MSU Broad business school MBA students pose for group photo outside LinkedIn corporate.

Broad MBAs outside LinkedIn.

I had expectations of an MBA program before returning to Broad to earn my degree. The academic curriculum was part of it, especially for a career switcher like myself. Access to a career services team to work with in my career search was another draw to return to school.  Having the opportunity to travel with a group of my classmates to the California Bay Area on our program’s Tech Trek over winter break went beyond ordinary expectations. In terms of program travel, professional networking, and relationship building, this was the type of offering you hope to find in an MBA program but don’t entirely expect.

I had never visited the Bay Area before December, but Tech Trek gave me a strong reason to finally make the cross-country trip.  Our program planned engagements with LinkedIn, Walmart E-Commerce, Flex, and Zoox, exposing us to tech companies ranging from young startup ventures to more seasoned businesses still seeking to innovate. Coordination between our program and Broad alumni resulted in facility tours and employee panels at each company. We had an upfront view of the incredible campuses and perks of working for an established company such as LinkedIn and Walmart E-Commerce. The CPO of Flex brought us a real case of a problem the company was experiencing. After presenting our proposed solutions, the CPO and his team furthered discussions regarding each group’s plan. We had a similar group case discussion with the CFO of Zoox in a hanger-like building with a giant projection screen used for all-hands meetings in which each employee could ask executives any question he or she wanted. A fitting environment for our interactions that day.

Outside of the corporate visits, this trip continued to exceed expectation. A group of us used the day before the Tech Trek began to attend a San Francisco 49ers football game. The program facilitated a trip to a Golden State Warriors game with pregame access to floor seats for team warmups. Our program director, Wayne Hutchison, was able to connect with a dozen alumni in the San Jose area for a wine bar mixer that led to great discussions both professional and personal. To top it all off, a group of us were able to arrange a stay in an Airbnb just outside San Francisco to spend a couple days and nights in the city. At the end of my two years in the full-time MBA program, I already know that these will be some of my favorite memories. Thank you to all my fellow trek-mates, program organizers, company hosts, and of course, the fantastic Broad alumni we had the pleasure of meeting for making Tech Trek 2018 an incredible experience.