Meet Jessica Carpenter, MTM Class of 2020

Jessica completed her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish at UCSB before joining the MTM program. After graduating from MTM, Jessica worked as a Product Marketing Manager at Box. She is now a Product Marketing Manager at Google.  

Q: Did you know what type of job you wanted after finishing your undergraduate degree?

A: I was pretty sure that I wanted to work in marketing. Product management was not my goal. I was confident that my background, having graduated from undergrad with a double major in English and Spanish, plus something more technical would be more appealing to a tech company, large or small. And that has proven to be true, which has been great.

Q: What is one of the strengths of the MTM program?

A: I think the fact that you're able to get so much done and cover so much ground in a really short period of time is one of its strengths. A typical MBA is two years, and I didn't want to spend two more years in school, so I was thrilled to have found an option that was nine months. You're in and out. 

Q: How did the MTM Career Services team help you get your job?

A: I was given really good advice on casting a wide net and provided a really good framework in terms of a good approach to meeting people. They helped provide advice on cold calling and getting the most out of informational interviews. I probably set up over a hundred informational interviews when I was looking for my first job out of MTM. The career services team provided a lot of good guidance and structure there, which I was really appreciative of.

Q: What was one of the best components of the MTM program?

A: I think the field project at the end was super helpful. Having hands-on experience in which you are sitting down for months with an actual team in the real world, working with a company that's experiencing an actual problem to which they need a solution, that was by far the most engaging, thought-provoking case study that we could have worked on. And I really enjoyed my team. I really enjoyed the actual project, working with the executives and being able to solve something for them. It made everything really tangible. So having something so real at the end of those nine months really solidified all the information that we had learned and got us to use it in a really effective way. And they actually implemented our solution too, and that made us feel good.

Q: What do you think about people without tech backgrounds working in the tech sector?

A: I want to see more people like me out there. I have to say, working at Google, working at Box, I work with very few folks who studied just engineering in their undergrad. I think if you were technical in undergrad, it makes sense for you to go on and continue to be technical, but by no means should you be restricted just because you didn't do something technical in undergrad. I work with so many amazing marketers and program managers and people who studied all sorts of things, whether it was history or (in my case) English. I think that makes for a much more diverse and interesting team, because you get so many more interesting perspectives and ways of approaching work, which I really appreciate in a large team environment.

Q: What was your experience of the MTM faculty?

A: The professors I had in MTM were super. Across UCSB, I had the undergrad experience too, and I loved so many of my professors. I truly adored my teachers. They were really wonderful and extremely engaged. I think again, a really diverse group. They were always super present, good at answering questions, and good at giving guidance and suggestions. When I had specific questions about certain career paths, I was able to spend time with professors who focused on that, which was super helpful.

Q: How was the experience of going to grad school in Santa Barbara?

A: I absolutely loved it. It's incredible. It's such a special, special place. Being able to spend three years there during undergrad was amazing, but being able to spend four was even better. I think people in Santa Barbara really understand how to achieve work-life balance, whether that's with their actual jobs or with school. It's a pretty unique experience to be able to sit in a class for a couple hours and then be able to walk to the beach right after; that's so special and you don't get that anywhere else.

Q: What would you say to a prospective student considering the MTM program?

A: If you're looking to pivot in a short period of time, if you're looking for something that's cost effective, and if you don't want to spend two years or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a degree, this is a fantastic option and you will get really practical, usable knowledge coming out of it. I think you can turn around and enter the workforce and be a really attractive option to people. I also found through interviews that people were always really curious about my degree and wanted to learn more. 

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