Bay Area or Bust!

August 21, 2014
by Keri Robbins

I just got home from the Rady Bay Area Trek.  This annual trek is an opportunity to visit as many companies as you can (about 20 to choose) from all industries, including finance, tech, and consumer products.  It’s a chance to see the inner workings of companies you admire and/or companies you’ve never heard of.  It’s a chance for the company to show off and say why it’s cool to work there.  You hope the trip opens your eyes to opportunities and helps identify areas of interest for when you graduate and are ready to find a job.

I grew up in the Bay Area but moved to San Diego for college in ’91 (I’m dating myself!) before the big tech boom.  So it was really interesting to come back, as a second year MBA student, who has read case after case of how the boom came to be.  You could feel the energy here.  People are excited to work. 

The trek is two days and I picked two companies each day to visit.  The first day was very informational and eye opening.  I picked two cloud call center companies, LiveOps and Zendesk.  I thought it would be interesting because I knew nothing about this industry and thought it would be cool to compare the two.  I was impressed with both and learned so much about this business.  It is a huge growth opportunity and one I’d like to explore more. 

The second day was purely just to ogle at Open Table and Twitter. The Open Table session was given by a Rady alum.  I think we all learned some interesting tidbits here.  Who knew that Open Table had more reviews then Yelp!  And that restaurants use Open Tables’ platform to manage their seating operations.  Twitter was very impressive.  We met with the Supply Chain team who walked us through how they manage to keep Twitter running smoothly through events like the Super Bowl or political upheavals. 

It was definitely a worthwhile trip and one I’d recommend to any Rady student.  If nothing else you get to check out cool offices and hang out with people who are truly passionate about their work, and heck, in some instances, get some cool swag and beer!

Keri Robbins is a second year flex weekend Rady MBA student, graduating this summer.