The Rady School Blog

  • Transitioning From a Tech to Business Career with an MBA – Is it Really Possible?

    March 26, 2015
    by Shiva Swaminathan

    An MBA degree is often seen as a route for professionals with a technical or non-business background to transition into business-centric careers and we hear and see Rady students and alumni accomplish it time and time again. So why do some struggle to make that dream switch? The main problem is that professionals are sometimes caught in a catch-22 situation wherein the new business role they desire requires a few years of business experience that they haven’t gathered yet. Other concerns include transitioning to a career level at-par or above the current seniority level in their tech jobs and doing so without a compromise in remuneration and benefits. This blog aims to inform and provide assistance on this key issue of transition that many MBA students face by imparting the learnings of Rady graduates (or “hoppers”) who have successfully made the jump.

    A successful transition boils down to these key activities that most hoppers undertook:

    1. Preparation

    No success is achieved without effort. First, it is important to do some self-introspection and become aware of your strengths, weaknesses, interests in specific business areas (e.g. high-tech marketing, finance, operations) and visualize and study specific job roles suitable for you. The next step is to prepare in-depth towards your desired role. This is a continuous process even after securing the desired role. Preparation activities can include reading extensively about day-to-day business news, opinion leader blogs and developments in your field (high-tech, biotech, stock markets), being active in social media by writing content-rich blogs, offering to help your company business teams on top of your current day job thus complementing skills gained at Rady, talking to those teams about current industry trends and making presentations at company trade shows and conferences. Social media channels such as LinkedIn posts, blogging and Twitter have been instrumental for many Rady graduates to showcase their skills and knowledge to prospective employers.

    2. Relevant coursework

    Needless to say, your choice of electives has to be in-line with your career transition aspirations, and Rady offers a customizable education with many electives to choose from. It is important to apply the knowledge and learnings from your electives in your day job, relate to those learnings in the news articles and your “on-the-side-assistance” to your business teams and listen to your cohorts’ perspectives on real-world issues and activities. Independent studies with professors at Rady or wider UC San Diego departments are a great way to explore deeper into certain domains and build your portfolio. Focus on coursework that enables you to strengthen areas where you are currently weak or lack industry experience. Rady courses like Projects in Tech Commercialization and Lab-to-Market offer a priceless entry into real-world business projects – so take them very seriously and extract the most out of them by working hard and impressing the corporate mentors available through this curriculum.

    3. Networking

    Rady opens the door to an infinite number of people in various industries. It is important to network with the right people wherein both parties can mutually benefit from each other. Attend Rady events such as the Entrepreneurship Challenge, professional seminars, mentor mixers, and StartR Demo Day to widen your perspective and acumen. Utilize the enormous and valuable resources that Rady offers on the community website. If time permits, help people you network with in their business problems through formal or informal internships – this will help you gain credibility and a stronger endorsement for future opportunities either with them or with their extended networks. Make requests for recommendations, either online or written, from business professionals who were impressed with your work and thus strengthen your case. Keep in touch with alumni in your field and learn from those who have made such transitions successfully.

    4. Willingness to compromise for the short-term

    Everything in life has a tradeoff. If you work too hard at your job and/or school, you have less time to spend with your family and vice versa. Rady alumnus and Senior Director at Qualcomm, Mahesh Makhijani, articulated it nicely in his professional seminar at Rady last month – he, like many others, took a salary hit to gain entry into a transient/intermediate career role that paved the way to a full-blown business role in the long-term.

    The other option is to wait for the right opportunity to strike if you are unwilling to compromise on your current status and use that precious time to keep building your resume. Be strategic in making sure that your wealth of current experience is directly applicable to the business world transition that you wish to make, which will ensure that the opportunity costs of waiting it out aren’t too high.

    5. Positivity

    I cannot emphasize this enough. It can be disheartening when things don’t work out, but it is critical to stay hopeful and continue to perform the actions mentioned above. Only then, will stakeholders see the energy and capability in you and approach you for that dream opportunity you always yearned for (and deserve!).

    Shiva Swaminathan ('15) is a second year FlexWeekend MBA student at Rady. He works as a Senior Manager at Samsung Semiconductor Inc. leading product test, quality and reliability for Galaxy smartphone chipsets.

    Want to learn more about Rady’s MBA experience? Download our eBook featuring student and alumni insights on why they chose Rady, where Rady alumni work, the top benefit for Rady students and more.

  • Rady School Team Selected for Hult Prize Finals

    March 24, 2015
    by Melinda Battenberg

    Team Develops Interactive Toy to Address Early Childhood Education Gap
  • A Day in the Life of a Rady MBA Student

    March 19, 2015
    by Julia Lee

    Julia Lee (’15) is a second-year student in the Rady School’s full-time MBA program, specializing in marketing. This is a glimpse into Lee’s everyday life as a Rady full-time MBA student.
  • Getting to Know the Rady School Student MBA Ambassadors, Part Six

    March 17, 2015
    by Lauren Herr

    The Rady School’s student MBA Ambassadors serve as a peer-to-peer resource to answer questions and help prospective students get a feel for Rady’s student life, academics, culture and more. In the final part of our six-part series, Sarah Feldman shares her Rady story and advice to those interested in pursuing a Rady MBA.
  • Why Your Business Writing Should Be "Vocabu-wary"

    March 12, 2015
    by Jenny Baranick

    On the first day of class, I ask my college students which aspect of their writing they most hope to improve. For the ten years I have been teaching, the most popular answer I’ve received is they want to improve their vocabulary.
  • Getting to Know the Rady School Student MBA Ambassadors, Part Five

    March 10, 2015
    by Aleena Karamally

    The Rady School of Management encourages prospective students to interact with our Student MBA Ambassadors, who offer a broad and relatable perspective on student life, academics, and culture in San Diego. This blog, part five of a six-part series, features Lei Su, a full-time MBA student originally from China who shares his unique perspective on life at the Rady School.
  • Getting to Know the Rady School Student MBA Ambassadors, Part Four

    March 5, 2015
    by Lauren Herr

    The Rady School’s Student MBA Ambassadors interact with prospective students to provide a peer-to-peer resource to help those interested get a better idea of Rady’s academics, student life and culture. This blog is part four of a six-part series featuring all of Rady’s MBA Student Ambassadors’ stories and advice for those interested in applying for a Rady MBA.
  • The Secret to Making Ethical Business Decisions

    March 3, 2015
    by Tricia Bertram Gallant

    We’ve all been there. We’ve done something wrong or something so “out of character” that we need to pretend (for our own sanity) that we didn’t do it or that we did it for the right reasons. Or we tell ourselves – “what I did wasn’t unethical because I’m a good person”.
  • 2015 Rady MBA Bay Area Trek Expands In Size, Company Visits & Opportunities

    February 26, 2015
    by Aleena Karamally

    Students from the Rady School traveled to the Bay Area January 29 to 30 to tour top companies, network with Bay Area alumni and help brand the Rady School outside of San Diego during the annual Bay Area Trek program.
  • A Beginner's Guide to Understanding and Navigating Generational Differences in the Workplace

    February 24, 2015
    by Delphene Black

    In many workplaces, there are four distinctively different generations working side by side, each with their own set of values, expectations, ways of operating and preferences. It can be a difficult challenge to chart a course through these differences and achieve a harmonious, productive and successful work environment.
  • My Adventures on Rady's Annual Bay Area MBA Career Trek

    February 19, 2015
    by Sarah Feldman

    The annual Bay Area Trek is not only a key element of Rady’s MBA experience for those interested in working or interning in the Silicon Valley, but also an opportunity to learn about a vast array of career opportunities and industry trends at large corporations and startups. Arranged by the Rady Careers Department, the Bay Area Trek includes visits anywhere from Google and Charles Schwab to Andreesen Horowitz and NetApp.
  • Talking Business with Rady Alum Chris Shively

    February 17, 2015
    by Lauren Herr

    Online advertising technology company TrueX Media has had a heck of a past few months. In December TrueX announced its acquisition by 21st Century Fox Inc. for a sum of $200 million and this month announced a deal with Viacom to bring TrueX’s product to the media company’s profile of networks. Rady School alum Chris Shively (MBA ’14) and Manager of Global Business Development at TrueX shares his thoughts and experiences during TrueX’s big business moves.
  • Rady School Center for Business Analytics Partnership to Help Build the Future of Intelligent Transportation

    February 12, 2015
    by Lauren Herr

    Urban Insights was founded to “bring the benefit of big data tools and the application of data science techniques to the transportation industry, which hasn’t yet benefited from getting access to these tools and capabilities in the way the private industry has,” says Phil Silver, Director of Business Development at Urban Insights. Recently, Urban Insights agreed to be a founding corporate partner of Rady’s Center for Business Analytics, to help support the Center’s initiatives to provide practical, real-life experience for students and faculty and use big-data applications to create ongoing solutions and impact for the business world.
  • The Rady School Center for Business Analytics: Enabling Innovative, Actionable Data-Driven Decision-Making for the San Diego Business Community

    February 10, 2015
    by Lauren Herr

    The Center for Business Analytics at the Rady School of Management enables businesses to create value and sustainable competitive advantage as a platform for research and education in big data, analytics and data-driven decision-making by Rady School students, alumni, faculty and staff. The Rady School has recently welcomed Urban Insights Associates, Inc. as a founding corporate partner of the Center. In light of this exciting news, we’ve asked Rady School faculty Karsten Hansen and On Amir to reflect on what makes the Center a unique part of the Rady School, UC San Diego and larger San Diego community.
  • Rady School of Management Welcomes New Faculty Member Charles Sprenger

    February 9, 2015
    by Aleena Karamally

    Charles Sprenger is a new faculty member at the Rady School of Management where he is an Associate Professor of Economics & Strategy. He also teaches courses at the UC San Diego Department of Economics as an Associate Professor. Sprenger received his Ph.D. in Economics from UC San Diego and was most recently an Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University.
  • Create Your Pathway, Gain Direction and Acquire Professional Tools With Executive Education and Development

    February 5, 2015
    by BeNeca Griffin

    Many question the importance of investing in executive education and development with the belief that every company builds sufficient training into each position. Contrary to that belief, companies often hire executives who have been developed elsewhere and come in with the experience and perspective needed to elevate the company to the next level.
  • The Best Things About Living in San Diego

    February 3, 2015
    by Vance Lopez

    There is no shortage of articles that address this topic. A quick Google search of the title of this blog post will uncover lists aplenty about the great things that San Diego has to offer. The allure of this acclaimed vacation-destination city is easily confirmed by my first-hand experience. I came to San Diego in 2010 after not-so-begrudgingly accepting orders to relocate to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. After four and a half years, the city is still delivering on its promise of endless delights.
  • Rady Alumni Establish Their Lab to Market to Bring Mobile Auto Maintenance to Working Professionals in San Diego

    January 29, 2015
    by Aleena Karamally

    Executive Oil Services (EOS) is a unique, mobile auto maintenance service for working professionals in San Diego. The company, which was cofounded by Loren Chang and Andrew Zorko, two Full Time MBA Alumni who graduated from Rady in 2014, provides oil changes and other services to employees at individual companies and business parks, as well as tenants at apartment complexes. Customers use an online system to schedule their service. The EOS van then visits the customers’ locations on a set date approximately twice a month, efficiently completes the requested service, and returns the customers’ keys to them directly. Zorko and Chang are a prime example of the long-term benefits of the skills and connections that come with a Rady MBA.
  • An Admissions Director's View of the Admission Interview

    January 27, 2015
    by Jay Bryant

    Yes, I know, you have already jumped through so many hoops and over so many hurdles with your graduate school applications – but this is the final test, the last chance to show you are MBA quality… the interview!
  • New Year, More Impact: A Look Back on the Influence of Philanthropy at the Rady School in 2014

    January 22, 2015
    by Ashley Dittmar

    Each January, we like to reflect on the past year at the Rady School through our Annual Impact Report.