Despite the down market, the high-tech industry remains an enticing career option, providing a combination of attributes that many Harvard Business School MBAs still find irresistible: autonomy, fast pace, variety, intellectual challenge, potential for financial upside, and the chance to have a significant impact not just on a company, but on entire industries. Opportunities are particularly exciting in light of the oft-cited shortage of top management talent.
Those students who have chosen to seek employment in technology already understand the lure of the sector. However, they are not the only ones who would benefit from an increased exposure to it. The inescapable conclusion of the vast changes seen unfolding every day is that, like it or not, all businesses will be touched by technological progress. Understanding the technological forces that are being unleashed into the marketplace will help observers seize immense opportunities, rather than be subject to the influence of those who do not.
Exciting opportunities exist with high-tech and new media firms, both throughout the US and internationally. The major centers of technology that have cropped up in the United States include Silicon Valley, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Atlanta, and New York. In the past, HBS Students have chosen to learn about the latest happenings in these tech centers in one of two ways: (1) the many treks that are offered to these locations, and (2) Cyberposium, which features extensive executive panels and presentations locally at HBS. Make sure not to miss out on all of these amazing opportunities!
WesTrek to the Silicon Valley
The California Bay Area is a hotbed for high-tech innovation from large companies and start-ups alike. Home to such companies as Sun Microsystems, Intuit, Siebel, Intel, eBay, and Kleiner Perkins, the Bay Area is well known for its stalwarts, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, as well as its abundance of wealth-creating opportunities.
Working in the Bay Area has a number of rewards. The lifestyle is fantastic, the high-growth industry creates phenomenal opportunities, the learning experience is unparalleled, and bright people abound. Many high-tech companies have neither the time nor the resources for traditional on-campus recruiting, thus WesTrek is a great way to be introduced to these companies and network for jobs.
Anyone who has had a chance to get off campus and explore knows that Boston is a thriving, diverse, and beautiful city and a great place to live. Boston is also the preeminent high-tech center for the East coast, with everything from established market leaders to thriving start-ups.
Major high-tech powerhouses in Boston include Lotus, the IBM subsidiary that is the worldwide leader in groupware; EMC, the leader in selling intelligent computer storage systems and software, and Teradyne, a leading provider of automated testing systems. Boston also has a large start-up and venture capital community-second only to Silicon Valley. Local start-ups have included Lycos and Open Market.
Boston is also home to a slew of biotech companies-from established players like Genzyme and Biogen to a host of fast-growing startups spawned in the local research community.
BostonTrek is a great way to learn more about these companies and network for jobs. BostonTrek runs from March 1st to 3rd. If you have questions, or want to get involved in organizing the Trek, contact Trek Chair Dan Koloski at email@example.com.
Seattle is perhaps best known for Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. But these are not the only companies drawing many young business leaders to Seattle. Seattle hosts many well-known software companies, such as Siebel and Real Networks, and other high-tech related organizations. Immunex is one of the top 10 biotech companies in the world. Ballard Power Systems is a leading developer of alternative fuel-cell technologies. Polaris, Voyager, and Vulcan Ventures, which was founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen, are among the leading venture capital firms energizing the Seattle high-tech start-up community.
This thriving city also boasts a wonderful and balanced lifestyle. Seattle plays host to three professional sports teams and has all the benefits of a metropolitan area, including its own symphony, opera, ballet, and art museum. Yet Seattle’s activity and fast pace is not offered to the exclusion of beautiful surroundings. The Northwest offers excellent skiing and water sports. Its national parks are home to some of the country’s most well known landmarks including Mount Saint Helens and Mount Rainier.
The High-Tech & New Media Club will renew its annual pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest with Seattle Trek 2002. The purpose of the trek is to bring together HBS students looking to work in this exciting city and introduce them to the strong network of alumni in the area. Check out the website for the latest updates //sa.hbs.edu/htnm/seattletrek.
A city that has been known as the “live music capital of the world” is now getting quite a different reputation. Austin, Texas is becoming synonymous with the high-tech industry. Led by high-profile companies like Dell, Vignette, Motive, and Trilogy, the hills of central Texas have become home to a thriving software and hardware high-tech community. According to HBS graduate Mark Saul (’87), CEO of Acuity Imaging, “Austin is exploding.” The area is rife with opportunities for students interested in getting into the industry.
In addition to established enterprises like Dell Computer, Motorola, and Tivoli, there are a number of start-up ventures in the area that are being fueled by venture capital companies like Austin Ventures. There are many reasons high-tech companies want to be in Austin. This city offers incredible quality of life and provides excellent high-tech career options similar to those found in places like the Silicon Valley and Boston. For HBS grads considering careers in Austin, perks include no state income tax, sunny weather, a beautiful hilly landscape, and clear blue lakes.
Part of Austin’s growth has been fueled by the educated work force that emerges each year from Austin’s University of Texas. Students like Austin so much they typically want to stay there after graduation. There is also a small but growing HBS alumni base in Austin. If you are interested in the area, it is strongly recommended that you go on the annual Austin Trek on February 15-18. Visit the Austin Trek website at //sa.hbs.edu/htnm/austintrek/, and come have fun in Austin!
At first glance, the Nation’s Capital may not appear to be a high-tech hotbed, however, when you dig a little deeper, you discover something altogether different. When it comes to telecommunications, Internet infrastructure, media, web content (AOL spin-offs), and biotech, DC is at the top of the heap. The big names in DC include companies such as AOL Time Warner, Ciena, MCIWorldcom, UUNET, Network Solutions/VeriSign, Celera Genomics, Capital One, Discovery Communications, and VCs such as Thayer and the Carlyle group.
Apart from the usual company visits, DC Trek will include lots of networking events with local HBS Alumni and HBS-friendly business leaders. The Trek aims to give students the opportunity to expand their personal networks by meeting Alums in relaxed, informal settings. If you have any questions about DC Trek, which will be held on the weekend of February 15th, 2002, please contact Brooks Blake
(firstname.lastname@example.org), Bhavesh Patel (Bpatel@mba2002.hbs.edu), or Juan Carlos Pereira (email@example.com).
Mention Atlanta and most people probably think of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. However, this town is no longer a sleepy Southern city. The city has been growing at over 25% annually since 1980 and boasts pro baseball, basketball, football, and hockey teams. There are probably three big reasons that ma
ke Atlanta an attractive high-tech career move.
When most people think of Atlanta they think of Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. However, Atlanta has a thriving and interesting high-tech sector. If you are looking to join a small company or start your own, Atlanta should be on your short list. In fact, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Atlanta #4 among large metro areas in its Twenty Best Cities for Small Business. There are many well-known technology companies like Scientific Atlanta, Cox Communications, Checkfree, Internet Security Systems, Cingular Wireless, and Earthlink. Many smaller tech companies are working on innovative solutions to today’s problems. Fast-Talk Communications, a start-up company, has an audio search technology that is used by media companies and now by the government in the fight against terrorism. The Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech helps bring to fruition many of the school’s developments. Pathfire and AutoTrader.com are just a couple of the small but rapidly growing high-tech companies.
Another big feature of Atlanta is quality of life. The number of hours people work in Atlanta is consistently less than in other major cities. Ask any former consultant or high-tech executive who has worked in Atlanta and another large city like Boston, New York, or Chicago, and they will tell you, “Atlantans value lifestyle.” Golf courses are within a 20-minute drive of almost anywhere in the area, family is an important part of everyone’s calendar, and nonprofits have an abundance of volunteers.
Unlike many other high-tech hotbeds, the city’s strong growth hasn’t changed its affordability. As a quick example, Homefair.com’s cost of living calculator shows if you make $100,000 in Boston, you’ll only need to make $65,000 in Atlanta. As former Atlantan Paul Sims (OJ) remarked, “The salaries we offered at our Internet company were comparable to what was being paid in Boston but houses were so much less.” Housing in Atlanta is very affordable, with average home prices of $145,000 vs. $250,000 for Boston.
AtlantaTrek, January 7-8th, is the newest trek to hit campus, and if you are interested in participating, contact Emmet Seibels firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Sims email@example.com.
New York Trek
The New York Trek expands its focus this year as the dot-coms of the late 1990s have withered away. This year, the trek will bring leaders and entrepreneurs from established and startup companies in new media, TV, film, music, e-finance, retailing, software, real estate, advertising, and other core industries of New York to discuss industry outlooks, competitive landscape, and opportunities for MBA careers. New York Trek is on February 15th, 2002.
Time, Reuters, Universal Music, American Express, Citigroup, and Sony are all examples of companies that have taken part in New York Trek in the past. If you are interested in attending this year’s HBS New York Trek, please contact Sameer Ahuja firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrew Eisner email@example.com.
The Cyberposium team is proud to announce that Tom Siebel, CEO and founder of Siebel Systems, and Bob Davis, founder and former CEO of Lycos and now Venture Partner at Highland Capital Partners, have confirmed that they will be present at Cyberposium 2002.
Cyberposium is the premier MBA high-tech conference uniting MBA students, academics, and industry leaders to interactively explore and share the latest provocative thoughts on technology and business. This year, it will take place on campus from February 8-10, 2002.
We look forward to building on past years’ accomplishments, which included:
Volunteer team of over 150 MBA students from over 25 MBA programs around the world
Over 1,500 attendees
150+ corporate participants: leading biotech, hardware, software, new media, communications companies, and venture capital firms
Over 60 CEOs and Founders participating Networking opportunities and a career fair bringing companies together with MBA students interested in pursuing careers in high-tech related industries.
Every year Cyberposium is a sold out conference. For more information about the conferece please contact Karine Samaha, Media Relations Director or Gretchen Engster, Marketing Director.