Not only am I speaking tomorrow at a Coldwell Banker educational event, but I just got back from a fun speaking engagement at Pepperdine University where I was on a panel with some people from ActiVision and MySpace talking about online marketing to a group of marketing and technology graduate students.
There were some great questions from the students in attendance, but the one theme that was most prevalent was questions about the value of an MBA to an “internet” company. I wish I could have been more encouraging for the Pepperdine students, but while an MBA will open a few doors that might be hard to open otherwise, blogging can also do that!
Because Move’s headquarters is so close to Pepperdine, the company has more than a few Pepperdine MBA Alumni on staff… and my experience was that the quality of the students were completely hit-or-miss. Some of them were smart-as-all-hell and willing to get their hands dirty in tech details while others were always looking to solve the “big” questions and didn’t seem to know how to filter though all the marketing fluff to get to useful information.
One MBA alumni in particular sticks out in my memory for a presentation he gave on the “state of the industry” that was so full of stats, charts, and data points comparing the online real estate industry to other industries like the automotive and travel industry that it took all of two minutes to realize he hadn’t developed a filter that let him know what trend information was actually relevant…. Other MBA alumni were much more successful by focusing on doing whatever it took to get measurable tasks accomplished.
This wasn’t the first time that I’ve talked with Pepperdine students (speaking at local schools like Pepperdine and CLU was a great recruiting method for my team at Move!), and I’ve honestly enjoyed and learned from each experience. The optimism that radiates from a crowd of MBA students is somewhat infectious and has me remembering to think think big about all the opportunities available in our niche of online real estate… 😉