I believe the title speaks for itself; at least for those who have been lucky enough to take part in this unforgettable course. It is easy to describe this course as being an experience like none other, however, the true value settles with what each individual student gets out of the trip. This course gives every student the opportunity to grow and gain a better sense of self-awareness meanwhile acquiring valuable knowledge that will be crucial to one’s future whether entering the tech industry or not. Nevertheless, as Peter Bell would say, “Every company is a tech company”.
Whether it was the opportunity to meet with executives at large technology corporations or dedicated founders of developing startups, our class was able to gain insight along a large spectrum that will help to refine our career paths. This could not have been made possible without the rigorous preparation served by Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, and Kelsey. I am grateful for their drive in making this trip as memorable and as productive as possible. The class discussions, tweets, blog posts, and preparation of questions was immensely effective in ensuring that each student made the most of the time that the alumni and other hosts had generously allotted. Without these factors, the time spent in the center of the nation’s tech hub may not have been spent as valuably; and we certainly wouldn’t have been fortunate enough to capture some of these indelible moments:
Now I guess I’ll explain what I mean by Tech Trek never ends. There are multiple meanings behind this so I’ll share by breaking each down.
- First off, the main concept of the course – Technology. As we’ve learned countless times throughout the class discussions and from the repetitive reminder by the hosts of the trip, technology is always advancing. Improvements in technology will never end and this is especially backed by what we saw at the startups. The fast-paced culture is often fueled by pressure to stay ahead of the competition and for most, that means continuous innovation in tech.
- Next up, the evident tech trek that we all as students are currently experiencing as we hunt for internships and future positions. The things that we have learned on this trip will forever be with us and the skills learned forever utilized as we take on this endeavor. Not only did we learn about business slang and have people like Madison Reed break down what Total Addressing Market (TAM) means, but we also had numerous visits that provided career advice. For example, the startup panel underlined the importance of persistence. Nick from Sendoso elaborated on not expecting to hear back all the time as we reach out to hundreds of people and to respond with INTENT if we are able to get a response. These are only a few of the notable takeaways that I will soon elaborate on.
- Tech Trek never ends to the unlimited extent that we have seen through the BC network. Throughout our visits, we met with more alumni that were once in our own seats as part of tech trek than I had ever expected. One of my favorite examples being Mike Perry from twitter who had recently graduated from BC in 2018. Being able to connect with someone on a more personal level, knowing that he was exactly where we are, almost leveled the playing field in a sense and was a source of inspiration that I had not previously foreseen. Again, the list of hosts who were also once part of Tech Trek and/or at Boston College could go on forever. However, this trip underscored the importance of the BC network and how deeply it extends. There is a legacy to uphold and fellow Eagles are truly there to help out; in this sense, Tech Trek never ends.
- Finally: the memories. We all know that memories are priceless and are everlasting. One of the most exciting parts of the trip is getting to grow as a class and working to grow our network together. Being part of a class who shared many of the same interests definitely enhanced the experience and produced so many things to reminisce about – one of my favorite memories being Professor Kane enjoy the slide at Houzz. Beyond being an experience to remember, we also were reminded that this group is now a large part of our BC Network. Whether it be technology advancing, the hunt for a job, the bc network, or even just the memories, Tech Trek really never ends and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of such an amazing experience
I feel that the best way to cap this off would be to share some impressions that were left on me from some of my favorite visits.
Being a last minute add to our schedule into a tight time slot, the visit to Nuro was my favorite experience for a number of reasons. Evidently the technology behind the company was captivating as it was essentially us seeing the future first hand. Nuro has brought such a unique position to the autonomous vehicle industry and I feel that they will play a big role in shaping our future. However, despite the fancy technology that seemed to blow everyones mind, the real focal point of the visit to me was Riley. My notes are a testament to this as Nuro was arguably the shortest visit, yet, it is the one that takes up the most pages in my notebook. Riley was one of the most well-prepared and well-spoken people I have come across. With our own schedule in mind, Riley was extremely time efficient and was able to get an enormous about of information across. I can honestly say that I left that visit inspired. Having learned that he graduated early and started a company during his schooling, it was clear that he was exceedingly ambitious. On top of that, his slides were detailed and even set aside a slide for advice and that had me staring at the board despite the lack of sleep I was viciously fighting against. Riley recommended that we take initiative, hustle, and be scrappy. Lastly, there is no one path for someone to take. I never would have associated scrappy with business and technology but Rileys advice has moved me to already link with a multitude of employers. Leaving Nuro, I felt comfortable knowing that I am in charge of my own career and success has no answer.
The startup panel including Rainforest, Beyond Pricing, Ironclad, and Sendoso was another one of my favorite visits because I felt more connected with the hosts that presented. These people had prior experience, however, they were so transparent and open about what they shared and it made the overall visit especially entertaining. The panel was able to get real descriptive on how we can proceed to explore job opportunities. They emphasized the bc network, the importance of finding a ‘fit’, being intentional in conversations with employers, and that “You are not your job” – Frank Golden.
Lastly, I would like to speak on what was arguably my favorite visit to a large technology company. Seeing what was behind the scenes of an app that I use daily, and one that we used constantly in class, was so fascinating. The office was spectacular and the people even better. Mike Perry, Oliver Snoddy, and Elizabeth Mansfield, were some of the most outgoing people and they made it clear why they have landed where they are today. I found it engaging to hear about how they think of the platform from their perspective. They noted that one of the biggest challenges is largely letting others define the brand. This was a very thought-provoking idea to me because I never even gave attention to the notion that by being a social media or news platform where everyone is given access, it is a huge obstacle to control what is being said and how that carries the Twitter brand. With the opening up to the class for questions, it was also clear that these people had provided the most thorough answers to our questions.
And now a good closing to this blog from what was pronounced at Twitter: There is so much to learn from the people around you. Professor Kane, Professor Doyle, and Kelsey truly brought this notion to life by first fortifying that we would be meeting with some of the most intelligible people from Silicon Valley and lastly, fueling us with their own knowledge – Thank you!