5 Questions With the UC San Diego Director of Graduate Recruitment & Admissions

UC San Diego MBA

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In our latest installment of the MetroMBA “5 Questions” series, we speak with Jay Bryant, Director of Graduate Recruitment & Admissions at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. Bryant discusses the exceptional entrepreneurship culture at Rady and San Diego at large, plus what students hoping to join the UC San Diego MBA program should expect.

1. If you had to describe how Rady fosters entrepreneurship to someone who never heard of the school, what would you tell them?

“Rady is a school that was founded on the concept of innovation. It is our foundation—our very DNA! Innovation is the mother of entrepreneurship as I see it. All of our students come in with the passion of bringing new value to the world while the faculty, staff, and administration all foster an environment where the entrepreneurial spirit of our students can grow and practice their entrepreneurial interests in the safe and supportive environment of our school. As I see it, the top five ways in which the Rady School provides a perfect match for those wanting to pursue an entrepreneurially focused education are:

  1. Every class in our curriculum is designed for a student body driven by innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. All of our students come into our program with a desire to be entrepreneurs or managers in the innovation economy.  Therefore, students are always surrounded by collaborative and like-minded individuals that create the unique Ready School environment.
  3. The Lab to Market program—a three-course, capstone experience—gives students the opportunity to take an idea in any industry all the way from the mind of the student to ready to launch. Many of our students do actually launch their projects after graduation.
  4. The Rady School’s California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID) allows for students to take part in a number of its initiatives designed to accelerate and promote innovation.
  5. The local San Diego community knows of the Rady School’s connection to innovation and entrepreneurship and therefore regularly works closely with us on capstone projects, internships, and career opportunities.”

2. Is there any particular kind of company or idea that tends to flourish in the program?

“Our students are trained to be part of the innovation driven economy, therefore, the companies that work most closely with us are those that have to reinvent themselves every year to stay relevant. The two largest sectors hiring our students are technology and bio-technology. In both of these sectors they seek managers who are excited to take on the new initiatives and new markets.”

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The three-year Rady Lab to Market program “gives students the opportunity to take an idea in any industry all the way from the mind of the student to ready to launch,” according to Bryant.

3. Is there something about San Diego specifically that tends to bring out the best in entrepreneurs?

San Diego is consistently ranked among the best cities for startup companies. It is part of the spirit of California in general. Ever since the gold rush, California has been a state focused on the future and the new frontiers. Everywhere you look you find innovations that are coming from California—we literally create the future here in California. Innovation is not just an interest of the Rady School, rather it is in the spirit of the entirety of UC San Diego.”

4. What should hopeful students know about the program that they may not necessarily know until they start?

“I think what surprises students the most is entering into a community where everyone greatly values innovation. Through the admissions process we are searching for the individuals who will really fit the personality and passion of what we do. It is not until the first day of orientation do these selected individuals all wind up in the same place at the same time. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals only makes this passion grow over the course of their study.”

5. Is there any kind of student you want to see more of in the program?

“We believe that innovation comes from every industry. We are an appropriate program for individuals wanting to work at large organizations like Google or Tesla, but we are also appropriate for those wanting to start smaller ventures of their own. We want a well-rounded cohort of students that brings in the best from every industry, level of government, developmental or non-profit organizations, and any other entities where innovation drives their future success.”

To learn more about the UC San Diego Rady School of Management and the UC San Diego MBA, visit the school website.

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