Sloan School Students Survey Boston Startup Scene

1/27/09Follow @wroush

In early January, students from MIT’s Sloan School of Management fanned out to companies in Boston, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Seattle on the school’s annual Tech Trek. The student-organized job-prospecting event puts budding business moguls soon to receive their MBAs into the same conference rooms with technology entrepreneurs for a download on each company’s business focus and its hiring outlook. On January 12, Greg talked with one of the trek organizers visiting Seattle-area companies, who reported that Amazon and Microsoft are hiring, but Google and Yahoo aren’t. And this week, two Sloan students who toured startups here in Boston are making guest appearances in our Xconomist Forum.

John Marcus III, who’s in his second year at Sloan, supplies a nice explanation of the intent behind the Trek—to meet face-to-face with local executives. But he says these meetings are only the beginning of the connection-building process that all job hunters must tackle today, even those with MIT credentials.

“I think the most critical traits for getting a job in this economy are being creative and being assertive,” Marcus writes. If you want to work for a specific startup, he suggests finding out what kind of help it needs and offering it. “Is your dream startup running out of cash? Come in the door with a list of alumni VCs or maybe a few sales leads for their flagship product. Your imagination is the only bound to what value you can bring.”

Meanwhile, Mahesh Konduru, a first-year Sloan student, dives into the details of the local startups he visited, focusing on each company’s mission and business outlook. You’ll recognize the names of most of these companies, which were part of the Trek’s energy track, from our coverage here in Xconomy: A123 Systems, GreatPoint Energy, Ze-gen, and others.

“Leaving the classrooms to witness innovative technologies in person was a rejuvenating experience,” writes Konduru—who is clearly eager to contribute to that innovation after he finishes school.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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