Fall 2015 in Review

It has been a busy semester for the GradTech Club! We are grateful to all the students, faculty, BC alumni, and other technology professionals who participated in and contributed to everything the club did this fall.

SEMESTER KICKOFF 

At the end of August, we surveyed alums and current second years about what skills they wished they learned at BC or would like to learn before graduating. Multiple alums said they wished they had learned SQL, and current students presented a variety of areas of interest, including coding languages and advanced Excel skills. We used this feedback in our planning for semester events.

BOOTCAMPS

The newest type of event that the GradTech club introduced this semester is the bootcamp, a 45-minute session to gain exposure to and practice with hands-on technological skills. In the fall, we featured 4 bootcamps on Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) & pivot tables, SQL (Parts 1 & 2), and ArcGIS.

VBA

We launched our first bootcamp on Visual Basic for Applications and pivot tables in early September. Two second-year MBAs shared how they have used these tools in their previous jobs. Attendees were guided through recording macros, creating basic code, and debugging code using VBA.

vbabootcamp

SQL

Professor George Wyner of BC’s Information Systems department facilitated two SQL bootcamp sessions covering database concepts, filtering and sorting records, joining tables, and summarizing data. During the session, students practiced writing queries using W3Schools immediately after learning the language’s syntax. Students provided very positive feedback, and the sessions provided strong foundational knowledge for first year students headed into the second half of the semester in which they would spend more time learning SQL in the classroom. Students shared that after the session, they were less intimidated about SQL and motivated to continue learning it on their own!

ArcGIS 

Barbara Mento, Data/GIS Manager from BC libraries, has taught sessions on ArcGIS to students in various undergraduate and graduate programs at BC. During the session, she guided students through data downloading from ReferenceUSA and Data Planet, one of many databases available for students’ use through the library. By downloading longitudinal and latitudinal data in the form of shape files, students plotted Bank of America ATMs on a map of Massachusetts. One student remarked, “I knew about GIS from my friends who studied geology, but the event really showed me how relevant and applicable the program is for business problems.  GIS has a wealth of information that can really take any presentation that involves a map to the next level.”

In addition to bootcamps run by the Tech Club, students can benefit from research tutorial sessions organized by Boston College library staff. Some MBA students took advantage of this resource to gain exposure to Stata, R, SAS, and more.

BOSTON TECH TREK

Early on in the semester, Boston Tech Trek visited HubSpot in Cambridge. A number of BC alums met with visitors to talk about their roles and experience at Hubspot. One student visitor shared that the office appeared to be “one of the best working environments in Boston.”

Later in the semester, Boston Tech Trek visited Wayfair in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Members of Wayfair’s Data Science and Business Intelligence teams presented a business overview of the e-commerce company. Topics discussed included how Wayfair uses data to micro-target certain classes of customers and the role that technology plays in its business model.

Boston Tech Trek also visited Runkeeper, LogMeIn, and Google throughout the semester.

 

ON-CAMPUS EVENTS

In early November, the Consulting Club and the GradTech Club welcomed John Mazan of PwC for an information session about technology consulting. John led attendees through the materials that every tech consultant out of business school is presented on his/her first day on the job. One of the main takeaways from the session was a framework for evaluating companies’ technological priorities, needs, and capabilities long before providing clients with recommendations regarding particular technology solutions.

This Fall, Boston College launched the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship to support entrepreneurial coursework, co-curricular activities, experiential programming, and research. Boston College celebrated its opening with a weekend full of events, one of which included a keynote speech from Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, and a panel discussion with venture capital and Wayfair executives.

philschiller

On November 11, the GradTech Club and Graduate Women in Business co-hosted five graduate and/or undergraduate BC alums working in tech. Our guests joined us from Apple, EMC, Pivotal Labs, Tapjoy, and Boston-based startup BeautyTouch, and they hold roles in product management, sales, engineering, and general management. Each of them described their journeys in tech, the strengths and challenges in the industry, and shared advice relating to landing jobs and being successful in a male-dominated environment.

IMG_5490

The GradTech is only one of many tech and entrepreneurship clubs at BC, including the Computer Science Society, the Information Systems Academy, Start @ Shea, and the Women Innovators Network. As students passionate about tech and entrepreneurship, MBA’s have open invitations to other clubs’ events, including speaker series and coding nights. We look forward to continuing collaboration with other clubs.

For resources related to the events mentioned above, check out our website at http://bcgradtechclub.net/.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

We have exciting events in mind for next semester! Stay in touch with the Tech Club to hear more details about API (application programming interface) and Tableau bootcamps, mentorship for undergraduate startup teams in BC’s new accelerator program, a Raspberry Pi project, and fintech and digital marketing events! Contact bcgradtechclub@gmail.com if you would like to be more involved!

 

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The Condensed MBA: Part 6

Final MBA reflections from our outgoing president.

David LoVerme

We’ve reached the last installment in my blog reflections on my MBA classes at Boston College.  I have been floored with the reaction (about 600 views as of my writing) and hope that they have provided some value.  In addition to the rundown of my classes, I will also include some closing thoughts at the end.  If you missed my earlier posts you can find parts one, two, three, four, and five here on my blog.

Second Year: Second Semester

Pricing Policy and Strategy

Another go round with marketing guru Jerry Smith, this class was condensed into three weekends over the course of half of a semester.  Similar to his Brand Management class, we walked out with tons of new tools and frameworks to help do pricing.  The most poignant take-aways, however, where more thematic:

  • It’s not about the feature, it’s about the value of the…

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The Condensed MBA: Part 5

Penultimate Reflections from former GradTech President David LoVerme.

David LoVerme

With the second to last installment of my Condensed MBA series, we move on to the second year.  If it seems like the posts are heavy on the first year, that’s because the full time MBA tends to skew that way.  At BC, we moved from quarters to semesters and from daytime to evening classes.  For many, that allowed them to work either full or part time and for others it opened up time for the job search or to participate in extracurriculars such as my pet project the BC Grad Tech Club.  Still however, there was a lot of learning that went on and, as always, I have documented my take-aways here.  (If you missed my summaries of the first year courses see parts one, two, three, and four or a shortened version of the full first year on Linkedin.

Second Year: First Semester

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The Condensed MBA: Part 4

Part 4 of our Former President’s MBA Reflections.

David LoVerme

We’ve passed the halfway point in my six part MBA reflections!  If you missed it, here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  I am full time working on my heritage travel startup Radici Travel as part of the 2015 Soaring Startup Circle so the final three installments will likely come once a week.

First Year: Fourth Quarter

Global Capitalism, Culture, and Ethics

This class was case-based and examined a number of ethical issues related to globalization.  Because of the way scheduling worked, everyone had to take this class but the two sections were essentially divided into marketing people and finance people.  A couple of times I had to go to the alternate section for one reason or another and the general sentiment was often markedly different.  For me, there are a couple of lasting impressions:

  • The banana industry is brutal!  We must…

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The Condensed MBA: Part 3

Former President David LoVerme (MBA ’15) logs part 3 of his MBA reflections.

David LoVerme

Wow, what an amazing response so far…glad everyone is enjoying my MBA recollections (it’s a lot of fun for me too).  If you missed it, you can find parts one and two here.  Now onto Part 3!

First Year: Third Quarter

Strategic Management

MBA courses are, by nature, often discussion based.  While I generally like this format, at times it can be unclear whether we are really on the right track or just blowing smoke.  With Professor Mary Tripsas at the helm, this was never the case.  She had no problem calling out vague or unsupported comments and really forced us to elevate our game and exploration of the topic at hand.  This challenge was energizing and is what really made the class stand out.  Other than Tripsas leaving a normally quick witted classmate speechless after calling him out for yawning in class, what do I still remember?

  • Who made…

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The Condensed MBA: Part 2

Our former Club President logs part 2 of his MBA reflections.

David LoVerme

With my Canadian vacation behind me, it’s time for Part 2 of my 6 part “Condensed MBA” series.  (Click here if you missed Part 1)  Read on to hear about first semester, quarter 2.

First Year: Second Quarter

Financial Management

Like Accounting, the biggest challenge for me was my general lack of familiarity with the vocabulary.  Getting used to a definition of “coupon” that didn’t include cutting something out of a circular was a bit of an adjustment but having Bob Taggart at the helm meant I had an understanding professor who was always available and ready to help.  So what stuck?

  • Time Value of Money- A dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future.  Understanding the basic concept and how to approach calculating it is crucial.  While I am still a little shaky on the calculation part, I have a strong enough understanding of…

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The Condensed MBA: Part 1

Former club president, David LoVerme, shares his thoughts on the first leg of the BC MBA.

David LoVerme

Anyway you slice it, a full time MBA is intense.  You read hundreds of cases and articles, write thousands of words, take hours of exams, and it’s all over in a flash.  Now that I am officially a Master of Business Administration, I thought it would be worth reflecting on the single biggest take-aways from each class I took.

My MBA lasted two years, the first of which uses quarters and the second, semesters.  As a result this will be a six part series of posts.

First Year: First Quarter

Accounting:

With maestros Pete and Carolyn Wilson at the helm, this class was certainly one of the most memorable of my time at BC.  Besides the lowest grade of my MBA career, however, what did I take away from the class?

  • Having the right vocabulary is crucial!  Without a finance background, most of the terms used in the class were…

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GradTech VP of Marketing Alaina Tucker and President David LoVerme Celebrate at Commencement 2015

2015 Annual Report (Mid-Year Report)

Dear Grad Techers, Alumni, Friends, and Supporters:

A few months ago, in our 2014 Annual Report, I wrote about the Grad Tech Club’s activities throughout the fall.  While that writing feels just moments ago, much has occurred in the interim, including my walking the field at Alumni Stadium alongside the Class of 2015 just three days ago.  We began the year with an ambitious agenda to equip members with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the tech industry, to raise the overall profile of the BC MBA program within Tech, and to get our members hired.  With the year behind us, it’s time to reflect on how we did. (more…)