It is that time of the year where a lot of you must be deciding which MBA school to go to (of course you should choose UCLA Anderson!). For those of you interested in technology or those who have not decided what they want to do after their MBAs, I want to share with you why Anderson is such a great place for transitioning to a job in the high tech industry.
Anderson is located very close to Silicon Valley, the San Francisco bay area, and Seattle. You can find the headquarters of all the major high tech companies in these areas. For example Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Ebay, etc. All just a drive or a short plane ride away.
Los Angeles is also home of many startups, including those in the high tech industry, but you don't have to take my word for it, click here to read a great article from Forbes about why Los Angeles is becoming the new tech startup capital.
Lastly, we are very close to Las Vegas which is home of the annual CES convention. Fellow blogger Kyle Forest just wrote an awesome post telling you all about it which you can find here. If you haven't read it yet I highly recommend you do so!
We just talked about the awesome location but how can you really leverage it? The Parker CMC , which is Anderson's Career Management Center, has a great relationship with all the high tech companies. Most of them recruit on campus and post positions through Parker CMC.
You can follow Parker CMC on facebook here. They do a splendid job coaching and preparing us for networking and interviews. They have a class just for this on your first quarter, they do workshops, and you can book an appointment with any of the advisors every week. Actually one of the greatest advices I can give you when you start your MBA is to meet with an advisor every week. They will do mock interviews with you, review your resume and cover letters, address your concerns, guide you on how to get your dream job, and so much more. I usually meet with Emily Taylor or Regina Regazzi, who have done an amazing job coaching me and I highly recommend both of them. Needless to say you can't go wrong with any advisor you decide to work with, they are all great!
We have Alumni in almost any company you might be interested in and they are all happy to talk to you about their experience. It is actually one of my favorite things about Anderson, we have a great community where everyone helps each other out and that does not stop upon graduation. Contacting an Alumni is very easy, we have an ever growing database where you can search for them and obtain their e-mails.
We have ACT Coaches!
You must be wondering what ACT Coaches are, they are second years who meet with a group of first years for an hour every week to guide and mentor them on their job search. ACT groups can be by industry or function, for example I am in an ACT group for high tech and in another one for finance. Let's discuss the high tech ACT group since this is a post about high tech. These are my Act Coaches:
Can we talk about how awesome Josh and Brad are? They keep us up to date with tech news, practice interview questions with us, and guide us all the way from how to decide what companies to target to how to get the most out of your internship. It is so nice to have a fellow second year to talk to about these things and their advice has been so helpful! I am amazed by how they know so much!
We have Mentors!
If Parker CMC and ACT Coaches are not enough for you we also have mentorship programs in many of Anderson's clubs. I have a mentor from the HTBA (High Tech Business Association) and from the WBC (Women's Business Connection). When looking for a mentor in the high tech industry don't just look in the HTBA, many other clubs, like the WBC, will offer you mentors that match your function, country of origin, gender, etc. but that doesn't mean they can't also match your target industry! My mentors Daisy Chen and Shiva Ramesh from class 2012 have been providing me invaluable advice and connecting me with many other alumni. I highly recommend that you sign up for mentorship programs when you are at Anderson.
HTBA and Tech Treks!
The HTBA (High Tech Business Association) organizes events throughout the year to help you meet and talk to representatives from high tech companies. Some of these events are:
-Career nights: They are kind of like speed dating. You sit at a table with representatives from a certain company and after some time the organizer indicates that it is time to switch tables. It is really fun!
-Tech treks: The HTBA assigns companies for you to visit or you bid for them in a raffle system. You get to visit one or two companies per day and there is always an alumni networking event too. There is one for Seattle and one for the Sillicon Valley area and they usually happen during winter.
Anderson students at Microsoft's campus in Seattle
-Brunches: As the name implies it is a brunch with company representatives. There is going to be one this Sunday organized by the HTBA and the WBC (Women's Business Connection).
If all this did not convince you, I encourage you to visit our campus and talk to some current students. That played a big role for me when deciding what MBA to go to. If you can't come to campus contact some students by e-mail or phone, they are all very friendly and happy to help!
-Alejandra Rodriguez '14
Follow UCLA Anderson at @UCLAMBA