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Silicon Valley Success Starts with Becoming an SVP

11 Dec

An Outline of Your Time at SCU

One of the first questions prospective students ask about Santa Clara University's new Online MBA is what sets it apart from the many other programs offered nationwide. Why choose SCU's Online MBA over the competition?

The answer is as simple as it is bold: Our curriculum has a unique theme designed to prepare emerging and established professionals alike to take the disruptive next step in their careers by becoming something greater—by learning what it takes to be a Silicon Valley Professional (SVP).

What is an SVP?

Because of Santa Clara's prime location in the heart of Silicon Valley, the capital of innovation and a beacon for industry disruption, our Online MBA is uniquely designed to prepare students for careers in the Bay Area or with companies based in this region.

We are a Top 25 School for Silicon Valley Hiring already, because we strive to transform our MBA students into exactly what Silicon Valley needs—namely, Silicon Valley Professionals.1

An SVP is a highly skilled leader who is passionate about their career and their community. With their MBA degrees in hand and their minds aflutter, graduates of our program long to turn great ideas into even better actions, pushing the boundaries of innovation and growth across many industries.

By finding the knowledge and tools they need to make real and lasting changes in the world, our students are able to take what they've learned in the program and disrupt both their careers and their companies, all while making meaningful connections in Silicon Valley.

The Tools and Traits of SVPs

In order to achieve SVP status and Silicon Valley success overall, students need to acquire a special set of characteristics and abilities as they make their way through the program, which are spread across four vital domains of expertise.

Each of the courses, residencies, co-curriculars, and reflections in the program ultimately drive our students' mastery of these domains:

  • Domain 1: Principled Leadership
  • Domain 2: Communication and Team Building
  • Domain 3: Analysis and Interpretation
  • Domain 4: Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mindset

These four domains ensure students receive a thorough grasp of the following skills and values necessary for all SVPs:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Networking
  • Diversity and Open-Mindedness
  • Teambuilding
  • Organizational Skills
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Problem-Solving
  • Identifying Opportunities
  • Perseverance and Risk-Taking
  • Data Analysis
  • Innovation and Curiosity
  • Decision-Making and Execution

But how exactly are our students able to gain these skills and values all over the course of a two-year Online MBA program? Well, it's as simple as following the SVP Journey.

Get to Know the SVP Journey

So, now that you know the value of becoming a Silicon Valley Professional, you're likely wondering what the journey itself consists of. The SVP process, however, is not limited to the required curriculum.

In addition to the Online MBA's 70 required units of courses—42 units of core courses, a 2-unit "Challenges in" elective, the 26 units of free electives, and the two required on-campus residencies—students must also complete three reflections and a minimum of eight co-curriculars, earning badges that demonstrate their gained skills as they go.

In this way, students remain actively engaged in the learnings of the field, aware of the changing needs of Silicon Valley, attuned to their personal and professional growth through ongoing self-reflection, and connected to their social resources like professors, classmates, mentors, alumni, and peers in the workplace.

Planning and Implementing Your Own Professional Goals

The Silicon Valley Professional dashboard is an integrative portfolio designed to help students plan their electives and co-curriculars to suit their professionals goals and then implement their learnings to achieve their future career goals.

In addition to connecting students to the heart of Silicon Valley innovation, the SVP dashboard helps students to engage with their faculty, mentors, classmates, and alumni, making potentially lasting friendships and network connections during their studies.

For more on the SVP dashboard, you can check out our more in-depth exploration here.

The Reflections

At the beginning, middle, and end of the program, students are required to complete three reflections. For these, students assess their own strengths and weaknesses by first rating themselves in leadership surveys. Then, five anonymous peers are asked to complete a survey for the student, which grants each student an insider's and an outsider's perspective on their abilities.

Finally, the student reviews their survey response along with the five anonymous surveys and completes a reflection on their abilities and progress.

The Co-Curricular Requirements

In addition to the program's coursework, students must complete a minimum of eight co-curriculars, which are events or activities the student has completed that helps them make progress toward gaining SVP status. Co-curriculars provide students with unique opportunities to learn from experts in the field directly and even to apply what they've learned in a business context.

These can include course activities, participation in outside events like pitch competitions, presentations given at work, or various other skill-based activities. For instance, students complete at least 3 co-curriculars during their first residency weekend alone.

After completing a co-curricular, students are able to reach out to mentors (or "friendtors") and request feedback on their accomplishments based on the information they add to their SVP dashboard, outlining how the experience helped their professional development. Students then can use their honest evaluation and feedback to understand their strengths and the areas they need to pay greater attention to moving forward.

In this way, students remain actively engaged in the learnings of the field, aware of the changing needs of Silicon Valley, attuned to their personal and professional growth through ongoing self-reflection, and connected to their social resources like professors, classmates, mentors, alumni, and peers in the workplace.

In our infographic below, you can review some of the key steps along the two-year trajectory to becoming an SVP.

What Comes Next for SVPs?

If you're wondering what you can do once you reach the ranks of Silicon Valley Professionals, your involvement in the program and your professional development are not quite over yet. Not only are you better prepared to disrupt your career and the industry overall, after graduating, our SVP alumni are invited to mentor current students in the program, helping to create a legacy of greatness with your alma mater.

By helping current students reach the next steps in their journeys to success, you also benefit from the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on your professional development during the program from the new perspective of a Silicon Valley Professional.

So, what are you waiting for? Prepare yourself for Silicon Valley today—learn more about SCU's innovative Online MBA program.