University of California, Riverside

UCR SoBA



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"Consistently re-evaluating and deciding the best way to use your time is a crucial professional skill."

 

 

Mark Gilpatrick ‘17 is the business owner of “Nex Move Games,” a start-up gaming company that aims to reinvent how people interact with each other through games. (Facebook) Originally graduating with a bachelors in Chemical Engineering from UCR, he soon realized that he wanted to go back to school and get his MBA to “do better” for himself. During his time at AGSM, he was involved in countless of organizations, on and off campus. Here are his thoughts on AGSM and his motivations.

What are/were some activities you are/were involved with outside of class? How do/did you balance your time?

I was involved in Inaugural Cohort of Entrepreneurship for Innovation at UCR. I also helped mentor at an entrepreneurship bootcamp for high schoolers, had two different internships, started my own company, pioneered engineering recruitment for the Dean’s Ambassadors, held positions for the AGSM GSA and worked as a TA. To manage my time, I consistently found ways to do things more efficiently. Consistently re-evaluating and deciding the best way to use your time is a crucial professional skill and doing many projects outside of class helped me further develop this.  

Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have advice for students on how to make a decision?

AGSM is hands down the best MBA for me, because it was cost-efficient. When I saw the AGSM’s offer to me, I immediately told USC (the school I was waitlisted on) that I have other plans. I went to school to learn business acumen and UCR provided me just that. Many leading professors teach at UCR and with the addition of the scholarships I received, AGSM was an easy choice.

What was/has been your favorite classroom experience?

I actually really admire a lot of my professors. Some memorable experiences include Dr. Wong's “organizational behavior” activities that make you realize so much of the psychology that drives business.

What is the one thing you wish someone had told you before you started the MBA application process?

This is not exactly advice anyone has ever told me, but I would say to definitely take your time to do your GMAT. Plan on doing it more than once. You really have to plan around it, especially if you’re not a fan of standardized testing like me. This can be incredibly hard if you’re working a full-time job. So it’s best to just give yourself a year dedicated to that.

When did you decide you wanted to pursue an MBA? What inspired you? Did you pursue your MBA in order to switch careers?

At the time, I was working as an engineer at a pretty good company and felt like I had my life set. I worked hard and had a lot of stress. After a long day of work, my coworker and I started talking about MBA’s again. I realized I could take the safe option of continuing work or I could go back to school and do even better for myself. So I decided to go to AGSM.

When it came time to look for jobs, did you find yourself interested in a new career that you hadn’t considered before doing your MBA?

Yes. Once I worked with more and more startups, I began looking into venture capital and other jobs for more mature startups. There are many jobs I didn’t consider as an engineer that require both the engineering and business acumen to be successful. I didn’t know that until going back to school.

 



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