Wow, I can’t believe it has been almost a month since my last post. Today, my mom called me on the phone to complain that I haven’t been posting updates. Social media and blogging is pretty much how I keep in contact with my parents. Isn’t technology grand?
What have I been doing? Watching the Chinese New Year lion dance at Bank of America Forum! (CAUTION: this video is very loud due to heavy drumming.)
I kid. The truth is I’ve been really busy with classes, projects, and recruiting. My IBD project takes up a significant portion of my week because the client wants our team to start putting together marketing plans immediately. At the same time, I’ve been interviewing for a number of positions at digital media and technology firms in the Bay Area.
My goal is to work in product marketing or business development. But thanks to my experience at Google, I’m pretty versatile and can work on pretty much any role that combines project management with analytics. Some of the roles I’m looking at include sales operations, business marketing, and product management. I am especially interested in gaming because that’s the industry I worked with at Google. Also, I’ve been playing games since I was 6.
Of course, classwork is tough as usual. This semester, I’m taking Operations Management and Macroeconomics. Both classes are fairly interesting for a ‘poet’ like me. However, the workload is very heavy.
In Macroeconomics, the professor insists that everyone in class read the Financial Times five times a week so that everyone can discuss current issues. He cold calls students and asks about countries. On one hand, the class is stress-inducing. On the other hand, I now know a lot about inflation in China, liquidity problems in Japan, and austerity in the EU. Also, the correct answer to every question in class is “Greece is doomed.”
Operations class is equally fascinating. I’ve always enjoyed process design and efficiency management. This class in particular is taught by an ex-consultant who lives and breathes operational efficiency. He introduces several frameworks and models which students can use to keep business operations flowing.
At the end of the course, students formed groups of 4 to run a factory simulation called Littlefield. We had to balance supply order decisions with machine purchasing and lead time monitoring. Think of it as Tamagotchi (or FarmVille) for MBAs. Teams were ranked at the end of the simulation by the amount of revenue they had generated. My team was 20 out of 60, which sounds bad but is actually very good. We different from team 1 by only a few thousand dollars. Some teams went bankrupt and had negative revenue. Overall, it was a good experience.
Aside from classes, I’ve been working with the Digital Media & Entertainment Club (DMEC) as their new VP of Social Media since January. In a nutshell, I manage DMEC’s Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels and outreach strategy. I also create and assemble weekly newsletters to distribute to the 200+ club members across the full time and evening/weekend MBA programs. I also redesigned the DMEC website. My next job is to design a shirt. I’ve posted an early design below. I plan to touch it up quite a bit.
The nice thing about DMEC is it connects me with classmates who are interested in technology. They use their ‘connections’ to set up company treks. In early February, I visited Zynga’s office in San Francisco and chatted with some Haas alumni. Considering I’m a pretty avid CityVille player, I was pretty excited.
I took this picture in the Zynga lobby. The little pillars you see are actually badge readers. If you try to walk through the pillars without a badge, crazy lights will start to flash to alert security and a man will show up with a club to escort you out. I felt it would be even cooler if a force field would materialize in the laser tunnel. Alas, real life is far less exciting than Star Wars.
Finally, I’ve been hard at work soliciting posts for the Haas Student Blog. I serve as one of two Editorial Directors and my job is to manage a team of bloggers that chronicle their business school activities in hopes of giving prospective students a behind the scenes look at Berkeley life. On a daily basis, I moderate comments, edit posts, check page analytics, and brainstorm new content. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ve over-committed myself and should cut back on activities. However, if I wanted my life to be easy, I would not have returned to school.