The Chalk Festival in Pleasanton, California was a unique event full of art, I was impressed by the people that attended the event from all ages and from different cultural backgrounds representing the community. Some of the artists attended the event from far away with the purpose of sharing their passion and interacting with the community. I had also the chance to observe the performing arts events by one of the local high school and middle school full of talented individuals, it was a good chance to observe how art can bring people from all ages and backgrounds together.
By the end of the day when the drawings were completed I thought it was such a pity to know that there was no way of preserving them since they were drawn on the ground; I asked one of the artists how he felt about knowing that there was no way of conserving his drawing, he said “I guess its a good practice to let things that we like go”, this made me realize that the most valuable thing for this artist was to express his feelings through art even though this was only temporary in this case.
Connect on Facebook and LinkedIn
Keep in mind that one of the most important components of an MBA are the connections you are going to build with your classmates and other individuals that you interact with as a result of the program. Before the program starts, connect with your future classmates through social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, this will help you figure out who has similar interests keeping in mind that there is a good chance that you create friendships with your classmates that might last a lifetime or even lead to a job!
Make sure to join all the events that are offered to the MBA students, throughout the program you will have the opportunity to join clubs and organizations that will bring several opportunities that might be of your interest. Some of the most popular clubs are “Net Impact” and “Entrepreneur Association”, during our year the clubs organized several company visits which were very helpful to learn the operational aspects of companies in different fields. This will also bring the opportunity of creating further connections or even get a job on the spot if you apply your acquired skills during your MBA. One of the best events that I experienced multiple times was “Keiretsu Forum” because you have the chance to see how individuals have an idea and are trying to get entrepreneurs to invest on their early stage companies, it is also worth mentioning that such events are exclusive for official investors but we have the chance to attend as MBA students.
Get to know your Professors
Keep in mind that your Professors have multiple connections with companies and organizations that might be of your interest, if you are a good student and you show interest in a given subject, your Professor might be able to provide useful advice or even recommend you for an internship or a prospective employer. Most Professors are very friendly and helpful so make sure to constantly ask for recommendations related to your professional life.
Without a doubt, this has been one of the best experiences I had throughout my MBA career. During January a team will be formed representing CSUEB with the intention of competing against other universities in a simulated environment which concludes in an intensive phase in April. The competition was challenging in every aspect and I put into practice everything I learned throughout my MBA, I had the chance to interact with a team under conditions that will be similar to an intense working environment, and it is only these situations were your true qualities in a professional environment are exposed. Definitely an event to consider joining.
Throughout your MBA your will find out that your cohort is composed from individuals with very interesting backgrounds. Some classmates might be more familiar with certain subjects while weak in others, do not feel stressed or pressured if you find some classes more challenging than others, it is part of the learning process. In addition, you have to get used to working outside your comfort zone, otherwise you will not obtain as much as you could from your MBA. Engaging in all the activities that the program offers will be challenging and often overwhelming but keep in mind that you are taking an MBA to broaden your professional horizons.
This past weekend a group 6 students including myself and our adviser Dr. Taylor flew down to Southern California to compete against other universities through a business simulator where we had to submit decisions every two hours. The competition began two months ago and since then the team meets on a regular basis to discuss results and upcoming decisions. During the first two months of the competition we went through a stage of learning and becoming familiar with all the factors and variables that we had to take into consideration. We made mistakes and learned from them by making adjustments in our policies.
By the time we go to Anaheim to the intensive phase of the competition, we were determined to be the winners of the competition, we knew that it was going to be a great challenge since we had to perform better than the competitors to make up for the advantage they had created due to the mistakes we made during our learning phase. We had a set strategy and we knew that as long as we abide our plan we had a fair chance of succeeding. Decision by decision we closed the gap with the competitors until it came to the last quarter where we were neck to neck with our main rival, at this time we knew the simulated environment better and we were strongly established; when the final results came we demonstrated our long term vision which solidified quarter by quarter. Our consistency was key to our success and we learned from our mistakes making a come back that many would have thought of it as impossible. This competition has been one of the best learning experiences I have had working as a team, the bondage I have created with my classmates will remain forever. I am so proud and happy of being part of a team that remained hard working and was determined to win.
Social media and technology have become common tools for socializing and connecting with other individuals; as social media channels have emerged such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram it has become easier to connect with people from around the globe that a decade ago would have been impossible. As as student, these tools have provided the opportunity to find information and connect with prospective employers and acquire information that we are interested on.
In my experience social media has enhanced my social capital and civic engagement, it has allowed me to follow topics and causes that otherwise would be hard for me to inquire, for example, through LinkedIn I have been able to follow companies that are of my interest and they constantly post when there are job opportunities or provide useful information on how to apply for a job in the given specialty. Social media has also given me the opportunity to connect with people that share my interests and by doing so I can learn tips that my be useful for my professional career.
I consider that social media has contributed in some cases to the decline of civic engagement when people are not technology savvy, however, to remain updated in this globalized environment it is necessary to learn how to use these tools to create a social footprint that will lead to professional opportunities.