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MS in Technology Management Blog

Entering content area for MSTM Blog

showing results for: January, 2014

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  • Like a Good Neighbor...

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    It’s easy to overlook company presentations. After all, each representative comes in, talks about what he or she does, then goes into the company’s vision, departments, and business. Compared to some of the more hands-on frontier events, like field trips or technology labs, it seems less exciting. However, I realized the importance of these company presentations as the fall semester progressed. And the State Farm presentation gave me very valuable insight on why these company events are offered to students in the program.

     

    1) Experience

    In the case of State Farm, we had the privilege of hearing from three representatives, all with different experiences and positions within the company. Each representative gave a topical presentation of the company, focusing on the history, industry, and business of insurance. But what came to my surprise, and really made this session worthwhile, was when the representatives would pull out phrases like “competitive advantage” or “creating value”. When I heard these terms, I began seeing the importance of the education I was receiving through the MSTM program. And this language wasn’t held within the classroom, but it was used in large companies like State Farm. They further discussed how State Farm competed with rival insurance companies, and they even mentioned how State Farm changed its operational processes to create a competitive edge over other firms. Ultimately, everyone in the room resonated with what they said, reflecting back to Professor Chhajed’s BADM 567, Process Management course. Their experiences in the workplace helped us see the value of our education and how this program prepares us for the future.

     2) Encouragement

    This State Farm presentation came after the intense period of the Business career fair, frequent informational sessions, and difficult interview schedule. And many still had the dreaded “job search” phrase on their minds. One major encouragement came from the last speaker, who focused on sharing what he valued in job candidates. Many of his core values of a future employee resonated with a lot of the MSTM students. Hard working, analytical, and interpersonal were some of the key characteristics of a State Farm employee. And this representative, who has been a part of State Farm for over 30 years, gave us both words of encouragement and wisdom on how to succeed in any company. We were able to leave the session with sound advice from a person with decades of experience under his belt. All three representatives shared about their career paths and how it didn’t go in the direction they anticipated. Yet, they were able to come through, and that left a hopeful impression for all of us.

    3) Exposure

    Lastly, and quite possibly the most important of the three values, is this aspect of exposure. Especially for those that were still job searching, this was an opportunity to meet State Farm representatives. And these representatives weren’t first-year employees, but rather, they were in management and even higher positions. This presentation gave students the opportunity to gain exposure to influential workers in the company. By asking questions during the Q&A session and being interactive with the representatives throughout the presentation were ways to gain exposure. The most amazing part about this was that the MSTM program gave an opportunity for five students to eat lunch with these representatives. There couldn’t be a more effective and valuable opportunity than this. Ultimately, this company presentation gave many students the opportunity to connect with influential people in State Farm, a leading company for insurance. That is something that cannot be quantified, and I definitely appreciate the opportunities this program supports us by connecting us to firms like State Farm, Deloitte, and Accenture.

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