CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 4, 2005 — After several years of coping with a tough economy, MIT Sloan School of Management MBAs are feeling a bit more hopeful as they launch their annual job-hunting trek to Los Angeles next week, Jan. 10-13.
“There is a level of optimism and sense of opportunity today that has been missing since the tech bubble burst,” said Chad Heaton, who worked as a technology consultant for six years before enrolling at MIT Sloan. “Companies are actively recruiting MBA students for internships and full-time jobs again.”
And some of MIT Sloan students think they are bringing something unique to their meetings with a range of Los Angles area entertainment, media, and other firms.
“The media and entertainment industry continues to mature and faces challenges ranging from the emergence of new technologies to ever-changing consumer demands,” said David Beck, who before coming to MIT Sloan worked in investment banking in New York, where he became a partner in a trendy Manhattan night club. “The success of many media and entertainment companies depends heavily on their ability to innovate, leverage technology, and work harder than their competition. What differentiates MIT Sloan students from other MBAs is our understanding of the process of innovation and of the value that technology can bring to an organization or industry.”
For more than a decade, MIT Sloan students have organized an annual job-prospecting and networking visit to California, initially concentrating on Silicon Valley. This is the second year that Los Angeles has been part of the Tech Trek, which has become a major vehicle for students to learn about new technologies and industry trends while building and maintaining relationships between California and MIT. About 70 Sloan MBAs are on this year's trek.
“I'm going on the LA trek because the media, gaming, and sports industries have always interested me,” said MIT Sloan student Laine Warner. “But it's actually rather difficult to learn about them without knowing someone on the inside. They are not areas in which MBAs have traditionally had a high visibility.”
A self-described “big sports fan,” Warner is especially eager to visit with officials of the Los Angeles Dodgers, including Boston native Jamie McCourt, an MIT Sloan alumna who is a co-owner and vice chairman of the team. “I'm really looking forward to hearing a woman's perspective in a male-dominated industry.”
And this year, the visit may lead not just to knowledge, but a pay check, said Alson Kemp, one of the MIT Sloan Tech Trek organizers. “Never count your chickens before they're basted and broiled, but the job prospects look good,” he said.
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