Disclaimer: so sorry about the cheesiness of this blog title, I wanted to wrap it all up and that is the best that my Monday morning brain could come up with.
Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Tech Trek East and our time in New York City would probably be the immense influx of information. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever been exposed to that amount of material in such a short period–I highly doubt I ever will experience that intensity ever again. But I loved it. We learned so much about the companies and I feel like I learned so much about myself and what I’m interested in, which has turned out to be invaluable to me. I would 100% do it again… but I think I still need to catch up on my sleep.
Oh boy, was I in need of caffeine on this trip. From the late nights to the early mornings, we really packed in every experience we could. Admittedly, the bus ride to the city was not my favorite part, but it was very enlightening being exposed to the wonderful NYC traffic and getting to see all the hustle and bustle before we got exposed to it. I think the last time I was in New York was over a decade ago, so seeing the State of Liberty on the skyline as we drove towards the 9/11 museum was very exciting. Speaking of the museum, that was arguably the best museum I have ever been to. Being from the Boston area, I am always aware of the events that occurred that day, but I’ve never truly been exposed to the emotion and gut-wrenching stories from September 11. Starting the trip off that way really made me feel wrapped up in the city. One thing I told and will continue to tell people that ask about the trip is what happened when Jenna, Kevin, and I walked into the room with the wall of pictures of the victims. There was the smaller room in the middle that had a slideshow of the people with pictures, quotes, and audio recordings. When the three of us walked into that room, out of the nearly three thousand people possible, Welles Remy Crowther’s name was projected on the wall. I don’t really know how to explain the feeling I had when I saw his name, but I do know that I was incredibly proud to be a Boston College student and I was ready to charge forward and take every advantage I could on our trip.
Dinner with Mr. DeNatale was fantastic–I really appreciate that we were able to do that and that he was kind enough to share his wisdom with us. He is so right about the importance of taking advantage of the incredible network made available to us through our university, and I genuinely intend to take advantage of it. When I requested to connect with him on LinkedIn, he happily accepted and even sent me a kind message thanking me for introducing him and again mentioning the power of the BC network, even calling it “one of the core components of our diploma.”
The first day was definitely a success, and it was only up from there. From our first visit at Sprinklr–with quite possibly my new idol, Carlos Dominguez–to our last at Goldman Sachs (with also quite possibly my new idol Marie Louise Kirk), it was a trip packed with information, bonding, and very many steps for my Fitbit. There were probably two downfalls to the trip: me spilling coffee on my white shirt even before our first visit of the day, and me forgetting my Fitbit in the room, so I couldn’t log all the steps Professor Doyle was getting us. Overall, I don’t think I could rave more about the trip. Despite the lingering exhaustion, I feel I came out of this trip with a few dozen more friendly faces around campus, some newly formed friendships, and just a bit more knowledge about the tech industry. *winks*
One of my favorite things about the class itself is the lack of grades. At first, I think my type A brain had a few panic-stricken moments at the thought, but it proved to be incredibly valuable to my performance in the class. For the first time, I truly didn’t worry about grades in a class (well, except maybe the presentation), and I was able to dive into the work headfirst–because I wanted to, not because some arbitrary number on my Canvas Grades page depended on it. Starting the year off by having dipped my toe in the water with Machine, Platform, Crowd, I think I was even more excited to delve into conversations with the class and Professors Kane and Doyle about business and technology. Though the readings and videos often took up a good chunk of my Sundays at the library, Tech Trek was the one class I can truly say I enjoyed every assignment. From discussing the implications of everyone’s favorite buzzwords (machine learning and artificial intelligence, of course) to inviting the wonderful Sara Samir into our class to help us grasp the concept of cryptocurrency and blockchain, I think we are coming away from this experience with a well-rounded, diversified look at the world of technology. I highly doubt I’ll ever stop telling people about e-Estonia or insisting people look into McAfee and Brynjolfsson’s works. Some classes basically require you to do the work, cram and memorize the topics, but don’t ever provide a basis of applicability. I am so grateful for our chance to be able to apply our learning to real-world situations. On top of all of this, I truly saw the benefit of our little brainstorming and discussion sessions, both in small and large groups. Some professors assign readings and then merely lecture on them. Getting the ability to put our own spin and communicate our burning questions to the whole class was fantastic. I don’t think I have a single complaint about any of our time spent in Cushing 208, or out of it for that matter.
First of all, if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read all of my ramblings. I am so proud of all that we were able to accomplish: 22 companies in three days is no small feat. I want to thank all of you for going on this journey with me, and sharing all of your wisdom/ insights/ experiences with the class. I don’t know exactly what I expected this class to be when I originally signed up for it, but I know it far exceeded all of my expectations. It’s not an experience that I will forget and I’m so glad I got to experience it with all of you. So,
Thank you to the class for teaching me, endlessly
Thank you to Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, and Kelsey for making this all possible and giving me countless unforgettable memories
Thank you to Rohan and Julia for being there for us and being the best TAs ever
I sincerely hope I’m not forgetting anyone (Handy, you’ll get your thank you card soon enough). Anyway, thank you to the reader for powering through all of this, and I can’t wait to see you all in class on Wednesday!