Tips to Succeed

Matt Low MBA 19 and classmates at Wente Vineyards
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3 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your B-School Experience

“Pursuing an MBA at UC Davis was one of the best decisions of my life”

Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but recent MBA alum Matthew Low says it’s an important part to making the most of your MBA journey.

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Top 20 Questions from Our Ask Me Anything on Instagram

MBA admissions tips, resources and questions answered

Associate Director of Admissions Alex Svensson shares answers to the top questions from our Instagram Ask Me Anything, and offers resources for applicants.

Brent Jackson MBA 20 in the operating room
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Embrace Change—Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity

“I was on the crispy end of the burnout spectrum, but I welcomed the unknown.”

From physician to hospital administrator, Dr. Brent Jackson (M.D., M.S.,) MBA 20 earned his UC Davis MBA at age 55—a prescription for further success.

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Speed Networking: 4 Lessons Learned from Alumni

Business analytics alums share advice with students

The top tips and takeaways from a successful speed networking session with recent MSBA alumni.

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What’s an MSBA Practicum Project?

How are teams and corporate project sponsors selected

Behind the scenes of how practicum projects are developed and how the experience offers students professional growth.

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5 Job Search Tips from MSBA Alumni at Amazon and REEF

When you don’t have an edge, rely on your network

New MSBA student Chanel Diggs quizzes alumni about building analytic skills and tapping the network to land sought-after roles in tech.

Jonathan Pan shares a photo of his time at ROMBA 2019
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5 Must-Know Virtual Conference Tips for MBA Students

Takeaways from two years at ROMBA

Full-Time MBA student Jonathan Pan compares the last two years of Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) and offers his tips for virtual conferences.

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Convince Your Employer to Pay for Your Degree

1. Do your homework

Discover if your company has a tuition reimbursement program and what it includes. If you don’t find a formal policy, don’t give up. Some companies, especially smaller companies, might not have a formal policy, but still may offer financial compensation for professional development or training.

2. Follow the money

To make your best case at getting your company to pay for your graduate business degree, you’ll want to first find out where the funds would be coming from. Is it coming directly from your department or is it coming out of a fund more central to your organization? Knowing this will allow you to more clearly show how your degree will benefit your organization. It will also help you know how to best frame the conversation on ROI of this investment — will it benefit your department or organization overall. Knowing this will help you have a stronger case in your ask.

3. Build a base of support

Having an ally in your corner, beyond your immediate supervisor or a human resources staff member, can be extremely valuable for helping you build a base of support. Ideally, that mentor would be someone in a leadership position who could either advocate on your behalf or be in a position to make this kind of financial decision on behalf of the company.

If you can’t find an ally within your company, then reach out to the Graduate School of Management. Our Admissions office has a lot of specific knowledge about a program that will make it much easier for you to assemble your case. They might enlighten you with things that you may not have thought of before you’ve had a chance to sit in a classroom.

Also, our alumni office can help connect you to alumni who work at your company. Those people can often times share first-hand experience of the value of the program to both you and the decision maker in your company. Hearing a personal testimony can be a powerful tool in persuading someone who might be on the fence.

4. Time to shine

Compile an easy to read list of the positive impact you have made at your organization during your time there. Be sure to highlight proof-points and data of your contributions and accomplishments. This is not the time to be overly modest. Pulling together your past accomplishments will remind your employer of your capabilities and potential, and will also help make them realize you are worth the investment.

5. What’s their expected ROI

We all know a from UC Davis will be a good investment in your career, but you also need to address your employer’s perspective and answer the question “What’s in it for them?” To do this, think about what project you are currently working on. How will a degree help you with this? What will you bring back to the company as a result of advancing your business education? How will you having an a degree give them a competitive advantage? What you will be able to do faster, better, cheaper or more effectively if you have a graduate business degree?

Share curriculum specifics with your employer to illustrate the skills you’ll be gaining in strategy, finance, marketing, and leadership. Help your employer connect an investment in you to an investment in the company, one that pays returns through your knowledge, skills, and network. Be specific. You need to make sure can quantify how exactly you will be better at your job.

If you are asking them to make a financial investment in you, then you need to be sure to highlight what the financial return is for them.

6. You’re a keeper

You can also research how many job openings there are currently at your workplace and find out how many of them require a graduate business degree. If there are several, then that can help your case. It can be a big benefit to an employer if they can retain a good employee and promote from within than to recruit and train someone from outside the organization.

7. No such thing as a free lunch

When you approach your boss or the decision maker, be prepare for a conversation to be much more than a one-sided ask by you. Instead, you should expect it to be a negotiation aimed at meeting both party’s needs. For example, some employers offer financial assistance for education in return for a contract specifying a length of time you will remain at the company following your studies. Write down the specific contributions that you’ll bring to the company, or anticipate that your employer will have list of expectations for you as a result of them paying for your degree.

At the end of the day, the key to proposing a case for support to your employer is to present a plan where they can see that paying for your graduate business degree is mutually to them and to you. You want them to be just as excited as you are about taking this positive next step in your career and a making this worthwhile investment.

MBA Career Trek
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Collaborating Over a Virtual Water Cooler

Creating space for mutual career support and creativity

Working remotely means no more "water cooler chats," but MBA alum Patrick Rosenberg shares how he and friends stay connected.

Intel Insider
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Intel Insider: Virtual Presentation Skills are the New High Priority

Top tips from my MBA internship experience at Intel

Presenting on Zoom, Skype or Teams means a new, well-rehearsed approach. You just can’t “wing it,” as MBA student Kalina Springer found in her Intel internship.

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Four C’s of MSBA: Curriculum, Collaboration, Connections and Cases

New alumna shares advice from her student experience

MSBA alumna Jacqueleine Ngo shares about the program, her internship and new career at Unity.

Career Search Q&A
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Boost Your Professional Flexibility—5 Tips for Your Career Search

Prepare your pitch, build momentum and follow-up

UC Davis alumni and HR executives Paul Bianchi and Tracy Regis share career search strategies, including remote interview prep, resume building and staying connected.

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12 Informational Interview Questions to Ask

(and two that you should never ask)

Asking the right informational interview questions will ensure you make the most of this excellent networking opportunity. 

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Alums from Google, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal Share Tips for Success

MSBA students gain insights into analytics careers at top tech firms

MSBA alumni from top tech companies shared advice with incoming students: Hone your technical skills, master soft skills and ace the client practicum.

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Storytelling to Connect and Make Change

Coaching tips for effective and persuasive presentations

Credibility + reliability + intimacy/self-orientation = trust, which is the key to effective storytelling. MSBA student Jaspowin Kaur shares tips she learned to be more persuasive.

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Nurturing Your Network: Turning a Layoff into a Rewarding New Career

MSBA alum cranked up the volume on LinkedIn

After job cuts forced him back into the market, Ashwin Suresh MSBA 19 shares how a viral LinkedIn post led to a pair of great new opportunities.

MBA Application Tips
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UC Davis MBA Tips for Applicants

Our admissions team offers you more than 30 tips on your essays, recommendations, resume, test scores and interviewing to help you complete your online application. Apply now for fall admissions. 

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MSBA Alumna Liz Liu Tackles COVID-Age Job Market

Detailing strategies during the pandemic

Liu, now a data analyst at Amazon-Ring, pivoted quickly after Macy's downsized, forcing her back into the job market  in a difficult time.

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5 Advanced Tips for Zoom Meetings

Getting you up to speed on videoconferencing during the quarantine

To get the most out of Zoom's video conferencing app, go beyond the basic features with these tips and tricks from Full-Time MBA student Kalina Springer.

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Before Shelter-in-Place, Meeting Recruiters in San Francisco

Networking for MSBA and MBA students at 2020 Career Fair

Before social distancing meant business life via Zoom, my MSBA class converged with managers from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Salesforce, SoFi, Visa, etc.