Alumni Profile: Martin Sabarky (FlexWeekend 2006)

Why did you choose to attend Rady?

I chose to attend the Rady School to complete my business education and to supplement the experiences I’ve had in the business world, which served as their own form of education in the “School of Hard Knocks.” I think Rady has carved out a niche that is somewhat unique in the business-school world, as it really focuses on the commercialization of biotechnology and the high technologies. This was very important to me, as my chosen profession is the biotechnology industry. The fact that Rady was in San Diego, my hometown, was an added incentive to apply to the school when it first opened. It’s been a wonderful experience that has proven to be very rewarding. The benefits keep accruing as the years go by, as I am able to leverage more of the experiences that I had there.

How would you describe the Rady School’s curriculum, culture and the student experience?

The Lab to Market course is really the capstone of the Rady experience. From soup to nuts, it takes you through ideation, coming up with a business plan and thinking about all the steps and risks along the way — with the goal of actually taking a product or service all the way to market. It’s really something that allows you to synthesize all of the different types of skill sets that you learn, read about and practice in some of the other courses.

What struck me about our Lab to Market course was how many of the projects actually found their way into actual businesses or companies that were formed as a result of that experience. I think that’s a testament to how applicable the Rady experience is to so many of the students interested in the high-tech or biotechnology fields, which are emphasized here at Rady.

Thinking about the Lab to Market experience, as well as the professional networking available to students, the networking is emerging. We were the first class — the class of 2006 — so in many ways the networking that we’ve done over the past five years has provided the foundation for the networking that each class has established since then. That is something I hope will grow in intensity over the years.

How would you describe the relationship between the Rady School and other departments at UC San Diego?

I think that the opportunity to leverage other elements of the Rady experience on the UC San Diego campus is another unique feature, particularly for those interested in biotechnology, as I am. The resources available on campus at the graduate level, or through the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, are really tremendous. In fact, a number of the business ideas that come to Rady students are from some of these ancillary departments and affiliations that are a part of the UC San Diego system. I think this creates a very synergistic effect; and hopefully, this is something that will also continue in the Lab to Market course.

What advice would you give to prospective students thinking about attending Rady?

I think for anyone looking to switch from a research focus to a business focus, or for managers who wish to accelerate their careers in either biotechnology, clean technology or high technology in general, I think Rady offers a unique opportunity — particularly for those in Southern California — to get a top-tier business degree. Being able to learn how to be a better manager or how to start up a company in a high-tech environment — from both an academic and entrepreneurial standpoint — is quite valuable. This is an area where I think Rady has already begun to carve out a unique niche — that is, the commercialization of new and novel technologies that are shaping the 21st century. This is certainly something that I’ve taken away from the Rady experience, and I hope that it offers that to others for many years to come.