Students Learn about Finding Themselves and Bringing Value to Tech Firms

August 11th, 2016

Topics: Culture Future of Work Talent & Workforce

Day two of the Technology Career Insight Expedition (CIX) included trips to Microsoft and NerdWallet and featured speakers from a wide range of technology companies, including Netflix, Slalom Consulting, VMWare, and Funding Circle. By far, the running theme of the day was finding yourself and the unique value you bring to tech companies.
Often, MBA students interested in the tech sector worry that their lack of engineering chops limits their value to startups, but that’s not the message they heard from startups and established firms alike.
Jon Baer T’78 and author of Decoding Silicon Valley explained his views on what makes the Bay Area unique at creating successful companies. His talk focused on the unique mix of talent, personal networking, and a culture of risk-taking as critical ingredients. He also cautioned incoming students about being too risk averse, explaining that successful entrepreneurs focus not on what could go wrong, but on success and what problem they are solving with their companies. Jon challenged Tuck students to get close to problems and think of ways to solve them as a great path to entrepreneurship.

Switching gears, Chris Seldon T’07 talked about the ebbs and flows of your career and the importance of knowing yourself to be successful in your career. The importance of self-reflection as a path to empathy was highlighted when students participated in an exercise that required them to meditate and then work with a partner on nonverbal observation.
As the team shifted gears to FinTech startup, Nerd Wallet, they got to sit down with the founder and CEO, Tim Chen, and Executive in Residence (and former Netflix VP of Product Management) Gibson Biddle T’91 for a mini classroom session on decision-making at Netflix (complete with several mini cases!). The session offered students a glimpse into several difficult situations and decisions made by the streaming company in the first decade if its existence.

Day two also included panels with recruiters and a tech consulting firm, and ended with students sitting down for dinner with Tuck alums before being joined by second-year Tuckies in downtown San Francisco for a social gathering.

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