MBA: Connecting You With A World Of Possibilities

Imagine you had a two-year license to explore the world of business, what would you do? We caught up with recent MBA grad, Tyler Riggs, to find out how his MBA opened doors and what advice he could give to current students and alumni.

Riggs graduated in May 2012 with an MBA from the David Eccles School of Business. He is now living in Seattle and working for Adobe. Riggs says education can be categorized into three sections:

  1. Classroom
  2. Network
  3. Real life experiences outside the classroom

He credits his participation and winning the Adobe Web Analytics Case Competition as opening the door to his career. “This opened the conversation to a job that became my interview.” When Riggs spoke with Business Scholar students that visited the Seattle area last month, his advice for them was to get involved with activities that would stretch their possibilities.

While in school, Riggs had the chance to be involved with the Key Bank Financial Case Competition in Cleveland. He admits that he knew nothing about commercial mortgage backed securities and spent a lot of hours preparing and becoming familiar with the subject. Though his team lost, he says, “It gave me a new perspective on business and was very beneficial to compete against some of the biggest schools.”

Riggs tells current students to take advantage of being a student and explore different aspects and careers that could take them in a new direction. One of the biggest advantages to being a student is the opportunity to do informational interviews and network with companies. “While you’re a student you can be curious. Utilize the license to explore, build up a network and cache of resources, which will be resources to you after graduation.” With this in mind, you can start looking for your job on day one of graduate school.

Once you’ve donned the graduation cap and gown, you have the chance to stay connected with the network you’ve built while attending school. Riggs adds that the “biggest way to stay up to date on what everyone is doing is to keep the conversation going on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.” These networks can help you as you move forward. For example, if you are looking to transition into a different career, your peers can help you investigate new areas and gives you the chance to ask questions before you make that leap. Your alumni group becomes a cohort for life.

Finally, Riggs says to all alumni, “give back to the school,” whether it’s through time or financial contributions. He says his experience was improved from those before him and the students coming through now will have an even better experience and higher quality education. “It’s a responsibility of the alumni to expand the opportunities for students to come.”

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