By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director
One of the best things about going to college at Silicon Valley’s largest public university is the caliber of classroom speakers. Take the King Brothers, for example.
Twins Jeff and Jeremy are young enough to relate to the students, but old enough to have worked at many top tech companies from Petopia to Apple to eBay.
“It’s been an unbelievably cool ride,” Jeffrey said.
How did they get there? Morgan Hill natives, they picked up their penchant for computers from their father, who worked at IBM.
Both earned degrees from San Jose State, Jeff in marketing and Jeremy in information systems, and recall the great guest lecturers who “were in the swim,” Jeff said.
So both drop in regularly at the College of Business to share what they know. Jeff is eBay senior director of marketplace strategy. Jeremy is executive vice president of technology and products at LiveOps, a virtual call center company.
Big Picture Questions
A few weeks back, the twins hit an MIS seminar, Our eWorld: Technologies Changing Business and Our Lives.
“This course focuses on technology trends and how common consumer technologies, such as social networking, are now being exploited by companies to enrich their relationships with employees, customers and suppliers,” said Jeff Gaines, the College of Business lecturer who created the class.
What’s on the syllabus? Big picture questions: What’s killing the newspaper industry? Will Facebook change the face of business?
Last week, it was Jeff King’s turn to take the floor. Drawing from his eBay experience, he tackled a third issue: How are the smoking hot smartphones burning a hole in every college tech junkie’s pocket revolutionizing e-commerce?
Speaking to around 25 young men and women, Jeff explained his work spans what customers need with what engineers do. He went on to describe in detail efforts “to take the 1999 of out eBay.”
That means no more banner ads, bigger product photos, a better search engine, and the addition of red laser technology, making it much easier to shop from your phone.
Jeremy also comes to campus frequently as a classroom speaker, and to assist with orientation. He is on the board for the Global Leadership Advancement Center within the College of Business.
Jeremy received the Distinguished Alumni Award from SJSU’s Department of Management Information Systems in 2008. At that time, he was vice president of marketplace development at eBay, with over 800 employees in the United States, India and China reporting to him.
Continuing the Discussion
Another great thing about going to college at SJSU is if the bells rings but the class isn’t over, so to speak, there are a ton of eateries just around the corner.
“We took a group of students over to The Garage to continue the discussion,” Gaines said. “The King Brothers are truly special guys.”
Exactly what did the students get out of it?
We’ll know in around 20 years, when they return to campus as guest speakers.
And what’s next for the twins?
“Someday, we’ll probably start a company together,” Jeff said.