HTC & DMEC Alumni Mixer @ Abobe SF

Lastnight 60 HTC & DMEC members and alumni from a wide variety of companies around the Bay Area descended on Adobe’s San Francisco office for an informal mixer.

Adobe generously sponsored the event, providing delicious food and an abundance of beer and wine in a very cool venue, while Diageo hosted a Don Julio tasting station where attendees could learn about tequila and taste 4 varieties of Don Julio!

Everyone had an excellent evening of eating, drinking, tequila tasting and meeting new people and networking (perhaps the tequila helped ;-) )! The evening was a huge success!

Busier than ever!

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any busier, the summer internship recruiting process began in earnest! In addition to attending classes and fulfilling my club leadership responsibilities (Haas Student Ambassadors! Tech Club! Beer Industry Club!), I’m also actively searching for a summer job in the tech industry. Since I’m an industry switcher, I’ve been focusing on ways to increase my knowledge of the tech industry. Two of the main ways I’ve been doing that since coming back for Spring semester have been informational interviews and company treks.

Although Haas has a smaller student body than a lot of MBA programs, it’s turned out to be a tremendous benefit when it comes to networking because our alums are so eager to help out fellow Haasies. I was initially pretty uncomfortable with the idea of reaching out to complete strangers, but our alums have made it painless! Every single person I’ve reached out to (and there have been literally dozens) has gotten back to me, answering my questions and encouraging my interest in their companies. They have graciously taken time out of their busy days to chat with me on the phone or over coffee about their companies, roles, and trends they see in the industry. As a result, I’ve been able to identify companies and roles in which my skills would be a good fit, and I’ve felt prepared and knowledgable for interviews, which just started a few weeks ago.

I’ve also enjoyed visiting tech companies in SF and the Silicon Valley. HTC has been really active setting up on-site tours and networking events with large and small companies in a variety of sub-industries, from networks to online to software. These events give members a great opportunity to get a feel for these companies and another way to meet current employees. I recently joined HTC’s trip to Cisco, where we had the chance to hear about the internships for which they’re hiring–AND test out their TelePresence software! (Read about it here.) Pretty much every Friday, we can count on a trip down to the Valley. And in fact, today is no different; I’m heading out the door to the GooglePlex right now!

Career Trek to Symantec

Last week, I had the chance to visit Symantec as part of the “career treks” that are organized by the Haas Technology Club. These treks allow us to visit company facilities, see their work environment, speak with members of the senior management team and gain a better perspective of the various roles and responsibilities across various groups.

Our trek started with a visit to the Symantec Labs. These labs were not IT software labs, rather they were test environments for their engineering groups. This was where Symantec simulated multiple environments to do thorough tests and quality assurances before releasing their products. We got to see some of the most high-end, high performance machines in the industry today. The lab forms a very critical part of Symantec’s product development process, and it was amazing to see the infrastructure that they built up.

Later, we were addressed by Kathy Bonanno, VP of Finance and Josh Kahn. Kathy spoke about the various functions performed by the finance organization within Symantec. It is always exciting to learn about a company that has continued to grow as rapidly as Symantec, both organically and through external acquisitions. We had a chance to speak with recent interns and graduates who enthusiastically shared their experiences thus far.

Josh Kahn spoke about the various products that Symantec has come up with, and the areas of growth for the company. We learnt about various interactions between product, engineering and marketing managers. It was also interesting to hear Josh’s take on the competitive landscape, and how that would pan out for the company.

Later, we had an informal panel discussion with various Haas alums in the company. Alums were in a variety of roles that spanned finance, corporate strategy, business developments, product management, product marketing management and business operations. The culture of Symantec had a very Haas-like feel – collaborative, innovative, energetic and entrepreneurial.

Overall, it was a great day. Treks like this play a huge role in the career search process. Learning about a company is instrumental part of the job/internship seeking process, and on behalf of all the students that visited, I like to thank the Symantec team for organizing this fantastic event.