Professor Tsai
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Show Me Your Guts

“Show me your guts,” says Professor Tsai in his first lecture for 203B – Forecasting and Managerial Research Methods motto. This mantra, the title of his first lecture, is definitely an ongoing theme throughout the two courses he teaches at the GSM.

Professor Tsai’s classes are two of the more challenging classes the GSM has to offer because of the high bar Professor Tsai sets. One of his goals is for students to be able to teach statistics to their grandmother, so while you might be able to memorize and repeat what the book definition of heteroscedasticity is, good luck explaining it to your grandmother.

“Show me your guts” is a good way to think about your time in business school. In addition to your course load, for two years, you will have a wide variety of challenges to choose from. For instance, you might spend a weekend at one of the many case competitions held throughout the United States hosted by various MBA programs. There, you will likely work late into the night preparing a case, the details of which are released only the night before the competition.

Alternatively, you can join any variety of clubs at the GSM or, being the ambitious MBA candidate you are, start your own club. Many MBA students see clubs merely as a way to fill in a resume. However, in a small program like the GSM, you have the ability to make a significant impact on the school and the students. That impact is only limited by your vision and your ability to execute (and time, but that’s for another post).

For example, Net Impact is an international non-profit founded by MBA students aimed at promoting environmental and social themes. As a student and member of the Davis Net Impact chapter, you would have to decide what contribution Net Impact would make at the GSM (and beyond). Another GSM club run by students help build companies around technology researched and invented at UC Davis. Or, a student run consulting project will design a new arena as well as conduct an economic impact analysis for the Sacramento King’s. Pages could be filled with the number of opportunities available to gain real world experience while at the GSM.

In a competitive world with so many talented people, seizing the opportunity to stand out from the crowd is critical and making a lasting impression requires audacity. To do that, you truly have to show you have guts. What Professor Tsai wants to know is, what are you capable of? The two years spent at the GSM acquiring your MBA is an excellent time to answer that question.