As Full-Time MBA students, exploring the technology industry is essential for gaining insights to identify if that is the career path suited for us. It is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments in the tech industry. At the Broad College of Business, MBA students get the opportunity to attend virtual tech treks, offering a way to learn about the industry and network with experienced professionals.
A virtual tech trek is a great way to gain valuable insights into the workings of different companies, their culture and the technologies they use. I was especially interested in the virtual tech trek as I worked at Ford Motor Company’s Technology Services Platform division, and so I had experience in the tech and auto industries. The 2023 Broad MBA Tech Trek featured Microsoft, Applied Materials, Google and Meta. Here are my key takeaways and why I highly recommend that students sign up for golden opportunities like these.
The most important takeaway from the experience were the great connections I made during the virtual interactions. I generally prefer face-to-face interactions and in-person opportunities to connect because then I can read the body language of the individuals and have a sense of how the conversation is going. However, to my amazement, I really enjoyed the virtual interactions we had with the alumni and company representatives.
The alumni who joined the event were great brand ambassadors and role models. Being able to listen to their journey and experiences and see the genuine passion they had was inspiring. I especially liked how they were honest and transparent about their careers so far and what it’s like living on the West Coast and being part of the tech industry. I enjoyed the opportunity to soak in their guidance and words of advice regarding their time as MBA students, the transition back to the industry and how to navigate career progress. It was reassuring to know that once I have graduated from Broad, I will be joining a strong, supportive alumni community.
My next key takeaway was the variety of companies we were being exposed to. Although all four companies that participated in the event are from the tech industry, they are different from each other. Microsoft, best known for its Windows and Office products, is big on cloud computing, gaming and AI technologies. Applied Materials, which is a semiconductor manufacturing company, has a variety of products such as flat-panel displays and solar photovoltaic products, apart from its core competency of advanced semiconductor chips. Google, best known for its search engine, has a wide range of products like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and Google Cloud Platform. Finally, Meta, formerly known as Facebook and best known for its flagship social media platform, is big on virtual and augmented reality technologies. Just looking at the four companies that participated, I was amazed by the breadth of the tech industry and the many channels through which I could get involved.
Finally, the last key takeaway I had from this opportunity was gaining an understanding of the current state of the tech industry, what the future could look like for the industry, and the organization culture at the four participating companies. Understanding the company culture is essential when deciding which companies to network with and how to plan the next steps in your career. Having the opportunity to explore different company cultures and understand their core values helps us as professionals to see whether our goals and objectives align with those of each company and if it would be a good fit. This is where I again had great respect for the alumni and company representatives as they were honest and transparent about what is expected at their respective companies and helped me gain a better understanding of the type of company I want to work for.
In conclusion, I am grateful that I took this golden opportunity to attend the virtual tech trek, which had industry giants such as Microsoft, Applied Materials, Google and Meta participating. Opportunities like the virtual tech trek are crucial and highly recommended as they can provide MBA students with valuable opportunities to network with alumni and industry professionals, help us better understand the multifaceted tech industry and gain insight and exposure to the company culture of the participating organizations.
As technology continues to shape the business landscape, attending virtual tech treks like the one offered by the Broad College of Business can help students stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage. I thank the Broad MBA program, the alumni and company representatives for providing us with such opportunities and I highly recommend my fellow classmates and students in incoming classes to join upcoming events.