Chat with MBA Admissions — April 19, 2012
Welcome! We're so glad you could join us today. Prarthana Srikanth and Anthony Coradino are happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to post your questions now.
Prarthana Srikanth Hello Everyone! I'm Prarthana, a first year MBA Full Time Student at Rady and an MBA Student Ambassador. I'm happy to answer any questions you have regarding student life at Rady!
Anthony Coradino Hi, I'm Anthony. I'm a first year MBA, and I'm really happy to have this chance to talk to you guys today!
Can you describe a standard week (coursework, projects, seminars, etc)?
Anthony Coradino One of the things I really enjoy about Rady is that there really isn't a standard week. Yes, you will have some standard courses - I currently have one class every Wed and Thurs. However, I also have some non-standard classes that meet less frequently on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturday. On most days, there are usually a number of events offered directly through Rady, put on by clubs, or spontaneously thrown together by students. As for projects, they are a constant. You're always working on your own or with your team on something. This quarter I'm taking entrepreneurial marketing, lab to market, new product development, intellectual property law, and strategy.
Prarthana Srikanth To add to Anthony’s answer - a typical week in our MBA program will have four courses, an independent project, at least 9 case studies, readings from textbook, homework, at least 4 group meetings, an average of 2 seminar events where you will meet Managers and CEOs from companies in San Diego or even from the Bay Area, club meetings with rock star entrepreneurs from San Diego and lip-smacking lunch, company visits, golf/tennis with friends and lots more!
From your points of view, what are some of the things that Rady does well and what are some areas that you feel can be improved?
Prarthana Srikanth Rady just invested $50 million in a building for MBA students with state of art technology and a proud place to invite the best minds in business to interact with students. Another thing that Rady has is the small cohort- so you get amazing opportunities to lead teams, interact with CEOs and easily connect with them on LinkedIn. Rady also hires the best faculty to teach students - Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago, etc. Our career services are also extremely helpful. Rady is a new school and just received accreditation, so we definitely have a way to go for rankings.
What can we prepare for the quantitative mathematics course in the first quarter? Is this course difficult?
Anthony Coradino That's a good question. First off, let me say that this was without a doubt my favorite course of the first quarter. The teacher is incredibly brilliant, intimidating, and hilarious. That said, the course was certainly the most challenging of the quarter. However, I can assure you that there is no infinitesimal calculus. The only preparation I had was the math boot camp offered through UCLA. To be honest, I'm not sure that it was helpful from a learning perspective, but it did serve to get my mind into the "school mode". Probably the most helpful piece of advice I can offer is to familiarize yourself with Excel. Not just for quant, but most of the core courses will utilize excel in some respect.
I'm sure many of us are considering or are already planning on part-time work/TAships to help subsidize the graduate student lifestyle. Can one of you speak to time management? Just how much time is there in a week for non-academic related activities?
Prarthana Srikanth You can start working part-time if you have the opportunity from the first quarter. However, it is recommended that students spend the first two quarters studying full time - because they're really intense! Time management depends on how many activities you are involved in and your priorities. For instance, I didn't TA in the first two quarters, but I enjoyed attending all the events and club activities. Currently, the spring quarter is more relaxed. I have a TAship, I run 2-3 clubs, and still get to see movies or hit the beach on the weekend.
I want to know something about the curriculum. Could you give me some suggestions on study materials and anything else I should be aware?
Prarthana Srikanth The Rady school helps by giving us a list of great books to read about a month before school starts. In the meantime, you could take an inexpensive course in accounting or finance to help you understand the topics better (I did that and it helped me to understand accounting class easily). Also, you could start by reading books like Freakonomics. Hope this helps!
MBA Admissions To add to Prarthana's answer, I would say that Rady has incoming classes with diverse backgrounds, and we don't assume that you have a business background. With that in mind, your core classes are structured in such a way that you will get a strong foundation before you start taking on electives.
Let's say for example one hasn't had intensive quant for some time (and hasn't taken calculus in the past). Do you recommend the UCLA math class or is there a better way to "get in the mindset" for Rady?
MBA Admissions From an Admissions standpoint, I would say that if you haven't taken calculus in the past, I would recommend either taking the UCLA Math for Management class or its equivalent at a local college during the summer.
Anthony Coradino I would recommend the Math course, but keep in mind during orientation there will be an opportunity to take an 8 hour intensive math session. I have to say, the teacher for the Math course and the intensive session (same teacher) is quite good. On a side note, he also teaches accounting. I can't stress enough how important Excel will be - know pivots, financial functions, regressions, etc.
Can you share with us your experiences with Rady's career services department?
Prarthana Srikanth Rady’s Career Connections is managed by a brilliant and helpful staff. Every Tuesday, they organize a career event which typically consists of a panel of industry leaders in a particular function (marketing, operations, finance etc). So there you get to network with managers and Rady alums. Additionally, they organize 2-3 career events every year and also organize company treks. They host mock interview sessions with alumni and also provide workshops on career development. Robin, Director of Career Connections, is great at getting you contact information and guiding you in setting up informational interviews all year round!
Can you talk about summer internships? How to get them? What to expect?
Anthony Coradino The internship process depends so much on you. I can say that internship opportunities appear to have a seasonality to them. There is a huge push for internships right out of the gate (in your first couple of months at Rady) a number of companies recruit in October for summer internships, and if you are looking for a government position, that would really be your only opportunity. However, another wave of internships becomes available in Feb/Mar. Then, in my opinion, the largest wave will be available in your third quarter (April onward). The critical thing for internships is (1) your resume, and (2) your comfort level during interviews. The majority of first round (sometimes there is only one round) interviews will be over the phone. Careers will work with you on both, but I would say don't hesitate to use other students as a resource for resume insight and comparison.
MBA Admissions To add to Anthony's answer on summer internships, I would say that the Career's team works to provide many opportunities for students to engage with companies. Most recently, there was a "Meet the Firms" event that only companies who were hiring were allowed to join the event.
My questions are related to Rady clubs. How frequently are the events organized? Do you invite speakers from San Diego or even outside the area? How do you raise funds for the events?
Prarthana Srikanth We have more than 15 clubs in our school, and each club tries to organize a company visit, invite industry leaders, and maybe host a panel event at our school (with great food). We have funds for organizing the event, but most speakers are just happy to speak at our school voluntarily. Career services help us by providing contacts and introducing us to CEOs, VPs and Managers. Speakers can be from San Diego and outside as well. The Rady Student Board will help you budget your event.
Rady clubs are really dynamic and I would suggest all of you join at least one club, take up a leadership position and experience the fun in organizing events for the school. There is so much you learn working in clubs- such as interacting with executives, paneling sessions, and access to amazing contacts in the industry
Are there currently any Rady clubs involved in social entrepreneurship? If so, what types of events or projects do they engage in?
Anthony Coradino To my knowledge, there is not currently a club specifically focused on social entrepreneurship geared toward the development of 501c3 type organizations. However, what Rady does have is an awesome entrepreneurship club that I am personally involved with, and a net impact club (which I have attended some events). The entrepreneurship club brings in a number of entrepreneurs or established professionals with heavy entrepreneurial experience in a wide variety of industries. These have been fantastic. In fact just a few weeks ago I spoke with the CEO of a start-up that was utilizing crowd sourcing and satellite imagery for government and social causes. The last net impact event I attended was an electric car event where numerous car companies brought in their current electric models and savvy speakers to discuss the technology and business strategy behind them. Additionally, if you are interested in starting a social entrepreneurship club, I am certain that the Rady Student Board would be more than happy to work with you. Just a few weeks ago, we launched the wireless health club at Rady.
Academically and socially, how well connected is Rady to other faculty in different departments on campus – joint projects, social events?
Prarthana Srikanth Right now I am taking a course in Lab to Market, and we had a professor from the electrical and computing engineering department visit our class. He asked us to collaborate and help commercialize the projects they've designed. You will also get notified from Rady Administration of interesting networking programs happening in other departments at UC San Diego.
Do you recommend living on or off campus?
Anthony Coradino I think it really depends on your own personal situation. I currently live on campus, and as a starving student, it is fantastic, I have my own room and numerous amenities at an extremely affordable price. I can walk to the gym and to class. However, if you have a family, or abundant discretionary income, there are a ton of really nice apartment/condo communities around campus. I would warn you that parking on campus whether you are driving in (living off campus), or living on campus, can be tricky. The parking permit for B (grad students) is about $850 annually, and it does not guarantee a spot.
Could you tell us the experience of trips to companies and other countries?
Prarthana Srikanth Trips to other countries are organized by Rady School. We've had trips to India, China, Brazil and Japan. Rady organizes these trips at subsidized prices for students. Regarding company visits, all clubs organize company visits. You can educate yourself on the company's marketing-sales practices, see their distribution-supply chain network, meet with HR managers and see the manufacturing facilities too!
Thank you for joining us today. We hope this was helpful for you, and we welcome you to contact us directly with any further questions at MBAadmissions@ucsd.edu.