This post is courtesy of guest blogger Gloy Srinandphol, a member of the Texas MBA class of 2014.
Halfway into my MBA, I’d say the opportunities and exposure I have received here have far exceeded my expectations and resulted in a positive ROI (I just feel obligated to drop some lame MBA jokes, forgive me). I have met a lot of coolios, weirdos, and hobos, all of which I can learn from in one way or another. Allow me to give you some examples of people I’ve encountered.
Recently, I attended a talk on campus organized by the Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship. The speaker was Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter. He’s a funny, laid-back guy, and of course, a nerd. He was a shy kid that wanted to be cool so he got his high school to start a lacrosse team so that he could be a captain (#ChildhoodLeadership). He’s smart too – he negotiated with the school to have a no homework policy in exchange for his practice time. He went on and joined college, and yep, predictable – he dropped out. That leads to my favorite question from the audience. A student asked him, “So, when do you suggest me to drop out?” I thought, “Oh my, poor kid.” Anyways, what I learned from Biz is failures are important. We need them to get us going. If you think back to what you have been through in your own life, I’m sure you couldn’t agree more.
Being a Marketing Fellow provides some perks. I joined the marketing conference held by our beloved practicum class at the AT&T Conference Center last February and BOOM – another great speaker! Ross Martin, the Executive Vice President of Viacom, introduced us to a new trend happening in the realm of marketing right now – capturing the Millennial market. He showed us some of the Viacom productions and marketing efforts, Scratch team for example, that cracked open this market completely. His ability to think outside the box led to co-branding campaigns with SunDrop beverages, among others, and he showed us some marketing pieces that blew our minds away. He preached that putting all your eggs in one basket won’t get you very far, a principal that aligns with what’s taught in several marketing classes at McCombs.
MBA students can also get involved with and take advantage of community events here in the wonderful city of Austin. I went to a local forum back in February called SXSW Interactive Preview: Space Exploration with Richard Garriott. He is a space explorer, computer game developer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, traveler, and the list goes on (I had to copy and paste from his profile). It was held by Texas Advanced Computing Center. The event was packed with people from various backgrounds and ages, undergrads to PhD., entrepreneurs to retirees (are they the same?), 20’s to 60’s. Garriott has a great vision that sets the ground for his SpaceX business. He talked about how he thinks the universe will be in the next 10, 20 and 30 years! Folks, be prepared to live on Mars!
None of these speakers I knew or even heard of before I attended their talks, yet I had an enjoyable time and learned so much from them. To current and prospective students, please take advantage of your time here at McCombs, keep your eyes open to things around you, appreciate your surroundings, and be happy!
By the way, this is my first published piece of writing aka another accomplishment since coming to get my MBA. I hope y’all enjoy it.