There hadn’t been one dull moment in this class. Perhaps it’s the stress of tweeting six times a week, or keeping up with the blog posts and readings, but what gets me excited the most about coming to class every Wednesday was our open discussions. TechTrek East is a class where I felt comfortable sharing my views and ideas on current technological trends and how it affects different businesses. It felt rewarding to be able to directly apply everything we’ve been talking about during the first 6 weeks of the course to our trip to New York City. However, the most valuable takeaways from this trip were the life lessons and advice shared by our hosts.
At the start of our company visits, Carlos from Sprinklr was filled with energy and excitement when he talked about his journey. Coming from an immigrant family, Carlos did what he had to do to take care of the whole family. I related to this on a personal level because I also come from an immigrant household, and hearing someone who is successful talk about his humble journey and how he stayed positive and hard working through all the hardships he had faced was truly inspiring. It’s also made me more grateful for my opportunity to go to college.
It is easy to assume that ideas and execution are the main pillars to a company’s success. However, without the right people cultivating a positive culture, a company can find itself in the “trough of sorrow” (Simon Berg, CEO of Ceros).
Here are several great examples:
- Freshly: People first, total size of market second, and the actual idea itself is third
- Ceros: Work with people who can be brutally honest with you. Find those who will stick by you when the company is going down and under.
- Facebook: Nothing here is someone else’s problem.
- MetLife: The best people are those who are open-minded and are willing to adapt to change.
- JW Player: You can build great tech, but you need a great group of people.
- Ted: Everyone at Ted embodies the Ted Spirit and is given the space to be themselves.
- Socure: One of the big mistakes we made early on was focusing too much on the technical aspects rather than building a culture.
The journey of any entrepreneur is filled with unpredictable twists and turns, but having the right people by them through the good and the bad will help the business learn from mistakes and succeed as a whole.
The same concept applies to why TechTrek East was a great success. Every student had the passion and curiosity that was needed to drive the in-class discussions.We had insightful, open discussions on the topic of the week and raised intelligent questions. The class wasn’t your typical read the textbook, memorize the definitions and concepts, and you’ll succeed. It was more about understanding the real world applications of the topics, questioning the issues they may cause, and being confident in sharing individual perspectives.
The tech panel on our second day made me realized how powerful the BC network is. During the event, all the panelist encouraged that we utilize the vast network within the BC community both during our years on campus and after graduation. Before this class, I always feared networking events because I would struggle to start a conversation and be afraid to ask for advice. This event encouraged me to network with BC alums by talking about their undergraduate years and learn about their stories. It was nice to know that most alums are always willing to help if you can gather up the courage to reach out.
I am hoping this class will teach me how to utilize Twitter effectively (I rarely use Twitter) and how to network with professionals. I’m also excited to get to know everyone else in the class especially since we’ll all be spending a good amount of time together. Because this course will require a lot of public speaking and active discussion, I will have to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to confidently present myself. (my intro blog)
This class has exceeded all my initial expectations. Tweeting was definitely stressful at first, but as we started tweeting more frequently, it became more natural. I’m really glad I took this class and met a wonderful group of people. (There is no other group I would want to speed walk through NYC with)
I enjoyed every company that we visited on this trip, but the advice that resonated with me the most was from Goldman Sachs: “Get out of your comfort zone, roll with the punches, and embrace uncertainty and chaos.”
Thank you Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, BC Shea Center, and my fellow techtrekers for making this class an unforgettable and amazing part of my BC experience.