University of California, Riverside

Anderson Graduate School of Management

SoBA News

Alumni Profile: Diana Colgrove MBA '12

Diana Colgrove got her MBA from the UCR School of Business and has since been working in Redlands, CA as a Product Marketing Analyst at Esri.

Diana Colgrove got her MBA from the AGSM MBA Program at the UCR School of Business and has since been working in Redlands, CA as a Product Marketing Analyst at Esri. During her time as a MBA student, she held internships at Perris Auto Speedway and Esri, where she is now working today. Below is Colgrove’s decision to join the MBA program, her experiences as a student, and insightful advice for anyone stepping out into the professional field.


"You can never underestimate the experiences and relationships that an internship will provide - even if you don't end up at that company in the long run, I guarantee it will be a valuable experience."






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

When I first started the MBA program, I was working full time in retail management down in Irvine, and commuting to school for the first quarter. I soon realized that this lifestyle would not help me to make the most of my two years in the program, so I left my job to focus on school full time and moved out to Riverside. This was the best decision I could have made. There was so much to do outside of class and such a strong need to be involved with and socialize with my classmates. I was part of the MBA Student Association at the time, a TA for undergrad business students, and a MBA student. All of these roles were extremely rewarding, but required finding a balance between activities, both social and academic. For the most part, the week was dedicated to school and TA work, with weekends reserved for exploring the Socal area, from LA to Palm Springs. But that didn't mean my weeks were boring or stressful - in many of the MBA courses you are given the opportunity to work with your classmates on group projects, meaning that we were often grabbing lunch/dinner as a team, so there was plenty of time to socialize!

How did you decide that an MBA was the next step for you? What advice do you have for students considering an MBA on how to make that decision?

After completing my undergrad education, I felt like I needed some experience between undergraduate students and a real world job. I had learned a lot, but felt like I wanted to get some more experience applying what I had learned in a smaller, yet more advanced setting. After reading about different advanced business programs, I knew that an MBA program would give me that experience, so I decided to apply. If you are considering an MBA or other graduate program, take some time doing research and figure out what you are really passionate about. The MBA program sort of solidified the real world for me, and gave me so many new experiences that I couldn't have experienced anywhere else. And if you are worried about the process, just apply! I wasn't sure if I would be accepted into the program, but it never hurts to try!

What do you think makes your MBA program and experience unique?

I think the most unique thing about the AGSM MBA program is the people. Coming into the program from Orange County, I didn't realize what a unique environment I would be entering and quickly discovered I was surrounded by people of all backgrounds. It took me a second to realize I would need to change my perspective on life to make the most of the program, and I am so glad I did. Your classmates will be from all over the world and will each bring a unique background, whether they have worked for 10 years or they came straight into the program from an undergraduate program. But the MBA program is all about working together and getting students ready for real world experiences. I think it was really special to be part of a program which provided this access to people and helped me form relationships that I hold to this day.

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?

Looking for jobs is definitely a stressful process. You start out with an idea of what you want to do, but soon realize that you will probably have to be open to additional opportunities if you can't find exactly what you had in mind. There are so many different types of jobs out there, and new ones being created every day as we move into things like autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things. I always thought I wanted to do marketing for a retail organization, something hip and trendy. But as I started to look around for jobs, I realized that there are so many companies in so many different industries, and that I was actually more interested in the research side of marketing and analytics. I sort of wiped the slate clean and opened my mind to new careers that I hadn't considered before.

Do you have/did you do an internship during your MBA? How does/did that experience influence your education and career?

While in my first year of the MBA program, I had an internship at the Perris Auto Speedway, working as a marketing campaign intern. This experience was very beneficial for me as it helped me to both understand what I enjoyed doing, as well as gave me my first foray into working on a professional team. I utilized the people skills I had acquired while working with my classmates in order to work within a team where I felt comfortable sharing new ideas and opinions. I also had an internship in the summer after graduating from the MBA program, while ultimately led me to the career I am in today. I had attended an undergraduate STEM job fair on campus, knowing that I didn't quite fit the "persona", but hoping that it would lead me to new opportunities. It was there I met a representative from Esri who I was able to chat with and who ultimately took my resume back to HR to connect me with the marketing department. After spending the summer as an intern on the Marketing Operations team, I was ultimately hired on full time in another department with which I had interacted during my internship. You can never underestimate the experiences and relationships that an internship will provide - even if you don't end up at that company in the long run, I guarantee it will be a valuable experience.


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