“I am hoping to work incredibly hard and come out of this class with a more complete understanding of the tech industry”
When I signed up for TechTrek West, I remember absolutely psyched about the trip. There were so many things that made me eager to get to Silicon Valley. One, I absolutely love technology. The world is drastically changing because of the seemingly infinite ways technology can affect our day-to-day lives. To eventually be a part of that change is what drives me every day. Two, the Bay Area is my favorite area (sorry Boston, you’re a very close second). Three, I recognized that I would be apart of a group that is incredibly smart and passionate about business and technology.
And boy was I right. I’ll touch on this point later, but I learned more from my friends than I could’ve ever imagined.
The idea of embarking on a once in a lifetime trip consumed my thoughts the weeks before and during winter break. It made me a little nervous. Did I know enough about business? What’s it going to be like networking with such incredible alumni? Am I going to be able to achieve the level of excellence that TechTrek expects? It turns out I was fully prepared for the class and that both my peers and professors were more than willing to help me grow along the way. But at the time, it was a big concern for me.
These nerves subsided considerably as the classes went by. I left every class feeling as if I just completed a semester’s worth of material. Have you heard the saying ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’? It’s so very true. But each week I was learning so much about the intersection of technology and business. As someone with a primarily technical background, I loved learning about the business side of things. By the last class before break, I found myself researching new roles. I had never heard of a product manager before TechTrek, but suddenly it sounded more appealing than being a software developer.
At this point I had no idea what to expect. Spring break was finally here, my ideal career path was being fundamentally questioned, and I was about to meet with BC alumni at 20 awesome companies. I figured I could make the most of my situation by continuing to pursue my goal. Even if I was unsure of what was going to happen, I still needed to learn all about the tech industry.
“I’m excited for every company we visit, all in their own unique way”
Each visit deserves its own blog post. When we got to these companies, I was expecting each session to go something like this: we get to the company, the panelists would speak about the company, and we’d ask questions about the company. Repeat. I could have never foreseen the level of intimacy and wisdom that we would receive from the alumni. Speaking with them was a learning experience unlike any I’ve had before. Each person was so willing to share anything you wanted to know.
The panelists at Talkdesk were a notable example of this. Kevin Lee and Jon Parisi spoke extensively about their personal experiences at BC and their impacts. It seemed like every minute I was learning valuable advice. Find a mentor who can guide you to where you want to be, branch out into the uncomfortable and use the phenomenal BC network were a few of the many tidbits I learned at Talkdesk. I could go on. Sophie Miller from Google provided me with one of my favorite pieces of advice: “Always have a question that you’re answering”. So simple, yet it empowers you to make the most of every situation.
And whether we were learning about LiDAR from Ouster, international transactions from Veem or design for a global platform from Facebook, the business knowledge was always flowing. Now when I read tech news, it feels so cool knowing the reasons and implications behind it. Like I saw the recent news about Walmart partnering with Uber and Lyft to deliver food, I was more excited than I’d like to admit.
The openness extended to the more casual encounters too. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Pat Grady and Rich Aberman at the alumni dinner. Would I have ever known the small differences between a good and great CEO? Probably not, but after talking with them, I could tell you (thanks again guys)! We were all sharing stories as if we had been friends for years, and it was during that dinner that I fully realized and appreciated the most important part of this trip.
“The other 23 of you, and of course the professors and TAs, seem like such interesting and great people”
I know, I know, but I really don’t mean to be cliché. During every incredible moment from this trip (literally more than I can count), it was the people that made them so special. Our classes before the trip were the first indication of this, where I learned more from you guys than anything else. Our #D discussions are and will be the foundation of my business knowledge in the tech world. I constantly felt inspired when reading the blogs and it pushed me to match the level of excellence you established. Then we were on the trip and we really got to know each other. Who know exploring Alcatraz, hiking the mountain that is San Francisco and riding in police cars would get us so close! I truly can’t wait to continue bonding with the 26 new friends I made over the past three months.
Surrounding yourself with passionate, creative people is the biggest overall takeaway from this experience. Every company in the Valley has one underlying mission: help others by making their lives better. From fintech to social media to venture capital, the people behind these businesses strive to be as customer-oriented as possible. If you live your life with others who share your passion, and if you live to help others, all will work out.
I could go on for pages. About everything I learned. About how to live a better live. About the memories and the people. But really, I just want to thank each and every one of you. You are the reason this trip was so life changing. I’m so excited to see what this class achieves, because I know big things lie ahead. Thank you to Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, Kelsey and Matt. You made this trip possible, allowing us to get the maximum amount of value from the experience. You were the superstars organizing everything and deserve so much credit.
This has been a spring break I’ll always cherish.
#BCSTT #D #BitcoinSmugglers