Skip to main content
William Lu

William Lu

Navigating Success

William Lu (FlexEvening MBA '23), a native of Houston, Texas, has always been driven by a passion for leadership and innovation. Graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in Kinesiology, Lu's career path took an unexpected yet rewarding turn when he decided to pursue an MBA at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. Today, as an Integrated Product Team Lead at NIWC Pacific, Lu reflects on his journey, his accomplishments, and the invaluable lessons he learned at Rady.

Analytical Focus: A Key to Success

The analytical rigor at Rady has been instrumental in Lu's career. "The coursework emphasized the importance of using data to reinforce our decision-making," he notes. This habit has become second nature to him, as he now regularly considers what sources of information he has and how to best leverage them to support his ideas and suggestions.

When asked to describe Rady in one word, Lu chooses "agile." He appreciates the school's responsiveness to student feedback, having seen several of his suggestions implemented within months. "It's great to have your voice heard as a student and, even better, to see it help the school."

The Joy of Collaboration

The group assignments at Rady taught Lu how to harness team dynamics and utilize each member's strengths. "I continue to think about group dynamics when working on projects for my day-to-day work," he says.

In his role at NIWC Pacific, Lu thrives on the collaborative nature of his work. "Each function is essential in ensuring efficient service to the customer," he explains. "From the engineering team to the contracting team, I routinely interface with all business functions to identify opportunities to optimize existing processes. These interactions always lead to me learning something new."

Lu's journey at Rady provided him with the tools to tackle novel problems at work. Courses such as Applied Market Research, Lab to Market (now renamed “Rady Action Project”), and Experiments in Firms equipped him with frameworks to design work surveys, use consulting methodologies, and experiment with workplace solutions. "These are all tools I was not using before coming to Rady," he said.

Choosing Rady: Alumni Network and Top Faculty

Two key aspects that led Lu to choose Rady were the supportive alumni network and the esteemed faculty. Informational interviews with current students and alumni highlighted the openness and eagerness to help, while the faculty's top-tier credentials made it an easy decision. "Having access to top professors right here in San Diego made it an easy decision," he affirms.

Lu's favorite course was Managerial Judgment and Decision Making with Professor Rottenstreich. "I'm fascinated with decision-making and the elements that influence it," he explains. He also highly recommends Biotech Industry, Structure, and Strategy with Professor Bain and Negotiations with Professor Gneezy. For prospective MBAs, he suggests the book "Case Studies & Cocktails: The Now What Guide to Surviving Business School," a comprehensive overview of the business school experience.

Surprising Lessons: Academic and Non-Academic

One academic surprise for Lu was how much he thought about class topics outside the workplace. From negotiating prices on OfferUp to considering consumer surplus while shopping for gym memberships, Rady's lessons permeated various aspects of his life. Non-academically, the strong relationships he formed with classmates were unexpected. "It's incredible how quickly you bond with your classmates," he reflects. "We've shared milestones, helped each other professionally, and supported each other's growth."

Lu's advice for potential applicants is to engage with the admissions team. "Throughout the year, the admissions team hosts panels and various events. It's a great chance to meet faculty, current students, and alumni and get a feel for what your time at Rady will be like."

William Lu, Wine Connoisseur

Outside of the business world, Lu is a dedicated wine enthusiast. With a Level 2 Award in Wine from the Wine Spirits Education Trust, he is currently working towards the Certified Specialist in Wine certification through the Society of Wine Educators.

Lu's journey from Houston to the Rady School of Management and beyond showcases the power of education, collaboration, and continuous learning. His story highlights how an MBA can transform not only a career but also personal growth and community connections. As he continues to lead and innovate at NIWC Pacific, Lu remains committed to supporting others and making a meaningful impact in the business world.