Mike Child

Alumni Spotlight: Michael Child, '76

Mike Child received his B.S. in electrical engineering from UC Davis in 1976 and his MBA from Stanford University in 1980.

“The most important thing I learned at UC Davis was that I was not going to be a great engineer, so I had better look for something else as a career,” said Child. “I explored medicine, and I quickly found that was not a fit. I considered law, but there seemed to be too much writing and typing. So I settled on general management as a potential career path. When that decision was made, it informed my choice of elective classes, outside activities at UC Davis, summer jobs and led me to apply to graduate business school.”

For more than 30 years, Child has served as a senior advisor for TA Associates, a large global growth private equity firm. TA Associates provides professionals that help build great companies and assist owners to meet their business goals.

Child also served as chair of the UC Davis Foundation Board from 2014-2016 and is currently an executive trustee. He is a member of the Dean’s Executive Committee for the College of Engineering, advising the dean about fundraising goals and he has previously been on the Graduate School of Management advisory board. He is also on the investment committee for the UC Davis Foundation.

His advice to students and young alumni is to think of their career as a series of investments and to look for growth.

“During your career, you will only be able to work for a limited number of companies. Choose wisely. Don’t be afraid of making lateral moves if they help you work in a better company, or if they enhance your knowledge and future marketability,” said Child. “Keep in touch with your classmates and if possible, get involved with a philanthropic endeavor.” 

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