 0 comment
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