After a long summer in Silicon Valley working in “Corporate America,” our 2nd year Welcome Back breakfast was an overdue reminder of the reasons why I am proud to be an MBA at USD.
For starters, the familiar faces of my cohort and colleagues brought back a whirlwind of memories – from classes, team projects, and long nights of studying… to career planning, last minute deadlines, and consulting in South America. I relived our success and was proud to be amongst such a diverse, and talented, group of young men and women. To understate my emotions – I was inspired.
But, more important than my colleagues, were the Mentors. This group of volunteer advisors, available to help in any way, made the value of my time at USD clear as day. To have leaders in the fields of Real Estate, Private Equity, Business Development, Technology, and Management Consulting – all there for me – was a breath of new life in lungs desperate for air.
Now I know this is getting a bit corny, but let me try to explain why I am thankful for this event.
Following my summer experience in the Valley, I had made up my mind that the “name brand’ firm was not the way to go for me, but instead, I needed to get back to Entrepreneurship (which was the reason why I left Law School and chose to pursue and MBA in the first place…) Anyway, as the breakfast began, we students were given an opportunity to reach out to the broader Mentor community and ask for insight / resources / connections… whatever we could think of! Perfect…
So, given that premise, I asked how a young entrepreneur like myself, with a solid business concept, could “vet” the technology component of the model. More importantly, with the internet powering so much of the modern business landscape, to me this was an important question for all of us. So, like I said, I just put it out there…
Now, in most circumstances, people say they’re going to help “connect” you, or “advise” you, or “review your cover letter”, but quite frankly, that’s not always the case. So, when one of our Mentors came up to me after our breakfast and said, “Drew, here’s my card. I’m the CEO of a software firm here in town and think I can help you…” trust me, I was skeptical.
However, just as everything else has risen above during my experience here at USD, this was no exception. This mentor reached out to me, made herself available, and has already provided invaluable insight in terms of not only the technology underlying the business model, but to the model itself. To say the least, it’s been a welcome exception to the rule.
So ultimately, I’ve come to the conclusion that all of the resources we need are here at USD. That said, to start the day off (and year off) right, we need to start with our breakfast of champions.
Drew is a 2nd year IMBA studying New Venture Management. He spent his early career in Sacramento and Washington DC after earning a BA in Political Economics from UC Berkeley.