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The BESST Decision

When senior Brad Lantz looks back on his years at UD, participating in the 2017 January intersession to San Francisco stands out as one of the “besst” decisions he ever made.

Halfway through his sophomore year, Brad was looking into internships on the West Coast for the summer of 2017. He soon realized how competitive the job market was out there, and knew he needed some sort of advantage if he was going to land a job in Silicon Valley. At about that time, Brad received an email announcing the BESST Program (Business Experience: Silicon Valley and San Francisco Today).

BESST is an experiential learning program providing opportunities for students to connect with – and learn from – UD alumni leaders and company managers in professional settings across the Silicon Valley. The comprehensive and aggressive itinerary includes multiple days of corporate site visits at companies like Google, Apple, Fitbit, NASDAQ, and Salesforce. Students attend panel discussions and networking sessions with executives from these companies, as well as guest lectures by other UD alumni business leaders.

Brad began his BESST journey with a personal goal to network as much as possible and leave the trip having established valuable connections. During the corporate meet-n-greets, BESST students were encouraged to connect on LinkedIn with company reps. Brad took this to heart. “I reached out on LinkedIn to those I’d met, inviting them to share their experiences and expertise.”

After returning to UD’s campus, Brad made the effort to stay in touch with his newly formed connections as much as possible. “I think the most underrated thing about college is the ability to network.” The community of Flyer Faithful is also one of his most valued resources, for fun and fellowship as well as for professional networking. “We have thousands of alumni that are so eager to help in any way they can; all you have to do is reach out.”

Taking his own advice, Brad reached out. His connections turned into friendships, and led to his landing a position as a Global Sales Organization Intern with LinkedIn last summer. Brad is excited to share that he’ll be joining LinkedIn full-time this July in Chicago as an Associate for the Business Leadership Program - Global Sales.

Brad plans to pay forward all the guidance and support he received to students coming up after him, beginning with this advice: “College has taught me the importance of balance. Being able to balance school, working/networking, and having fun is critical to getting the most value out of your years here at Dayton.”

 

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