As a Rady School student Ambassador, I want to share my Rady story and my MBA journey. While many students start their MBA journey incredibly experienced in the workplace and ready to land their next position on the corporate ladder, I was still trying to find my place in the professional world. It wasn’t easy getting to this point, but my mixed bag of past experiences has taught me to expect the unexpected and to learn from every experience.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis, I entered the job market at possibly the worst time for a recent graduate – during the 2009 Recession. My Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics floated around Monster.com and Craigslist for several months before I landed interviews that concluded with “We’re sorry. We are looking for someone with more experience.” I was faced with the ultimate catch-22: no relevant experience and no way of getting any.
After a year of swallowing my pride and folding clothes and running the register at a mall, I finally “qualified” for a bank teller position. While the role did not require a college degree, I knew it was my chance to enter the corporate workplace and show what I was capable of. Over the span of three years, I was promoted to four different leadership positions and interacted with thousands of customers who helped me understand how different consumers respond to different products and trends. Just like me, they were affected by the economic downturn. I heard their frustrations and fears firsthand, and saw their distrust for the major banks. While I had several ideas of how the bank could improve its reputation, my voice was muffled at the bottom of the totem pole. That was when I knew I wanted to pursue marketing and brand development.
Remembering my traumatizing experience of closed doors, I searched for the opportunity to gain marketing knowledge and test my idea-generation mindset. An MBA program was the perfect outlet.
The Rady School of Management stood out in my research as a young program that focused on the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. The Rady School in itself is a start-up – the perfect place for bright minds with high potential and the desire to experiment. It is not bound by hundreds of years of outdated traditions, unwavering standards and fierce competitiveness. The Rady School promises expanded skillsets and progressive mindsets –not just a gold seal on the résumé.
I am halfway through my MBA program and I’ve grown so much, personally and professionally. In the past year, I have emerged from my timid and passive personality to a student leader. Within a few months of starting the program, I was selected as my cohort’s Rady School Student Board Representative. Through the comprehensive coursework, group studies and professional programs offered at the Rady School, I have the resources and confidence I need to explore new ideas, speak up and step out of my comfort zone.
I recently completed a summer internship at a local startup, Dealstruck, which offers loan products to growing small businesses. Dealstruck recognized my potential and gave me incredible hands-on experience in marketing and business development that perfectly complemented my Rady School MBA curriculum.
From having a retail job folding t-shirts to being the VP of Marketing for the Rady Student Board and managing our inventory of branded t-shirts and other merchandise, my career path has ironically come full circle. By keeping a positive attitude and not losing sight of my long-term goals I have been able to learn from all of my experiences to grow in to the knowledgeable and confident individual I am today. With an MBA from the Rady School in the works, I am only months away from the next step in my personal and professional development. From being a timid follower to a confident leader, I am already #RadyMade.
Danny Huynh (’16) is a second year full-time MBA student concentrating in marketing and brand development at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. He is the Vice President of Marketing for the Rady School Student Board 2015-2016 and a Rady School Ambassador.