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Exploring the tech industry: Insights from the 2024 Broad MBA Tech Trek

By Wasek Sazzad, STEM MBA Class of 2025
Monday, March 11, 2024
Wasek Sazzad headshot

Wasek Sazzad, STEM MBA ’25

As Full-Time Broad MBA students, immersing ourselves in the technology sector is imperative for discerning our career paths. The Broad College of Business facilitates this journey through virtual tech treks, providing invaluable opportunities to learn about industry trends and network with seasoned professionals — and, more often than not, esteemed Spartan alumni. The 2024 Tech Trek, which took place Feb. 19 and 20, showcased industry giants such as Google, Microsoft Cloud Supply Chain and Reddit, offering diverse insights into the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Michigan State alum Rick Krugh, senior managing director at Reddit, emphasized the importance of cultivating a strong reputation aligned with one’s goals. He shared his personal journey, starting with his relocation challenges within the company and his subsequent successes in managing underperforming teams all over the United States. His leadership and coaching efforts led to significant improvements in team performance, earning him recognition within Reddit. Despite facing setbacks, Rick remained determined to pursue his goals, including balancing his personal and professional life. Throughout his journey, he demonstrated resilience, adaptability and a commitment to achieving his objectives, ultimately earning praise for his consistent success in turning around markets and leading his teams effectively.

At the Microsoft Cloud Supply Chain session, MSU grad Julia Brougher, sourcing transformation product manager, along with colleagues — and Broad MBA alumni — Alex Leon Ung, product manager, and Samuel Brobbey, program manager, provided insights into the culture at Microsoft, work-life balance and the experience of living and working in the Seattle area. Julia initiated the session by sharing her journey starting out as a sourcing operations manager before transitioning to the company’s Sourcing Transformation Program Management Office. Alex highlighted projects involving the implementation of new tools and technologies to enhance supply chain efficiency, including collaborations with Samuel on AI-driven contract workflows. Finally, Samuel emphasized his enthusiasm for optimizing supply chain operational efficiency and contributing to overall organizational growth.

“As technology continues to shape the business landscape, participation in events like the Tech Trek remains instrumental in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

At Google’s session, we heard from more alumni including Keith Preston, group manager for global manufacturing partner management, who provided insights into his tech journey. His roles predominantly involved supplier management across diverse tech areas. Then, Mike Maglio, human resources business partner, emphasized his diverse experiences, including earning his MBA along the banks of the Red Cedar, enriching his HR roles. Alum Jack Keais, supply chain sustainability program manager, outlined his career trajectory from internships to leading to his current focus on supply chain sustainability at Google. Broad grads Amy Cheng, global commodity manager, and Frank Martinez, senior program manager, shared insights about the tech giant. Amy highlighted Google’s ubiquitous products and their global impact, while Frank elaborated on the company’s global capacity delivery strategy, emphasizing infrastructure development and data center scalability. Sushil Gupta, equipment supply chain manager, offered additional insights into operations, underscoring Google’s expansive infrastructure and mission to deliver exceptional computing capacity globally.

Key takeaways from the Tech Trek include the importance of networking, understanding company cultures and embracing industry diversity. The virtual event provided a platform for current MBA students to connect with industry leaders, gain insights into emerging technologies and align career aspirations with organizational values.

In conclusion, the 2024 Broad MBA Tech Trek underscores the transformative power of experiential learning in shaping future tech leaders. On behalf of my peers, I extend our gratitude to the Broad MBA program office, Russell Palmer Career Management Center, Broad MBA alumni and speakers for their invaluable contributions and encouragement of fellow students to seize such opportunities for personal and professional development. Tech treks serve as catalysts for exploration and discovery, empowering MBA students to navigate the complexities of the tech industry with confidence and clarity. As technology continues to shape the business landscape, participation in events like the Tech Trek remains instrumental in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

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