My name is Jennifer Nguyen. I'm a student in the Online MBA program at Santa Clara. The reason I really decided to go for an MBA is just because my undergraduate background was not business focused. So once I got into the corporate world, especially in a startup that IPOed, I felt I really kind of needed the breadth of knowledge that an MBA would really give me to go ahead and accelerate my career.
When I first started looking at MBAs, I really was looking more toward the evening program. But what ultimately kind of sold me on the online program, I think was, "The only thing you can expect in the valley is change." I wanted the flexibility that an online program would allow me because I didn't want, at any point, for me to pass up the next career step just because I would have to be on campus two times a week, or something like that. So the flexibility of the online program really kind of gave me that.
For me, I think the online classroom, it's been structured in a way that really is trying to help us engage with each other more. Every assignment has a very discussion-based component to it, where we actually have to stand our ground or defend our point of view or answer questions. Not only are we getting to know each other, but we're also getting very different perspectives on the readings. I have someone who's a product manager over at Cisco, as well as someone who's doing biz ops development over at Stripe, a really hot startup right now. So just having that be the type of people you're talking with every day, or bouncing ideas and doing coursework with, really changes your perspective, but also ties into kind of the Silicon Valley mindset at the same time.
Santa Clara is so deeply rooted in Silicon Valley. Not only because geographically we're here, but just our alumni network ends up all working in this area. 80% of the Santa Clara MBAs end up working in Silicon Valley. So that was kind of the network that I really wanted to go ahead and tap into. When I started considering Santa Clara, I started reaching out to other Santa Clara MBA alumni within my company. I reached out to just one person at my company. From there, even one of our VPs is a Santa Clara MBA alumni. And then I ended up connecting with someone who's a marketing manager, who's currently in the program. And then I found someone who ended up applying with me and starting with me. So I think that's the type of alumni network I want. The presence in my company I think is very indicative of the presence in the valley.
We've just kicked off our MBA program. Just coming on campus and getting to meet everyone and the professors has just really tied it all together. It's been so far, so great. I'm excited to see what's next.
Voices of the Online MBA: Jennifer Nguyen, Current Student
With an undergraduate degree in a non-business subject, current Santa Clara University Online MBA student Jennifer Nguyen knew she would need an MBA to accelerate her career in the corporate world of Silicon Valley. What she didn’t expect was to find a richly personal and collaborative classroom environment in an online program.
“For me, I think the online classroom has been structured in a way that really is trying to help us engage with each other more. Every assignment has a very discussion-based component to it, where we...not only are getting to know each other but we’re also getting very different perspectives on the readings,” Jennifer explained. “The type of people you’re talking with every day or bouncing ideas and doing coursework with really changes your perspective but also ties into the Silicon Valley mindset at the same time.”
With a geographic location at the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara is deeply rooted in the companies located in this region as well, leading as many as 80 percent of our graduates to work in the area.
When she decided to talk to others about their MBA experiences, she discovered just how extensive and influential the Santa Clara alumni network really is.
“When I started considering Santa Clara, I started reaching out to other Santa Clara MBA alumni within my company...and from there, even one of the VPs is a Santa Clara MBA alumni,” Jennifer shared. “And then I ended up connecting with someone who’s a marketing manager currently in the program. And then I found someone who’s ended up applying with me and starting with me. That’s the type of alumni network I want.”
Learn more about Jennifer’s time in the program and the connections she’s made so far in our video above.
And that’s just what one of our Online MBA students has to say—hear current Online MBA student Gabe Limon discuss his time in the program in our video blog post here.