Visiting biotech company Genentech in San Francisco.

It feels like I got here just yesterday, but oh how the time flies! I recently finished my first term (7 more to go!) and I had a one-week fall break before the start of my second term. Instead of going home and “veggin’ out” I decided to take advantage of one of the networking opportunities here at Fuqua called Week-in-Cities. These are student led, industry-focused trips to companies in a specified city. Some of my classmates ventured to New York to visit banks, others to New Jersey to visit marketing companies, and others to Chicago and Boston to visit consulting firms. I, along with about 10 of my classmates, participated in the healthcare focused trip to California.

Enjoying a nice dinner with new & old friends during Week-in-Cities.

We visited a variety of companies — from the biotech company Genentech, to the large healthcare company McKesson, to startups HealthTap and Castlight Health and finally to the service provider Stanford Hospital. With about two to three hours at each company, we were able to tour the company, sit down with current employees including Fuqua alumni, and ask really candid questions about their work and experience. They provided invaluable insight on the company’s recruiting process. In those few hours, I really got a sense of the culture and vibe of each company.

What I thought was absolutely amazing was the sheer opportunity to even have this experience. To talk to a manager at Genentech about a product that is not yet on the market, to sit down with the founders of HealthTap and Castlight Health, incredible startups in the healthcare space, and to walk through McKesson, the oldest healthcare company in America, was nothing short of amazing. I left the weekend with lots of contacts, but more importantly, with a much better understanding of the companies that we visited.

What made the trip even more enjoyable were my classmates — some I knew before the trip and others I met while on the trip. After a demanding first term, it was such a joy to explore San Francisco with a high-spirited and fun crowd. We went to a Fuqua alumni reunion at a bar to watch the World Series, we had dinners at amazing restaurants, and did some modest shopping (we had to remind ourselves that we are broke college students). All in all, the week was an unforgettable one. As I was writing thank-you notes to some of the people who I met that week, I couldn’t help but think that it’s not every day that someone opens up their company to job seekers. Unique opportunities like this remind me every day that I made the best decision in joining Fuqua.