Please Follow the Highlighted Route

August 26, 2014
by Pete Major

For years I was looking for direction.  I wanted something simple such as my GPS unit calmly directing me when to take the next right turn.  The problem was that my internal GPS wasn’t working and I had no idea what my next career adventure would be.  But I knew I wanted to study business and I liked Rady’s focus on tech so I went to get my MBA. 

In 2012, I participated in Rady’s Israel Immersion trip.  Over two weeks, I was surrounded my entrepreneurship and passion.  Out of that experience I discovered two very important lessons: face your fears (failing isn’t such a big deal) and follow your passion.  I always had a passion to work for an airline so I thought the Universe was calling me to suit up and work for a major carrier.  Not long after that experience, I found myself in New Orleans at a GLBT MBA conference called Reaching Out.  There I had the opportunity to network with airlines and what I found out was surprising: I didn’t want to work for an airline. 

So what’s a software guy to do?  Stay in tech and makes lots of money with the PayPals, Googles, and Facebooks of the world?  Rady organized a Bay Area trek where we met with recruiters of some of these amazing companies.  Again, disappointment reigned as I realized I had no desire to leave San Diego for the Bay Area.  As the months to graduation continued to count down, I became more nervous and freaked out.  My chance for the perfect job was slipping away!

During my final year, while taking Rady’s Lab 2 Market class and an independent study course, I had an opportunity to research a market need and create a value proposition that addressed that need.  Helping to position a product and determine pricing strategies turned out to be tasks I enjoyed immensely.  As fate would have it, a position that required these kinds of skills opened up at my current employer.  My MBA experiences coupled with passion for my company’s software and demonstrated ability to excel in my current position helped me land the job.  Now while I’m not a millionaire (just check out my student loan balance), I did find a job, a company, and a career path that was right up my alley.  These last 30 months in school have afforded me some enormous opportunities to discover what I wanted to do in my career.  Rady helped me calibrate my GPS so that I finally got to hear those glorious directions, “Please follow the highlighted route”.

Peter Major is a newly minted Senior Product Manager at Jack Henry & Associates (a financial services software company).