Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Shameless Plug: Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley
This is a shameless little plug for the business school I just graduated from - UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Before attending business school, I was a software engineer, helping other companies, much like mine, develop their products. It was a thankless job. Long hours and little credit for your time. And so, I decided it was time to move on to bigger and better things. Before I left the Gap, I started looking for jobs that would allow me to become more involved in the direction of the business, rather than just listening to direction from the business. Unfortunately, not many people came calling, or would even listen to my pleas. After all, I was just a software engineer and that's all I was good for.
All I heard, time and time again, was that I didn't have experience. I obviously didn't have experience because nobody would give it to me. But I felt like I was smart enough to contribute. That didn't matter. Nobody was willing to give me a chance. That's when I decided I had to go back to school in order to further my career. I thought I just needed that piece of paper. That little diploma that said I graduated and studied something different. So I applied to business school. And that's what brought me to Haas.
Two years have since passed and I've recently graduated. The doors have swung open, far and wide. It was more than that little piece of paper that's helped. It was my entire Haas experience. The other students, the faculty, the administration, and all of the experiences I had along the way(clubs, trips, conferences, you name it). It's created a genuine avenue for me to pursue other endeavors. And now people listen to me. Unfortunately for them, I'm still pretty much the same guy that started out there two years ago, albeit with a little more confidence and a little more understanding about the importance of business.
As an engineer, I always thought business was fluff. After all, I created the damn product! Well, now I can readily admit it, there's a lot more to business than meets the eye.
Today I used some of the resources that Haas provides for us, as students or alumni. I met a VC in the area, not to pitch my idea, but to talk about strategy for our company. It was a breath of realistic fresh air from the same people I'll be pitching down the road. The opportunities that business school provides are invaluable. And I saw that firsthand today.