Alumni Spotlight: Kim Soerensen
September 5. 2013
by Kim Soerensen
One of the key aspects of Rady that enabled my new career path is the combination of a world-class teaching staff (faculty and industry professionals) and an appreciation for practical application of the concepts that are taught. Some of my most rewarding experiences at Rady were the classes where I was able to work directly with companies, such as doing market research for a venture capital firm, creating a business plan for a cleantech startup, and evaluating investment opportunities for the Rady Venture Fund. There’s no doubt in my mind that these experiences were instrumental in launching my post-MBA career.
Although San Diego offers a vibrant business community and amazing quality of life, I was drawn to the opportunity of working in Silicon Valley. While this world-leading innovation hub at first seemed mythical and unattainable, I soon realized that Rady shares the same key values: Innovation. Impact. Collaboration. Integrity. Risk taking. And trust me when I say that these values are not unsubstantial; Rady’s path as a business school “startup” has been successful in large part due to operating by these values. It allowed Rady to go from inception to an accredited and internationally ranked business school in less than 10 years, an unprecedented achievement. Hence these values are distilled throughout the school whether working in the classroom, in student clubs, with the school’s administration, or with external entities such as other UCSD departments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. In essence, absorbing the core values of Rady enabled me to foster a Silicon Valley mindset that prepared me for a career in that ecosystem.
When I moved to San Francisco I became part of the largest Rady alumni community outside of San Diego. I’ve been amazed to see how passionate Rady alumni are about giving back to the school – despite being geographically distant from the Rady campus, the local alumni up here are incredibly engaged and maintain a strong connection with the Rady community at large. Last year I was fortunate enough to join the Rady Alumni Board, where I’m working with my peers to ensure that as Rady expands its alumni footprint nationally and globally, we sustain that sense of community that makes our alumni base truly unique.
I’m excited to see what lies in the future for Rady, and look forward to doing my part as an alum to help shape that future.
Kim Soerensen is a Business Operations & Strategy Manager at Cogniance, a software consultancy that specializes in software product development for startups and innovation-driven corporations.