March 4, 2014

5 Reasons TechConnect was one of the Best Events during my MBA Experience (as of yet...)

1. Awesome Panelists and Moderators
Security panelists (l to r) Rob Zalkland, Lee Weiner and Paul Roberts
The event brought together industry professionals from some of the most hottest domains in technology: Internet of Things, Mobile Payments and Security and Privacy. It was a perfect blend of industry leaders and new disruptive entrants: the insights were well balanced and covered multiple facets of what is good, bad and ugly about the respective domains.

Some panelist highlights include:
  • Sarah Hodkinson from Paypal talked about the Beacon as well as how Paypal was focusing on empowering both the consumer and merchants to enhance the mobile payment experience.
  • Karen Webster, moderating the mobile payment panel, was one of my favorites and she really turned the talk into a engaging and seamless discussion. I was almost disappointed to see the panel run out of time!
  • The security and privacy panel brought out a lot of critical points on how different the individuals and corporate customers were in their perception of security needs. Ron Zalkind from CloudLock talked about how users are moving faster than security firms by self selecting solutions, however, Lee Weiner from Rapid7 commented that corporations were slower in adopting solutions stating that "Board rooms often don’t address security issues till a breach happens."

2. Engaged Attendees
You know an event is a success when you have attendees stir up as rich conversation as the panels. The attendees at TechConnect were a mix of industry professionals, academia and students, and this made for some really informative and exciting conversation outside of the panels especially during the reception at Scoozi.

3. The Keynote: John Harthorne, founder & CEO of MassChallange
John addresses the audience
John gave some amazing insights into his experience as an entrepreneur.I was inspired me was his opinion of team success: people need to be genuinely excited about a project and be willing to learn new things, after that it was all just about sticking to what you believe and being open to opportunities. This advice, made me realize that my team - and the event - was a success. This is a significant lesson I intend to take with me as I move forward!

4. Kelly Mackey, MS-MBA 2014 (I swear I wasn't bribed into saying this!)
This event was also successful because of Kelly, the planning lead. She not only guided the process but also was passionately involved throughout. She led by example and was a true pleasure to work with. I joined the planning team late, but I knew what I wanted to contribute to the process. Kelly never doubted my intent or skills, and gave me both the guidance and freedom to make my own decisions. 

5. The “Behind the Scenes” Experience
Oren Shevach, one of my teammates!
The TechConnect experience was a highlight for me not only because these events are a crucial part of the MBA experience, but also because of the people involved. We had a great team to begin with (Oren, Jaymie, Paul and Vikram) but a significant onus of the event’s success goes to the people who lent a hand as we approached D-Day (Kirk, Nina, Janet and George).  


Listen to an audiocast of the event here!
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Anant Chaudhry is a first year MBA and MS in Information Systems candidate at Boston University School of Management. Anant has an entrepreneurial background, having started a venture in solar energy and another in remittance services. Additionally, he has consulted with businesses in developing marketing and business strategy. He loves karaoke, TV series marathons and long tangential discussions on random things. 


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