Biology, Photography and MBA—By Wataru

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It’s strange how little moments can so drastically affect your future. I was a young lad at the tender age of 12 and I had just finished reading Jurassic Park(It would be the first time I could say “Yeah but the book was better”). But I digress, I could not believe that the technology I was reading about existed in my time. From that moment on I knew I wanted to work within the genetics field of biology. My academic path would reflect this choice as my classes would primarily focus on AP Biology and Chemistry. It went as far as my senior thesis in high school being centered around the morality of genetic research. Four years later I would go on to graduate from UC Davis with a B.S. in Genetics. I mention all of this because my academic life had always dictated my career path and rarely left room to combine interests.

After becoming a student at the GSM I’ve come to realize it doesn’t need to be so cut and dry. I can combine many of my other passions with my pursuit of an MBA degree. In fact it’s not only that I can pursue it but that it is welcomed and encouraged. For example, I took up photography as a hobby about 5 years ago. My old labs would probably have had no interest in my hobby, moreover NDAs would likely dictate specifically not photographing proprietary equipment in the labs. However, it’s different now that I’m pursuing an MBA. You are encouraged to use your talents.  While I am certainly no professional I was responsible for taking the portrait photos for the Ambassador’s website. I have shared the link to my friends and due to the exposure many asked me if I would take their LinkedIn photos. After posting their new pictures on LinkedIn I have been getting offers from their coworkers to take their “professional” photographs at a premium.

After taking Marketing classes this quarter it is interesting to see how value is created and enhanced. I take photographs, I create value. I sell photographs, I exchange that value for money. I find pleasure in knowing how to create value and how to distribute it appropriately. Looking back on my laser focus with genetics I know now that value for my future does not rest solely on my academic pursuits and knowledge but it’s what I do with that information that matters. I have no crystal ball and there’s no predetermination for how my career will look. However I do know whatever path I choose doesn’t need to restrict me from other passions. I look at this MBA degree from a marketing lens now. We are often told that as students we are products of our schools. While I don’t entirely disagree with that statement, more than just the school I think we are all the products of our own individual efforts, and this MBA degree is merely value enhancing. That said, it looks like I’m already a product manager! Seems this will have to go on my resume. ImageIMG_1910IMG_0386

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