5 Reasons Why You Should Go to Business School in San Diego
As a business major, where your school can be just as important as your major, the right university in the right location can lay the foundation for your entire career. And few cities are quite as exciting for business majors as San Diego.
With warm, sunny weather, white sandy beaches, and a vibrant industry in multiple business sectors, San Diego is an ideal setting for business administration students. Its cultural diversity and booming job market can unlock new opportunities to network and gain experience.
If you’re considering a San Diego business school, here are five reasons to make the move.
#1 Gain Real-World Experience
A business administration degree isn’t just about cracking books and writing papers. It’s also about getting real-world experience. Bigger cities like San Diego can provide more opportunities to gain experience and explore your options when it comes to choosing a potential career path.
In San Diego, there are several prominent base sectors and innovative businesses that influence the city’s economy:1
- International Trade
- Life Science and Biosciences
- Software, Electronics, and Technology
If you’re exploring career paths in these industries, San Diego offers ample chances to find internships, mentors, and other professional development opportunities. But even if your dream resume doesn’t quite fall under these categories, don’t worry. San Diego is a metropolis where just about anyone can find incredible career growth.
No matter what your business interests are, San Diego allows you to pursue your passions while you study. That way, when you graduate, you’ll have a better idea of what to commit to.
The Benefits of Work Experience in San Diego
Going from your business school graduation to the job hunt can be a challenging start to any career. But the city you study in can give you a leg up by adding relevant work experience to your resume.
Work experience like internships can help you get your foot in the door. Many future employers want to see some hands-on experience on your resume. As of 2020, San Diego boasted nearly 90,000 employer establishments —that means just as many opportunities to find a business that meets your career goals and expectations.
Work experience can be beneficial in other ways too, by:
- Exposing you to what employers in that career field expect of their employees
- Giving you space to explore possible career paths
- Introducing you to the recruitment and hiring process
- Allowing you to practice and hone your interview skills
- Developing and deepening relevant skills outside of the classroom
Unsure of how to get that experience? A good place to start is with your network.
#2 Build Your Network
Did you know that San Diego is the 2nd largest city in California and the 8th largest in the United States? With a population of almost 1.5 million people, the city is full of working professionals who may have experience in the industry or field that you’re studying in.
If you’re serious about making the most of your time in college, living in this big city can make networking easier.
A strong network can foster connections and career opportunities that you otherwise may not have had access to on your own. Connections come from your professors and university career counselors, but it can also come from the people within the community.
How to Start Networking
The best time to build your network is while you’re still in business school. Those four years are perfect for learning about business and management, but it’s also ideal for using your academic connections as a jumping-off point. Wondering how to get started?
Here are some tips: 4
- Connect with more like-minded people through your professors, alumni, and peers.
- Ask alumni and professors for advice and guidance about the industries you’re interested in.
- Attend school-sponsored career fairs and networking events.
- Look for events and opportunities within the city and the community as well like the workshops, forums, and conferences sponsored by SCORE San Diego, a diverse group of business professionals and volunteers who offer their expertise to business-minded individuals.
- Focus on fostering authentic, mutually beneficial connections instead of one-sided relationships.
- Join one of the many San Diego-based young professional groups such as Young Professionals Network San Diego (YPNSD).
If you’re unsure of where or even how to start, ask for help from the university faculty. They’re there to help guide you in fostering these connections. Let them be your first resource.
#3 Learn in a Diverse Environment
Whether you’re eyeing a career in tech or in the hospitality industry, there’s one fact that’s likely to bolster your success in any sector: diverse perspectives give you a competitive edge.
If you want to be a business leader, you need to understand how to collaborate and learn from people with various backgrounds. Countless studies have shown that diversity helps with creativity, innovation, and revenue in business settings.5 When you study in a city and at a college that fosters and encourages diversity, you’ll be gaining a more well-rounded education. San Diego and its community is an excellent classroom for these priceless lessons.
Large cities such as San Diego are becoming increasingly multicultural, as reflected in the city’s 2019 census data: 6
- Almost 35% of San Diego’s population comes from a non-white ethnic background.
- In 39% of households, the primary language is a non-English language.
- 25.9% of San Diego’s population was born internationally, while the national average is only 13.7%.
When you have the opportunity to attend college in San Diego, you’ll be able to interact with and be exposed to a wide variety of voices, perspectives, and cultures that you may not have elsewhere. Those experiences are an asset for business majors.
#4 Find Job Opportunities
One of the biggest concerns for graduates is securing a job after graduation. San Diego offers a stunning array of opportunities for business school graduates.
Notably, as of November 2021, the city’s unemployment rate is only 6.3%, which is below California's rate at 7.5%.7 Businesses appear to be investing more in their workers and progressing their career potential. With a strong network and using your university’s career resources, San Diego can help you uncover your dream career path.
#5 Achieve a Work-Life Balance
No matter your career goals, you likely won’t achieve them without finding a balance between your career and your life. According to a Forbes Magazine article, studies show that excessive stress and too much time at work can lead to burnout and actually a decrease in work performance.8
So how do you walk the tight-rope of pursuing your business dreams without burning out? Going to school in a place that’s built for business and pleasure. (Have we mentioned those sandy white, picture-perfect beaches in San Diego yet?)
If you’re seeking ways to relax and unplug when you’re outside the classroom, San Diego might be just what you’re looking for:
- Opportunities for adventure – San Diegans are an active bunch, taking advantage of every one of the city’s leisure opportunities on their hours and days off. And why not? The city offers 31 beaches and a variety of outdoor activities to choose from such as stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, cycling, surfing, kayaking, and so much more.
- A haven for foodies – Beyond just outdoor activities, San Diego is home to a vibrant food and culture scene. Home to over 140 craft breweries and hailed as one of America’s finest cities for foodies, San Diego is certainly a community of laidback gourmands. San Diego Restaurant Week is a highlight of the year while its famous farmer’s markets are a weekend-must for locals.9
In short, San Diegans eat well, work hard, and play often.
While in school, it can be difficult to pull yourself away from your studies, but maintaining activities and hobbies that engage and relax you during your free time is an essential part of a balanced lifestyle. That's why living in San Diego can be beneficial to business school students.
Things to Do Before Your Move to SD
Eager to pack your bags and start your MBA program? Before you head out the door, here are some things you should do to make sure that you’re picking the right school and program for you:
- Start the admissions process early so that you have a better chance of getting in
- Talk to current and former business students to learn about the school and curriculum
- Research a number of schools before applying to guarantee they align with your goals
Starting this journey is no easy feat. But with the right support and resources, you’ll be able to take that first step towards pursuing your career aspirations.
Location plays an important role in your future happiness and success, but so do many other factors. Consider every aspect of your educational options before deciding on your home base for the next 4+ years.
Get Started with Alliant
San Diego has a lot to offer an incoming business major. From work experience to networking opportunities, this is an ideal location for someone looking to begin their business education and launch their career. If you’re interested in studying in San Diego, explore the educational possibilities that Alliant has to offer.
As a business school in San Diego, Alliant International University is committed to providing emerging business leaders with the resources and support that can help them succeed. Our business programs value multiculturalism and hands-on learning so that our MBA students can gain relevant, worthwhile skills. We also help connect MBA students with knowledgeable alumni to provide essential insight into future career possibilities.
Are you ready to get started with an MBA or other business-minded program? Let us be there for you every step of the way. Learn more about Alliant's School of Management & Leadership today.
- Dixon-Fyle, Sundiatu, Kevin Dolan, Vivian Hunt, and Sara Prince. “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters.” McKinsey & Company. McKinsey & Company, May 19, 2020. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/dive…. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- “Eat, Drink & Enjoy.” San Diego Tourism Authority. https://www.sandiego.org/explore/things-to-do/food-drink.aspx. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- Kalsi, Riddhi, and Robbie Samuels. “Why Business School Is a Great Time to Network.” Harvard Business Review, April 15, 2019. https://hbr.org/2019/04/why-business-school-is-a-great-time-to-network. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- “Key Facts and Figures.” The City of San Diego. https://www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/sandiego/facts. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- Kohll, Alan. “The Evolving Definition of Work-Life Balance.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, March 27, 2018. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/03/27/the-evolving-definiti…. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- “November's Report Shows Hope Before the Holidays.” San Diego Workforce Partnership, December 17, 2021. https://workforce.org/jobsnumbers/. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- “QuickFacts: San Diego County, California.” United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sandiegocountycalifornia,U…. Accessed: January 7, 2022.
- “San Diego, CA.” Data USA. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/san-diego-ca. Accessed January 7, 2022.
- “San Diego, California Population 2021.” World Population Review. https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/san-diego-ca-population. Accessed: January 7, 2022.