My MBA concentrations at Fuqua were strategy and entrepreneurship, and I also took an array of marketing, organizational behavior/leadership, and finance classes.
Talk about your prior work experience.
Before the MBA, I had a mix of sales, finance, and accounting experience, mostly in the tech sector at companies like Dell, Applied Materials, and PwC. The call of investment banking or consulting was definitely real, and I strongly considered that route, but I ultimately wanted to land in the tech sector, so when I got the offer to do an internship at Intel that fed into the Accelerated Leadership Program, I jumped on it.
What did your recruiting process look like? How many people did you reach out to?
I had my eye on about 6 tech company opportunities that were all really appealing in their own ways (Google, LinkedIn, Intel, SAP, Adobe, and Facebook), and while I explored a few other options (consulting, banking, brand marketing), it was mostly to confirm to myself that I wasn't completely missing the boat somehow by sticking with the tech sector. I reached out to at least two people at each of my target companies, which was a little hit or miss. The more structured the MBA recruiting program, the less inside contacts seemed to matter.
How did you come up with a list of companies to target?
I targeted the 6 tech companies listed above for three main reasons: 1 - Strong position in their respective industry, 2 - Products and services that I personally find appealing/interesting, and 3 - A great role that plays to my strengths and interests while pushing me to learn new skill sets.
Talk about how you thought about location (city) as it related to recruiting. Did you know where you wanted to end up or were you exploring?
My wife and I had already lived in the northeast (Boston), the southwest (Austin), and now the south Atlantic (Durham), and we wanted to get back to the west to be closer to family. Also, I liked the idea of working in Silicon Valley. Ultimately, we chose to live in Arizona since Intel has a private flight that goes back and forth daily, so I can commute to Silicon Valley as needed.
What was a favorite article or tip that someone gave you on the job search process?
The best advice I got was from one of my professors, who suggested it was not necessary to go the consulting route to become a successful strategist.
Anything else you'd like to share with Duke students that are doing their own job search?
Super happy to have chosen something I was passionate about. It's a fabulous thing to consistently enjoy going to work.