Juggling Responsibilities, Seizing Opportunities as a Part-Time MBA

“The GSM has been a game-changer for me.”

Embarking on a MBA program while juggling a full-time job and family responsibilities may seem daunting, but for me, it has been a key to endless opportunities.

As a recent graduate of the UC Davis Bay Area Part-Time MBA program, I was empowered to secure a position as a technical program manager at Palo Alto Networks, one of the world's top cybersecurity companies based in Silicon Valley.

Joining the Bay Area MBA program was a decision driven by my desire to earn a master's degree from a renowned university in the U.S., and UC Davis proved to be the perfect choice. I’d like to share my experience and highlight the reasons why UC Davis Graduate School of Management (GSM) has been a game-changer for me.

A Supportive Environment

Debasish Panda and Dean H. Rao Unnava
Debasish Panda MBA 23 and Dean H. Rao Unnava in Monterey, CA for a three-day weekend retreat as part of the Collaborative Leadership Program. MBA students have the opportunity to listen and engage in insightful conversations with prominent alumni and thought leaders.

From the moment I set foot in UC Davis GSM, I was greeted by a collaborative and supportive environment.

The program's faculty, alumni, and my family have played a pivotal role in helping me navigate the challenges of balancing work, family and education.

Their support has been invaluable, and I am grateful for the accommodations my family made to ensure I could attend weekend classes and complete assignments.

A Diverse and Flexible Curriculum

The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program offers flexibility and the opportunity to cross-register with the School’s other MBA programs, allowing students to maximize the value from their education. The program also supports students in pursuing external certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum Master, AWS Cloud Practitioner, and Google Cloud to further enhance their skills and marketability.

Exemplary Teaching and Real-World Application

It is not just the curriculum. The faculty and staff at UC Davis GSM go above and beyond to provide an exceptional learning experience. Rather than rushing through the course material, they focus on enabling students to truly understand and apply concepts in real-world scenarios.

For instance, I recall a time when Lecturer Marc Lowe was teaching product management and made the subject accessible and engaging. He patiently explained complex concepts with real time examples from his professional career. This approach fosters deep learning and prepares students for the challenges they will face in their upcoming career.

A photo of Debasish Panda in Chile
At the UC Davis Chile Life Sciences Innovation Center in Santiago, Debasish Panda MBA 23 joins his fellow students on an International Study Trip to learn more about the country’s leading industries.

Pivoting Careers and Realizing Value

UC Davis GSM offers more than just textbook learning and lectures. In the capstone course, students have the opportunities to engage in real-world projects such as the Integrated Management Program (IMP), where they work directly with clients to solve their business problems using their management skills. Additionally, Industry Immersion programs, residential programs, and International Study Programs expand students' horizons and provide valuable experiences.

UC Davis GSM also fosters a spirit of leadership, entrepreneurship, ambassadorship and change-making.

The plethora of opportunities available is truly remarkable, allowing students to explore and pursue their passions.

Career Development and Alumni Network

The UC Davis Career Development Team has been instrumental in pivoting my career. Their guidance support, and knowledge helped me secure the role at Palo Alto Networks. From resume preparation to job offers and negotiation, the career development team's assistance was invaluable. Furthermore, the strong network of over 5,000 UC Davis alumni has provided ongoing support throughout my journey.

Debasish Panda Amandip Singh at Commencement
Program Manager, Part-Time MBA Bay Area Amandip Singh and Debasish Panda MBA 23 at Commencement 2023.

The journey does not end once you graduate. UC Davis GSM believes in lifelong learning and offers support to alumni beyond graduation. This commitment to continuous learning ensures that graduates stay updated with the latest developments in their fields.

My time at UC Davis GSM has been transformative, propelling me toward endless opportunities! As president of the PM and Marketing Club and as a Bay Area MBA student ambassador, I can attest that the MBA program's collaborative environment, diverse curriculum, exemplary teaching, real-world applications and unwavering support have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth.

The UC Davis GSM not only equips students with the necessary skills but also instills the mindset and confidence needed to succeed in today's dynamic business landscape. I am excited to embrace the future with the knowledge, experiences, and network I have gained from this remarkable program.