Students in the Executive M.B.A. program course at Loyola Marymount University got a first-hand look into how state government and businesses use innovation during a visit to Sacramento and Silicon Valley this summer. The two-day trip was part of a Business Research Skills course offered in the summer.
“It was a great opportunity to meet with leaders in government and from different businesses and see them operate in their own environments,” said Javier Perez, a student in the E.M.B.A. program. “We got to experience things and have conversations that you just can’t have in the classroom.”
During the day, the E.M.B.A. students met in Sacramento with John Chiang, California State Controller; Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Assemblymember Steven Bradford, lobbyists and a panel of assembly and senate staffers. In the evening, they visited leaders from companies in Silicon Valley including Tesla, Genentech, Bracket and Charge Point. The E.M.B.A. students asked questions about about leadership, product and managerial development, investing, culture, among many other topics.
“The trip gave us perspective,” Perez said. “We looked at how companies and government view innovation and how they connect with other companies and the community. It was refreshing to see excitement about development.”
Chiang spoke to the class about state infrastructure and the wall of debt, Lieu discussed enterprise zones and business development and Bradford talked about how businesses should teach innovation at the state level. Perez said the biggest take-away was learning about the close connection between government and business.
“I never looked at policy impact from a business perspective,” Perez said. “There are so many stakeholders who can play a part in influencing laws. Big businesses and even small businesses can have an impact.”