Here is some more raw video from our California business school trip, this time of USC’s Marshall School of Business. Right smack in the middle of Los Angeles. No shortage of water fountains, that’s for sure.
What kind of work experience are b-schools looking really for? And what are the biggest mistakes that applicants make on their admissions essays and interviews? We asked Kacy Hayes, MBA admissions manager at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Business Administration.
USD requires at least two years of work experience for MBA applicants. What are you looking for people to have gotten out of their work experience?
Ideally, the candidate would have years of experience in one particular area that they have grown and developed in. On the other hand, we’ve had some phenomenal applicants who have been all over the board with their work experience, still trying to find their niche. If they can connect the dots for us, how their different experiences have all led them to the point of doing an MBA, sometimes they bring a diversity of experiences into the classroom, which can also be great.
There’s no one thing in particular we are looking for in terms of work experience. In general, we are looking for someone who has knowledge of their field and can relate that to what they are studying in the classroom, and therefore enrich the experience of all students by sharing.
About time for a new post! So, while we work on typing up some more MBA interviews, here is some more raw video footage of one of our visits to UCLA Anderson School of Management a while ago. Just some impressions of the campus on a (pretty typical) sunny day in Los Angeles. Nice huh?
We visited several business school campuses in California last year, and we thought we would share some of our video footage, so that prospective students can get a little glimpse of life on campus and the surrounding areas.
This clip is from our visit to UC Berkeley Haas School of Management. The campus is situated up on a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It is full of top-notch programs in the sciences, law, journalism, and other disciplines, so there’s a real intellectual vibrance here. The university also has a long history by California standards, but of course not as long as schools like Oxford or Heidelberg that have been around for centuries. Berkeley was a hotbed of student revolt and alternative movements during the sixties, and there are remnants of this on campus, course offerings, and off-campus life in Berkeley.
Another video! This one about some MBA programs in Los Angeles and San Diego. Enjoy!
Check out our first video, a tour of some of the key MBA programs in Northern California!
More info about the schools mentioned in this video:
UC Berkeley Haas
San Francisco State University (SFSU)
University of San Francisco (USF) Masagung
Presidio School of Management
California College of the Arts
Santa Clara University
If you’re interested in “clean tech” or any other emerging sector, it’s important where you go to business school. Second-year MBA student (and now fresh graduate) Naveen Sikka tells why UC Berkeley Haas and the San Francisco Bay Area were perfect stepping stones into the green energy sector.
How did you get interested in clean tech?
I actually come from a very untraditional undergraduate background. I went to Columbia University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in political science and French. At the time, the economy was really hot, so I just moved into consulting. I did that for seven years before coming here.
I got really interested in green tech right before I came to Haas. I did a finance project in energy and really took to it. Clean tech is the confluence of a lot of different forces. You see a lot of people who maybe aren’t energy people coming into this space, because it combines basic technology with policy, geopolitics, climate change, human dimensions. I knew that Berkeley would be a good place to study this, but I didn’t really appreciate fully the magnitude of that decision until I got here.
After ten years working on the East Coast, Michael Ross came out West to push his comfort zone as an MBA student at UCLA Anderson. With his first year almost behind him, we asked him how it’s going.
How did you end up at UCLA? And why Los Angeles?
It’s like the admissions interview all over again. I had about nine years of professional experience before I started. I graduated from UPenn with an undergraduate focus in computer science, and I took a couple of classes at Wharton, as well. I was interested in marrying business to technical applications.
I joined an incubation services and information technology firm backed by Kleiner Perkins called Silicon Valley Internet Partners. I was there for four years. It was 1998, and nascent Internet times. And you had a lot of start-ups with venture backing and large companies that wanted to be entrepreneurial and wanted to understand how to use the Internet.
So I was there for four years. I loved it. I was in a product management role, and I worked across disciplines, with strategists, graphic designers, interface designers, technologists. It was an incredible experience, and left me desiring to have that experience I progressed professionally. Unfortunately, those were anomalous times. I progressed, those experiences became fewer and farther between.
Video games that read your mind. A bike that you run on instead of pedal. Really, what could be more California than Stanford’s annual Cool Product Expo? We spoke with Amanda Kaye Boaz, a second-year MBA student at Stanford GSB and co-organizer of this geek- and green-friendly celebration of innovative products.
First of all, what is the Cool Product Expo?
Last year we had about 800 attendees, including current students, alumni, local professionals, press, etc. It’s open to anybody. It is the largest student-run event on campus, and we are really fortunate because of our location in the Bay Area. There are a lot of start-ups that come out with really cool, innovative products.
We typically get about 50 exhibitors from around the area who are launching products that we think are really innovative and cutting-edge. For instance, this year we are having someone over who found a way to let you play video games with your mind. They have neurosensors that they attach to your head, and with these you can actually move the characters on the video game.
So, I assume most of the “cool” products are high-tech things.
By the nature of where we are located we have a little more technology, but it’s not just technology. We will have clean-tech cars, and Cal Cars that convert Priuses into plug-in electric vehicles. Last year, we had GM come with their electric vehicle. We are hoping to get them to come again this year.
It’s a lot of everything. We have a number of booths for current student projects. We’re having people in the engineering school who made irrigation systems for developing countries, and another student coming who is bringing an extension for people who don’t have use for their hands, so they can actually play golf.
Location, location, location – it also matters for MBA students looking to focus on marketing. We spoke with Dominique Hanssens, who chairs the marketing faculty at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, about what makes a good program, and why the West Coast might have its finger on the pulse of future trends.
What makes a good marketing program? Not all top-ranked business schools necessarily have strong marketing programs, right?
There’s not a one-to-one overlap, that is true. There are many places that have good marketing teaching, but not that many that have a state-of-the-art research program. But the following generalization is true: all of the top programs are world-class in their research, but not all of the world-class research programs are among the top programs at the MBA level. The reason is that there is a certain amount of inertia in reputation development.
Let me give you an example: One of the reasons why the Kellogg School at Northwestern does so well is Professor Philip Kotler. He has written some very important marketing books at a critical time in marketing’s history as a discipline, and is widely recognized for that. A lot of the MBA students from 20 or more years ago have read these books, and many of them are now in senior managerial positions. That established a reputation, a long-term effect that Kellogg is able to capitalize on.
There are some other equally strong marketing research faculties – including Columbia, Stanford and UCLA for example – that don’t have such pioneering book authors. As a result, they haven’t communicated their value proposition as effectively with the MBA audience. That’s the fundamental difference, as I see it.