So You’ve Been Accepted…Now What?:


First and foremost, congratulations are in order. You’ve been granted the opportunity to earn a degree only 2% of the population holds. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that many of you will also be getting your first summer vacation in years.

Taking time off between working and starting business school is a great way to reintegrate yourself to the student mindset. The prospect of having 4 classes with one lecture a week may make b-school seem like an extended vacation. While the daily grind of a 9-5 or an insane 80-hour work week may be on hold for the next two years, don’t let your new schedule fool you. While deceptively bare on the calendar, your days WILL fill up fast. Group meetings for assignments, the internship hunt, networking events, involvement in clubs, and general life will take over. Soon you’ll be wondering where all that free time you thought you would have went. So before you get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of school life, take some time to get a jump-start (or refresher if it’s been awhile) over the summer.

I know I said summer was for that vacation you’ve been putting off for years, and it is. Take trips, catch up with old friends, spend time with your family, and refresh yourself from being burned out by work. These are the most important things you can do to get your mind fresh for the next chapter. However, there are a few side tasks that are easier to get under your belt before you start school. Below is some advice I wish I had before coming back as student2.0.

  1. Get acquainted with excel! Being comfortable working with hundreds of rows of data will save you hours down the road. This includes everything from the basic shortcuts (like highlighting up to the last cell of data without the entire column), to slightly more advanced equation rules (like when to use ($) in formulas).
  2. Get your LinkedIn page up to speed. Before you get to school update your profile to include your candidacy. This will help you find alumni connections, set up informational interviews, and start the internship hunt. Getting your internship locked in as soon as possible will save you untold amounts of stress. Do not wait to start reaching out and creating those relationships.
  3. Refresh your statistics acumen. You don’t need to take a whole summer course, but do make a conscious effort to re-learn what a p-value is from your freshman year of college (or maybe high school for some of you). The basics of statistics will pop up in a variety of classes, from marketing to operations, and you won’t want to spend hours on Google trying to re-learn it just to finish your homework.
  4. Devote time just for thinking. You already wrote your application essay that most likely asked your future goals. And you most likely danced around and threw in a bunch of jargon-of-the-day verbiage to sound like you had it figured out. We all know you don’t. And that’s ok; the good news is you’re in! Now you have some time to actually sit down and figure out what that roadmap is to your dream job. Don’t just identify what company you want to work for and go back to sitting by the pool. Really figure out what types of tasks motivate you, what roles you enjoy being in, what skills you have that cover multiple positions and across industries. This may sound like fluff, but the basis of these conversations with yourself will come up in the job search, networking, and, most importantly, interviews. So sit down and come up with some actual answers…and the great news is you can do this at the pool.

Blog by Karen Mesrobian – Class of 2016

Most wonderful time of the year

UC Davis MBA Ambassador

The halls of the GSM are filled with a nervous excitement as the internship-hunting season is in full swing. With some classmates getting positions early at Intel, Wells Fargo, and other great companies, the bulk of internship interviews and hiring are happening as I write this. So, the question that is on the forefront of the mind of every future intern is, “How do I get the right internship for me?”

Excellent question, young padawan. First and foremost, figure out what sector you are looking to get experience and what role in that sector fits your skills, likes, desires, etc. Not every internship is right for everyone, and the worst thing someone can do is to accept an internship that is totally outside what you know you want to do (Example: Don’t go into Investment Banking if you want to be in tech marketing.) Next, leverage your networks, from everyone to prior coworkers and family friends to GSM Alumni and the Career Development team at the GSM. The key to getting an internship that makes you excited falls into two categories: Getting the Interview and Crushing the Interview. Your resumes, connections, that alignment of the stars, all work to get you in the door. Crushing that interview is on you. Be the best, most polished, likeable, and intelligent version of yourself you can be. Dress for success. Basically, do what the Career Development team tells you to do at an interview. (The GSM has great training and prep opportunities for students.)

Some subtle keys to success fall in that murky area between your ears. Trust yourself; know that you belong with the top-level companies in the best positions. Don’t let others talking about their success intimidate or stress you. As the saying goes around here: Everyone who wants an internship gets one. All good things in their own time. Internships are like playing house. They are for trying out a role that you think you will like, mostly to give yourself some perspective for that looming career decision after graduation. Happy hunting, future interns. You are going to crush it.

Blog by Jim Terheyden – Class of 2016

Christine’s Summer Internship at eBay—Summer Intern Series

UC Davis MBA ---EBAY Intern Experience--PowerUP conference in San Francisco

This summer I had the fortune of landing my dream internship at eBay, where I spent three months working with the social media marketing team. The company offers one of the best internship programs for MBAs, and they invest a lot into giving interns a meaningful experience.

While there were many things I loved about my summer, here are a few personal highlights:

My project and team. From the moment I arrived, my coworkers made me feel integrated into the fabric of the team. For my project, I had the perfect balance of autonomy and support. They trusted my expertise and wanted me to succeed.

The company culture. eBay has a very supportive environment. People were generally open with their time, willing to chat, teach and learn. This is an amazing opportunity when you’re surrounded by so many smart people!


The MBA treatment. There were many events throughout the summer, including a huge overnight welcome party, a three-day conference in San Francisco, learning lunches, and more.  The company also set aside special events for the MBA interns. This was an amazing opportunity to make new friends along the MBA journey and expand my network.

UC Davis MBA--EBAY Experience-Happy hour with fellow MBA interns

UC Davis MBA–EBAY Experience-Happy hour with fellow MBA interns

I feel transformed by my experience this summer at eBay. It was a whirlwind, and I loved every minute.

It’s intern season!—By Dani,2012

It’s a blog posted two years ago. Same story is taking place. Last Friday, most of my class drove to San Ramon for the Career Fair 2014 held by GSM Career Development. P&G, Intuit, NetAPP, Oracle…, bunches of great companies, nice net-work! It’s good to see everyone dressing up and being professional! It’s amazing to see the alumnus representing their companies to recruit, some of them were ambassadors!  Now I am re-posting the blog to give you  a sense of an internship for the MBAs. I will keep posting more about intern/job hunting, and the career fair!

As part of our MBA curriculum here at the GSM, it is required that each student complete an internship during the summer between their first and second year. Of course, even if it weren’t a requirement, we would all still want a summer internship.

An internship offers the opportunity to gain some real-world experience in our desired field. The internship is especially important to those of us who are career-changers. The 10-12 week full-time position is the career-changer’s chance to be certain he is happy with the new direction he has chosen.

In addition, the summer internship is a networking opportunity- and could potentially lead to a job offer upon graduation. It’s this possibility that gives the internship even more importance- it’s every MBA student’s dream to receive an employment offer upon completion of the summer internship!

The GSM Career Development team more than understands the importance of this summer position. From day 1 of orientation, they have helped each of us prepare to wow future employers. Between the interview training, resume perfecting and networking, the Career Development team has done outstanding work.

The evidence of this work and preparation? Many students have accepted intern positions well before crunch-time. The GSM has an excellent intern-placement rate. With the continued help of the Career Development team, you can bet that each student will have accepted a position before the end of the school year. I’ll keep you updated on some of the great companies employing GSM interns.


WiL. I AM by Yoyo Wu

(Left to Right) Onyeka Enwerem, Vice President and Director of Finance; Yoyo Wu, President of WiL; Kanupriya Verma, Director of Marketing

(Left to Right) Onyeka Enwerem, Vice President and Director of Finance; Yoyo Wu, President of WiL; Kanupriya Verma, Director of Marketing

If you are a fan of the Black Eye Peas or, please don’t be disappointed that I am not highlighting your musical idol or think I made a typo. That being said, I am glad to introduce to you the WiL in GSM: the Women in Leadership Club.

WiL club is one of the smallest clubs operated through the Associated Students of Management (ASM), but also one of the clubs with the longest reach. Why? Because our goal is to effect and enhance the experience of every woman and everyone who works or will someday work with a woman. Our mission is to serve UC Davis Daytime MBA students and alumni through professional and social activities geared towards the development of future women business leaders.

WiL club is active in organizing activities to bring in benefits to future women business leaders. For example, we have a tradition of great activities like the annual “Mock-Tails with the Dean” during every fall quarter, providing an opportunity to all students to communicate with Dean Currall face-to-face. We also work to sponsor students to attend the annual Women in Leadership Conference in Haas, UC Berkeley. Lastly, we innovate new activities such as “Speed Mentoring”, inspired by Speed Dating, which connects second-year and first-year students in one-on-one mentoring sessions sharing interview skills and lessons.

This year’s board of WiL club comes from very diverse backgrounds. I, Yoyo, am the WiL President. I am a Chinese student with 5-years of auditing experience and the proud mother with a 15-month little girl. I realize the subtle balance women in business have to maintain as they have more social identities to handle, that was why I decided to lead the WiL club and try to help women leaders find out the balance to ensure success both in career and family life. Onyeka, our Vice President and Director of Finance, is from Nigeria where she worked as an engineer. She is very versatile, just to name some of her many talents: dancing, photo-shopping, and engineering. Kanu, our Director of Marketing, is from India and was also a mechanical engineer before she came to GSM. She plans to pursue marketing, using her instincts and skills to help WiL club with innovation and new ideas.

In our nearest upcoming event, WiL club will introduce some successful business women leaders to GSM students, sharing stories of their successes and failures. Then, WiL club will co-host another guest speaker event with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Society club. Looking forward to those exciting and inspiring events in May!

Interview with a Veteran: Michael Van Derwood, JD/MBA Candidate ’15


Former Marine Corps Captain Michael Van Derwood shares his experiences transitioning from the military to student life at UC Davis. He is currently enrolled in his first year of business school after completing one year of law school.

  • How has your background prepared you for current student life?
    • It’s given me perspective regarding my current situation, understanding what’s critical versus what’s just important. The military helped me grasp how to manage myself in terms of time and efficiency. I think I have more experience than most when it comes to leading teams. Group work is a big part of business school and working in groups is not something I find difficult or frustrating.
  • Can you describe your transition from the military to civilian life?
    • The biggest transition challenge other vets and I have experienced is understanding that the military system we lived in, although efficient, is not directly translatable to the student environment. The established leadership structure we experienced in the military doesn’t necessarily apply to the classroom. You’re among your peers and no longer formally in charge of anything. It makes life easier in some ways because I’m allowed to experiment with different leadership styles. But not being in a true leadership position means I don’t have the same responsibility as I had before. On a lot of levels, I just have to worry about myself. This setting grants a much greater deal of autonomy than the military does.
  • How has UC Davis welcomed its veterans?
    • Both the law school and the GSM are very receptive to veterans. In today’s society, people value vet’s experiences and are more willing to listen to how we can contribute. Both schools are interested in my experience and have been very welcoming; I’m happy with the overall reception. But I also think universities are still in the process of determining how much value veterans add because people don’t necessarily understand the nature and type of experiences that we come from. For example, people know what it means when you say you’re a  district manager in a retail chain. But that same understanding is lost when you say you’re a company commander in the Marines. It can be difficult to translate prior experiences and make people understand what it means. We’re not often looked at as belonging to the diversity pie but I really think we do. I don’t think the diversity definition should stop at socioeconomic status, gender, or race. Prior work experience plays a huge role as well. I think the military adds value because it contributes people with different types of reasoning skills and life experiences.
  • How do you plan to leverage your education for future success?
    • I think there are a lot of parallels between military and management instruction. The military taught me how to do a job and how to lead. Business school teaches a similar type of overall management skill. But vets need to realize that the civilian job market is very different from what we’ve experienced. The MBA is valuable because I’m leveraging my prior experience while filling out a skill set that’s translatable to the civilian world. I think that’s why so many vets decide to pursue business school after the military.
  • Is there anything you miss about your time in the Marines?
    • The intensity of the experience creates a different kind of bond among peers, coworkers and colleagues. It’s a tighter community in some ways by virtue of shared experience. Even though law and business school is strenuous and stressful, that kind of bond I experienced in the military is difficult to duplicate.
  • Any last words why a veteran should consider graduate school at UC Davis?
    • Because there aren’t a lot of veterans at the GSM or law school, we do have an opportunity to stand out. Other schools might have thirty vets per class. Veterans are valued here; faculty and staff want to include us in the community and see us succeed. I think that because there aren’t a lot of veterans at the GSM or law school, we do have an opportunity stand out. I’ve landed interviews at companies based solely on my military background. The GSM career staff is learning quickly how to leverage and take advantage of that.

Michael Van Derwood

Founder & President of Veteran’s Association at UC Davis Law School



Summer Internship Series: My Internship at Apple

Next up, we hear from Deepti, who landed an internship at Apple! Find out how it’s going…

I am about to complete 6 weeks at Apple and my journey so far has been really fantastic. I am part of the Retail Fulfillment and Logistics team, which is responsible for keeping the retail stores all across the globe stocked. So, next time you walk into an Apple Store and you don’t find your favorite Apple products please don’t get mad at me! I know we are so amazing that everyone wants to buy our stuff. Isn’t that true?!

My task this summer, called the Slow Runner project, would allow Apple to access, which of the Third Party Products (3PP) are not selling well and not generating enough revenue. Then, the merchants and planners, who decide the assortment in the store, could decide to hold fewer inventories of those SKUs in the back-of-house of the store.

The day I started working on this project, I was amazed how well the concepts taught in the Supply Chain class and Operations Efficiency class apply to the real world. All the technical terms seemed familiar, and I was actually able to incorporate some of my learnings to my work.  The task is enjoyable and I also get weekends off, unlike school where we had some assignments or exams due every week.

Apple is actually a cool company. Just like its products and the feel of those products, Apple believes in providing a well-rounded experience to all the employees. The most interesting part of the internship, except for the discount on Apple products :), is the special events organized for the interns wherein we can talk to the top executive of the company and these are very informal. I attended one such session and met Deirdre O Brien, VP Operations. I was charmed by her enthusiasm and energy. She joined Apple right after her graduation and has been with the company since then. She said that she enjoys coming to work everyday, and I am sure she left a mark on every intern who attended that session.

Well, the thrill continues and I have six more weeks to go!

Summer Internship Series: Modcloth

Jessa is interning at the ever-hip company Modcloth! Read on to find out more about the culture, the analytics and the fashion!
I am firmly entrenched in my internship at Modcloth.  It has been a hectic first few weeks.  I had work waiting for me when I walked in the door.  Not to mention I had to dive into Google Analytics, RJ Metrics, Omniture and start crunching the numbers.  Craziness!  But it has been a fun ride.  It is amazing how much information is available on your customer.  It makes building a CRM strategy so much clearer and personalized.
My project is to help define an international market strategy.  With Modcloth growing in a global landscape it is important to define barriers to international business and create solutions.  Ecommerce is an extremely competitive landscape and maintaining an edge is essential.   
The culture is very fun and within the first few weeks we had a Fab Friday (drinks and snacks provided), scavenger hunt and 3 brown bags with executives.  It is a work hard/play hard environment and team building is the core.  Modcloth inside is what it is on the outside:  a fun, quirky environment for the independent and retro-stylish girl. (Did I mention how I am all those things? Purr-fect fit!)

Summer Internship Series: My Internship at IBM

Second year MBA student Brian Kroopf is representing the GSM halfway across the country. Read on to hear a first-hand account of his excellent internship.
I am interning with IBM in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  While at first I was concerned about up and moving to Minneapolis (a city I have never visited) for the summer, I realized that IBM is a great company, and it is important to be flexible if you want to work for a specific company- especially be flexible for the summer.  It turns out Minneapolis is a great city.  The weather is amazing and the people are really nice.  I have yet to go to a Twins game, but it is on my list of things to do.

My internship is a client representative role, which is essentially an account management role.  My group’s clients are public sector healthcare clients in Minnesota, and this primarily consists of two very large companies; one is a provider and the other is a payer.  I am working on a number of different small projects and one large project. The small projects consist of helping IBM to understand the ever changing organizational charts of the client, putting together RFPs, researching IBM solutions that could be helpful to the clients, and organizing a communication plan so that we know which IBMers will be the point person for the various contacts within the client company.  The large project is researching IBM’s Smarter Building solution and presenting this to one of the clients.  IBM Smarter Buildings is a software solution that is able to obtain huge amounts of data from buildings and present this data to facilities manager.  They can use this data to tremendously cut down on energy usage.  This can ultimately save the company millions of dollars.  I have done all of my research and put together some supporting documentation to back up the value of this solution.  We are now in the process of arranging a meeting with the client to sit down and demonstrate how the solutions work.

I am very happy I chose to work for IBM and hope to obtain a full time position upon completion of my MBA.

Summer Internship Series: My First Week at Xerox

This summer, a handful of GSMers have volunteered to blog their internship experience. Follow along as they share the ins-and-outs of a typical day in the life of of an MBA intern. First up: Parry
I’m one of a handful of Government Healthcare Interns across the country working for Xerox Services for the summer. My internship program is with a distinct LLC within Xerox Services, called Xerox State Healthcare (formerly ACS or Affiliated Computer Systems).   I’m at the Offices in West Sacramento, California, called the MOC or Medi-Cal Operations Center.  That means I get to be a part of Medi-Cal, the largest Medicaid system in the country.  To say “largest” is an understatement.  Medi-Cal is massive!  In 2009 there were over 11 thousand enrollees (that was 30% of California’s population at the time) and Medi-Cal paid out almost $41 billion. 
The industry and scale that Xerox and Medi-Cal operate within are unfamiliar environments for me.  Before enrolling in the U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management, I worked as an environmental geologist for a small environmental consulting company called Taber Consultants based in the greater Sacramento region.  Going from a regional, lower-million dollar company with 40 employees to a global, $20 billion company with close to 140,000 employees is a huge leap.  Xerox is #121 on the Fortune 500 (and Xerox State Healthcare/ACS alone was #341 on the Fortune 500 before it was purchased by Xerox in 2010).
My internship is in the Cost Containment Unit, which is a branch concerned with identifying, investigating, and proposing cost reduction strategies and changes to processes and policies to the State of California.  I am one week into my internship, and it has been a rewarding first week of learning.  I’ve had a detailed and manager-escorted orientation and introduction to the many departments and functions in the office, been walked through the course of claims processing, sat in two managerial meetings, and been able to shadow a statistician/analyst daily for intimate exposure to the issues, methods, tools, and language.  I mention language lastly, but it’s genuinely significant.  There is an uncountable amount of acronyms to describe healthcare procedures, codes, regulations, forms, departments, groups, etc. in addition to jargon that is very specific to both healthcare and Medi-Cal.  There is no getting around it: it will take a significant amount of time to familiarize myself with the acronyms and jargon of the business.  But luckily I have 3 months to absorb all of it!
Even though I am only one week into my internship, and I can confidently say I made the right decision to pursue it. The people I get to work with are intelligent, experienced, knowledgeable, friendly, fun, and savvy.  I get intimate exposure to the entire process because the people in Cost Containment, from management to administration, go out of their way to encourage, assist, and challenge me.  I’ve already had the opportunity to data-mine, create analytical tables and frequency charts using pivot tables in excel (Statistics 203A flashback) and been introduced to new software packages like Business Objects (BO).  While I bring that up, I should mention I’ve already been scheduled one-on-one tutorial and training sessions for BO with an in-house expert.  I love learning new software, and this internship is a great opportunity to become competent with BO which, of course, is required in the industry.  Basically, Xerox authentically cares about cultivating an internship experience with encouragement, knowledge transfer, training, and engagement.
Stay tuned as summer leads on to see if my internship remains as rewarding as I claim (that’s right, I’m ending this blog with a bad healthcare pun!)
Parry Pardun
MBA Candidate, 2013
UC Davis Graduate School of Management