Making Connections By The Bay

Silicon Valley pic 2

A three-day tour of the Bay Area with a group of fellow college students. Sounds fun, right?

But the recent MBA student trip to Silicon Valley held by the Graduate Entrepreneurship Association (GEA) was about a lot more than sightseeing.

“This trip is an opportunity to meet with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and a wide variety of startups in different stages and industries,” explains GEA president Doug Hicken, a second-year MBA student from Riverside, California. “Many MBA students have had little to no exposure to startups, let alone startups in the Bay—the Mecca of startup world. This is an opportunity to see from the inside what works and what doesn’t.”

The first trip of its kind saw the small group of students meeting with big names like Sequoia Capital, Xamarin, The Clayton Christensen Institute, and BloomReach.

“The more new companies and new startups they can talk to, the more lessons for life they’ll learn,” says Gary Rhoads, GEA faculty adviser. “That’s what it’s all about when you go down there. It’s all about relationships and who you know.”

To make even more connections, the group met with BYU alums in the area for an evening of networking.

“Really the best part of all was spending three days with some great student colleagues and all the discussions and learnings that happened along the way,” Hicken says.