It’s not just what people in Silicon Valley are working on that makes the region and tech industry appealing to boot camp participant Clair Briggs, it’s how they feel about their jobs. “People just seem to really love the work that they’re doing,” says Briggs, 27. “That really stands out to me. It’s exciting.”
Originally from Maryland, Briggs earned a BA in biology from Claremont McKenna College near Los Angeles, and she intends to graduate from her MBA program into a West Coast job. “I love California,” she says. “I love the culture of California.”
Before enrolling at Tuck, Briggs was working for a Congresswoman on Capitol Hill, on a Teach for America fellowship. She’s looking toward a career with impact, and the MBA program offers a chance to obtain “a more strategic, well-rounded skills set,” she says.
“I want to understand how businesses operate and get a well-rounded training,” she says. “I’m really interested in working for a business whose mission I’m really passionate about.
THE DRAW OF THE TECH SECTOR
“Technology has a tremendous ability to impact the world that we live in. This trip has been a great way to start to explore different companies in the technology industry and to get a sense of what a person’s day-to-day life might be like working for these companies.
“I’ve been surprised by the variety of roles that seem to be in existence for MBAs.”
Visits to company campuses and meetings with Tuck students and alumni suggested an appealing Silicon Valley lifestyle. “I think quality of life seems fantastic, which is particularly impressive,” she says, adding that the long hours typical of the Valley’s workforce don’t deter her from considering the sector.
“I’ve had three jobs now and they’ve all been challenging. When you’re going to business school I think you’re looking to ramp up your career. I’ll really embrace that. I’m not afraid of ridiculous hours if I care about what I’m doing, and learning and growing.”
The boot camp’s timing conferred an additional benefit, introducing incoming MBA students to Tuck career center operations and staff, as well as to new classmates, Briggs says.
Monique Alves has her eyes on a very specific prize. A 29-year-old New Yorker with a BA in economics from Columbia University, she’s operations chief at mobile app startup ZNews Africa, a news aggregator. That position followed nearly three years as a business analyst at Barclays, a year and a half in derivatives clearing at Morgan Stanley, and several shorter-term jobs in finance and banking.