If I had to choose one word to encapsulate the thoughts I’ve had, emotions I’ve felt, and discoveries I’ve made through TechTrek, “limitless” would be it. Sophie said something at our Google visit that I took to heart: to always have a few questions in your head that you are answering with every decision you make. I came into TechTrek with so many questions, most of which stemmed from not knowing what I wanted to pursue in the future. At the beginning of this course, I was running in every direction solely motivated by my passions, but with no idea how those passions would assemble themselves into a clear vision for my future. I applied for TechTrek because I thought tech was pretty cool, and the trip to San Francisco would expose me to a whole new array of career possibilities. I was hoping that along the way, something would click for me, and everything would make sense and fall into place. While that didn’t exactly happen, some things did click.
Visiting San Francisco for the first time, I immediately fell in love with the vibrant, creative energy that seemed to permeate every corner of the city. There’s something about the culture that nurtures creativity. As we visited each company, I felt encouraged and inspired all over again. Each company was so different from the next. I witnessed the employees’ passion, enthusiasm, and genuine desire to be where they are and to do the work they do.
We saw all the glam of working for huge companies like Google and Facebook as well as the excitement of being part of a startup. It was all incredible. But I wish I had the chance to see the whole picture––the challenges and hardships that people only briefly touched upon. What I admire most about the people we’ve met is their courage. Even though I wasn’t able to see the difficult times, it’s evident that they existed. Especially for those who moved from the East Coast to San Francisco permanently, I can only imagine how many times they second-guessed their decisions along the way. So much of the “startup culture” is underlaid by courage. You need the courage to pursue an idea you believe in, knowing that the odds are against you, and the courage to dedicate your everything to make that idea come to life.
During dinner, Sophie told us how there really isn’t anything she regrets doing in her life. There have been hard decisions to make and, of course, their resulting consequences, but each of those decisions is ultimately something that you should learn from and grow from. That in itself reflects courage––the courage to make incredibly difficult decisions and take responsibility for their consequences.
When people spoke about BC’s strong alumni network in the past, I didn’t know exactly what that meant. On this trip, I was able to meet so many BC grads who generously gave up their time to come speak to us. It was weird to realize that they had all walked in my shoes, one way or another, by having lived through the BC experience. I witnessed firsthand their genuine desire to help us in any way they can to find our own places in the world. It puts me at ease to know that if I were ever to move across the country to San Francisco (which has become a much more tangible possibility after this trip), I would already have a family of BC alumni who are more than willing to grab a coffee or help me with the transition. TechTrek helped me grasp that people truly do want to help you succeed, so long as you are willing to reach out and ask them for help. That was the hard part for me; I didn’t know how to reach out and utilize the network of BC alumni who really want to help me. Now I do.
I am someone intensely driven by my passions and inspirations. Some people are incredibly good at self-motivation and keeping to a structured path that will eventually lead them where they want to go––I’m not. I find that I need to surround myself with dynamic, motivated people that I can learn from and grow from in order to perform at my best. When we visited Sequoia, Pat Grady spoke about the importance of learning how to ask good questions, and the way to do that was through osmosis––by sitting in a room full of people who asked good questions and learning from them. I realized that ‘osmosis’ was what allowed me to function at my best. When I’m immersed among people who exude enthusiasm for learning and passion for going after what they want, I feel just as excited to work hard and find my own path. It’s a small thing, but a crucial bit of self-recognition that I know will serve me well in figuring out how I fit into the world.
Honestly, this class has given me that ‘osmosis’ opportunity––to be surrounded by all of you incredibly talented and unique people who all hunger for growth and knowledge. I’ve been inspired by your work ethic, intelligence, and ability to create a vision for yourself. You’re the craziest, smartest, and most fun bunch I’ve gotten to know through this class. Thanks for letting me steal a bit of your coolness by hanging out with you. (:
So, did I find the answers to my questions? Yes and no. Do I know exactly what I want to do with my life and where I will end up 10 years from today? Absolutely not. But I’ve been able to sort out my genuine interest in tech from other things that I only became interested in from outside influences. More than anything, I wanted to rekindle the fire within me and push myself to continue pursuing my passions and dreams. TechTrek gave me that above all else––the knowledge that no matter what path I choose, as long as I have a passion for what I do and work hard to be continuously taking steps forward, I’m all set.
Thank you all for the experience of a lifetime. #BCSTT #D