I Want to Get into Tech

Right now, who DOESN’T want to get into tech? Business school, like many other things has its trends. Currently, a career in technology is all the rage. While I was in school it was consulting, and before that it was investment banking. So how do you get into an industry that everyone wants to be in? It’s going to take some work, but to be honest, it’s simpler than you may be thinking.

Here’s some relief: everyone who works in tech isn’t a developer. Tech, like any other industry has its own functions. It’s just a different industry flavor. Ready to get started?

Humble Yourself

The first thing that you have to do is humble yourself. Yep, you have to humble yourself to maximize your learning. You might have been impressive in your previous role, but those past accomplishments don’t necessarily hold the same weight in the tech world. Tech, more than any other industry typical MBA industry, is a “show me what you’ve made” culture. You can make awesome spreadsheets and strategic presentations that help a small part of a large system, but tech companies will probably still think you’ve always had the safety net of a large team and established systems behind you.

If you’re not applying for a position in one of the huge tech firms, your interviewer is going to be wondering whether you can survive without the system. Added to that, you still have preconceived notions working against you as an MBA. Tech people are still wary of MBAs and while our reputations have been improving lately, we’re still questioned on the value we bring to the table.

Get Educated

Once you realize this, you’re ready to get educated about tech. In “The MBA Transition to Product Management” I listed a few resources that can help. Here are some more recommendations:

  • Get the app “Flipboard” on your phone, select the tech categories, and read articles for 20 minutes every morning.
  • Subscribe to the “This Week in Startups” podcast.
  • Check out the “Tech Stuff” podcast and specifically go to the episodes that discuss the histories of iconic tech companies. It’s pretty fascinating to recollect how they all got started and observe how technology trends have shifted since.
  • Pick the companies you want to target. Learn about them and their strategies. What spaces are they trying to get into? What improvements are they trying to make? How can you help them get into these spaces? How can you help them improve?

Get Your Hands Dirty

Seek out a startup who can use your expertise. It may be for free, but it will be worthy experience. They always need help. Remember how I said that tech is a show me what you’ve made culture? If you have certain skills that businesses can use, check out sites like Upwork or Fiverr and find a project you can pull off in your free time. You’ll not only get paid, but you will also have some pieces of work to show off in your portfolio. Because you’re most likely helping small businesses, you will have, by necessity ,achieved results without the corporate safety net.

That’s all I have for this one. Get to it!

If you would like to participate/be interviewed for the blog, contact me at nkem.nwankwo@lifeafterschool.co.

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