By Phillip Childress
Eller MBA ’14
First- and second-year Eller MBA students networked and gained insight into the corporate world on an outreach trip to San Francisco in March. Students met with representatives from companies including Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, and Jaspersoft.
“The visit to Jaspersoft was fascinating, because of the arena of business intelligence and the role of data visualization in supporting business functions,” said Sally Harris (Eller MBA and MS Planning ’14). “Additionally, the chairman and CEO, Brian Gentile, was a great speaker and provided valuable insight from his long career. Plus he’s an Arizona Wildcat!”
“We encourage students to ask questions regarding how the concepts they are learning are applied in a real-world setting,” said Eller MBA career management director Kathleen Taylor. “This includes executive insight into the challenges faced by the company and responses to these challenges.”
“I really appreciated this window into the inner workings of the companies, from start-ups to large corporations,” added Harris. “Learning how they have grown was captivating. It was also interesting to see the differences in corporate culture between companies such as Oracle and Google, two of the most successful tech companies around.”
Taylor said the goal for students was to gain additional perspective on the organizational practices and challenges taught in the classroom, as well as to better understand the firms’ cultures, organizations, potential career paths, and hiring plans. An Eller alumni event also gave students the chance to connect with alums and recent graduates.
“We use these trips to promote the Eller brand and develop strong relationships with employers,” Taylor said.
“The most valuable part of the trip was definitely the company visits,” Harris said. “It is invaluable to learn from those who have already been where I am now and to hear how they got from Point A to Point B. As a career switcher, I take all the advice I can get from those who have been there before.”
Students attending the trip gave up some of their spring break to take advantage of this opportunity, which Taylor said highlights students’ dedication and ambition.
“The trip provided guidance on how to manage my career as I move forward,” said Harris. “The overarching lesson was that it is acceptable not to have a set plan. What is important is to be open to opportunity and seize it when it comes.”
Interested in recruiting Eller MBA students for internships and full-time career positions? Check out our Eller MBA Corporate Recruiting website.