Over 500 UC San Diego Graduate Students, Post-Docs and Staff Graduate from Rady School Center for Executive Education Micro-MBA Program

The Micro-MBA program is a groundbreaking collaborative effort between the Center for Executive Development (CED) at the Rady School of Management and the UC San Diego community of graduate students, postdocs and staff. It is a unique, 10-class course that introduces fundamental business concepts taught by Rady faculty and lecturers. It is offered twice per year to 150-180 students; to date, over 500 students have graduated from the program. Feedback from alumni about the program has been overwhelmingly positive due to the breadth of content covered, as well as weekly Coffee Chats that provide networking opportunities with successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals in the area. These Coffee Chats are especially vital for maintaining a talent connection between current and future individuals who will drive the next wave of innovation.

Currently on its third cohort since beginning in summer of 2014, the Micro-MBA program began as a collaborative idea between the Rady School and UC San Diego graduate students from the Biomedical Sciences program and Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club (APDCC). The concept was and still is refreshingly simple: to connect business-minded individuals from the UC San Diego community to valuable Rady School course content through a mutual introduction. The program has since expanded its reach into Torrey Pines Mesa to include interested applicants from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Scripps Research Institute. This supports UC San Diego's initiative to engage and involve intellectually ambitious individuals irrespective of program, department, school, university or institute.

The next step for the Micro-MBA program is to realize Rady School Assistant Dean Clark Jordan's vision to launch an Innovation to Marketplace (I2M) course, which will run for three to four months following the summer Micro-MBA Program. This will be one avenue for continued engagement between Micro-MBA alumni and the Rady School that has direct benefits for both parties. Rather than promote entrepreneurship as a be-all and end-all, the goal for I2M will be to employ a rigorous process for product development that will pursue data driven analysis to make reasoned business decisions. The I2M teams will each learn by doing projects under the careful guidance of seasoned educators at the Rady School.

The scope of collaboration between UC San Diego, the Rady School and the neighboring business community will continue to expand as more and more opportunities to apply learned business skills arise. This can already be seen in APDCC, a club at UC San Diego that connects Ph.D. students and post-docs with consulting projects that support startups and businesses in San Diego. Engagements typically last 10-12 weeks and allow club members to interface with clients on projects that include competitive analysis, market research, industry analysis and drafting white papers. "The Micro-MBA program, I2M and APDCC are all entry points to the business world for those in the UC San Diego community with limited exposure to it," said CED Program Manager Alyssia Wagner. "The Rady School stands at the forefront of these kinds of collaborative enterprises in building innovation pathways for the future."

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