This is Just the Beginning

Before The Trip

My Final Introduction

I’m going to be honest in that after I read my initial blog post in preparation for this final blog post, I started crying. Happy tears, of course!!! I have a tendency to be easily overcome by emotions and this trip certainly did it for me. What a week! My initial expectations for this trip were to “be challenged throughout the semester leading up to the trip, and once on the trip learn and find out about things that I didn’t necessarily see coming.” I think we all did that, and then some.

I remember vividly one Wednesday afternoon walking out of one of the first TechTrek classes in a bit of distress and immediately calling my parents. I didn’t know what I was trying to convey to them other than that I felt a little out of place as everyone around me was so smart and so engaged. They assured me that I was meant to be in the class, I had deserved my place, and that I should be confident in my ability to succeed alongside my peers. I felt motivated by their words, and dove deep into becoming as best prepared for class as I could, and kept up with all things tech as often as possible. Throughout the semester, I became increasingly more comfortable in class and started to get to know some of you guys. I think that was awesome leading up to the trip, and I think the trip was also an amazing way to get to know other BC students interested in the tech space and yearning for more of a tech community on campus. I came back from TechTrek with 23 friends and 3 mentors who all share a common interest in technology and I know would know support me in any endeavor I pursue.

There was a significant amount of insight conveyed to us on the trip, and in an effort to structure this blog so that I don’t just ramble about my feelings (which I’m sure you’d all love to hear lol)  I’m going to split up some of my favorite key takeaways into a few sections.

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One of the coolest offices: Airbnb

The Trip

Repeated Phrases ~ Interconnectedness in the Valley

Before the trip, learning about various entrepreneurs that had started at one big name company and ended up at another was pretty common and once on the trip I again saw that parallel at both some of the bigger firms such as Google or Facebook and some of the smaller startups as well. For instance, Margaret Gould Stewart was an ex-Googler and Youtuber, and Frederick Crosby at Veem was previously at Paypal. Various evolving career paths illustrated how interconnected the world of technology is in Silicon Valley and it was amazing to see that first hand. I had only previously heard about groups of people like the “Paypal Mafia” in an abstract way and to hear about prior careers paths shaping employees’ future ones was exciting and reassuring. Everyone’s first job out of college might not be where they end up 10 or 15 years down the road, but skills and lessons learned are always transferrable.

What I also found interesting in Silicon Valley was some of the advice and phrases we heard the alumni or employees say to us that were the same at seemingly very different types of companies.

“Ask for forgiveness, not for permission”

The emphasis on timing

The emphasis on values

Storytelling

“Iterate fast”

“Don’t fear failure”

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The Power of the BC Network

Boston or New York were previously the only two places I’ve really heard a significant amount of BC grads moving to after college. But now, San Francisco can certainly be added to the list. While still a much smaller amount of grads end up on the west coast, it was really powerful to see the BC network first hand in Silicon Valley. To meet BC alums at the majority of the companies we visited was extremely motivating and inspiring and is going to push me back at school to consider many opportunities for internships and career opportunities in different locations.

Something I found really interesting was that at TalkDesk, not all members of the panel worked at TalkDesk anymore. I think this speaks so well to the character and values of BC alum that their relationships were strong enough to come back and speak to current BC students. I had heard on my tours of BC that we have a strong alumni network and I knew that my neighbor back home went to BC in the 90s and loved being an eagle, but having the opportunity to enter into someone’s workspace thousands of miles away and ask any question I could have was truly something else. My appreciation for this school has grown immensely and I feel honored to be a part of the growing BC network for the rest of my life.

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Google’s Android Garden

The Future

Before the trip, I kept going back and forth on deciding how I was going to take notes at our visits. I ended up deciding I would bring my journal and not only write all of my notes in one place but in a place I take with me everywhere I go. Over the past week, as I’ve picked up my journal to write about my day or a thought that comes to mind, I’ve found myself scrolling through our company visits and reading over the amazing insight and advice.

This trip is something I am going to take with me for the rest of my life.

TechTrek opened up my eyes to see opportunities out there I didn’t know existed and has allowed me to come back to BC with a (slightly) better idea of what I want to do after graduation. 🙂

As a student in CSOM, it is evident which banks and companies are recruiting on campus each Fall and Spring and while I always knew there were more options it never felt like they were possible before this year and before TechTrek. While the future is unknown, I am excited to see where life takes me. I can’t wait to continue to soak up as much as I can over the next two years at BC, and do it alongside my fellow TechTrekers as well!

Thank you

Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, and Kelsey, I’d like to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this class. I’d like to also thank all of the other TechTrek students for pushing me out of my comfort zone and engaging in some of the greatest conversations I’ve ever had. I am sad to see this class end on Wednesday, but I know we will continue to spend time with one another outside of the classroom. Who knows, maybe down the road in San Francisco too!

#BCSTT #D

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6 thoughts on “This is Just the Beginning

  1. Michelle, this was a great final post!! It blows my mind that you were intimidated after the first day of class. The level of comfort in your participation in the class and on the trip was awesome to see! I totally agree with you about your point about the BC network–probably my favorite part of the trip was witnessing how much Eagle Alumni care about current BC students. Like you said, alumni who don’t even work at Talkdesk anymore came to speak to us and answer our questions. The tech scene at BC seems to be small with all the hype around IB, Finance, and Accounting. It was so reassuring to see that many Eagle alums moved out to the West Coast to pursue tech in their post grad lives! I hope to see you out West some day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this reflection, Michelle! I can’t agree more with @paulosdbc, I’m so surprised you were intimidated on the first day of class because I always admired your engagement in conversations and preparedness. I too have reread my notes a few times, and you’re inspired me to keep a more active daily journal of life in general!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michelle, I loved this! I cannot stress Abby and Dan’s comments, as well. My jaw dropped when I read that because I actually felt the same way, but would have never realized you did, too. You were always so well-spoken and contributed immensely to this experience for me. Can’t wait to see where your amazing personality and self takes you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meesh,
    Despite knowing you for quite some amount of time now, I feel I know who Michelle is best now after TechTrek. I share your sentiment that sometimes its easy to feel as if you aren’t the smartest in the room, but it’s always remind how much you are really capable of and not to undersell yourself. You are brilliant and don’t you forget that!
    I agree with your sentiment that it was amazing, almost weird, how the only thing that allowed us to get in through all of those doors was the connection of Boston College- it just goes to show how grateful we should all be to be Eagles.
    I enjoyed every minute that we spent together on TechTrek, such as that unforgettable view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and I look forward to spending more time with you in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Michelle! I’ve honestly loved getting to know you throughout the trip! As your Tech Trek roommate, I was so glad to have someone to decompress with and process the thoughts going through my mind after our long days of company visits. We really do have a lot of the same thoughts about post-graduation life and share a common desire to learn more about different industries. In your post, I love how you emphasize that most of the professionals we met with had no idea that they would end up where they are today. I can’t agree more on the importance of having transferrable skills and continuously learning along the way. Again, I’m so glad we got to bond over Tech Trek, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Several of your classmates also wrote in their reflection posts that they felt out of place at the beginning of the semester too, but I can’t believe you were so intimidated! I’m happy your parents helped reassure you that you were in the right place, and I’m glad you found TechTrek to be such a rewarding experience. I also love the word cloud you made! Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

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