FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
Anna Lawrence, Tepper MBA Class of 2018, also helped organize this year’s trek. She calls both the Bay Area and Seattle treks “unparalleled opportunities to get a peek inside some of the biggest companies in the world.”
One of those companies, Google, will be Lawrence’s employer this summer. Her internship secure, she used the Tepper trek to get a preview of life on the coast.
“Even though the Bay has a different culture than New York City or Seattle, each company is different too, so it gives me the opportunity to figure out what the culture is like at the company, understand whether it would be a good fit for me in my career, whether it’s coming out of business school or even later in life — so I wanted to take advantage of that while was at Tepper,” says Lawrence, who was with the Forte Foundation, a nonprofit consortium of companies and business schools working to launch women into significant careers in business, when she was accepted to Tepper.
“I was really excited to come out to the Bay Area specifically to understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live out here and work out here.”
ALUMNI BASE ‘EXTREMELY RESPONSIVE’
Lawrence says the Tepper treks wouldn’t be possible without the involvement of alumni, dozens of whom attend the trek’s bigger events, such as the roundtable discussion at VMware featuring Dammon, marketing professor Kannan Srinivasan, and marketing and strategy associate professor Timothy Derdenger. In Lawrence’s experience, Tepper alumni do even more, going the extra mile to provide crucially important help to individual students such as herself.
“The Tepper alumni base is really strong,” she says. “Every time I have reached out to an alum, they’ve been extremely responsive, they’ve met with me, they’ve talked to me on the phone — it’s really invaluable. And it’s not so much that I’ve gotten a job by talking to one of them, but it’s more helpful because I can understand what a company is like from the inside or they can connect me with someone else who might be helpful.”
Lawrence recommends all first-years try to take a trek out west, regardless of major. It’s not all work — there’s a chance to have some fun, too, she says, “which we don’t always have at school” — but the knowledge that results is invaluable.
“We offer the treks in the fall and the winter breaks; I would say go on both of them,” Lawrence says. “We tell students they shouldn’t expect for the trek to result in an internship, but what it does do is, it gives you a really great understanding of the companies that you’re seeing. And these companies have offices all over the world, so even if you’re not targeting the Bay Area to live, you can still get a good feel for the company and make a connection.”