Boston College seems to have a lot of these ‘life changing’ moments and whenever students experience them, everyone knows. They won’t stop talking about how their lives have been changed forever. Think about it… you hear it all the time: “PULSE changed my life”, “Appa changed my life” the list goes on and on.
I am not here to denigrate those life changing experiences. I, too, found myself in one of these very same situations sitting on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Boston. Tech Trek changed my life.
Although, probably not in the way you think. I am not planning on dropping out of school, packing up my stuff and moving to Silicon Valley to start the next big thing. In fact, the ‘change’ that I am referencing is much more subtle, but much more liberating. Give me a minute to explain.
If you remember the flight out of Boston, we were all freaking out that the weather would impede our travel. When we finally boarded the plane, I got to my seat and looked out the window. The sky was that weird, hazy gray color, indicating more snow was imminent.
6 hours later, we made it to San Francisco in one (extremely tired) piece.
That week in San Francisco was, by far, the busiest week of my life. Virtually every single day, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, we were running from office to office trying to soak up all of the information we could. During each of the meetings, we furiously scribbled in our notebooks, attempting to write down each and every piece of advice given to us. After all, each person we met with throughout the trip had a unique perspective and something new to add.
Among the Boston College graduates that we met with, however, there was one common theme that came up time and time again: chase after your passions. Do whatever you want to do, whatever makes you happy, and do it well.
Many referenced the fact that many Boston College students, especially in the Carroll School of Management, get caught in this train of thought that they have to go to a Big 4 Accounting firm, Wall Street, or a big-name consulting firm post-graduation. I am no exception to this trend, having accepted a position at one of those accounting firms for this upcoming summer. However, the opportunities for learning and growth in a professional growth are endless, especially in this day and age.
Taking risks and not being afraid to fail was another recurring theme that we heard, from the Venture Capital firms to the founders of the smallest startups alike. Not taking risks just to take risks but taking risks on things that you truly believed in. Virtually every single Boston College graduate that we spoke to took some sort of risk to pursue their passions and that eventually brought them out West.
The Boston College education provides each us with the tools necessary to better determine our vocations in life. Through the liberal arts education, we are encouraged to study cross-disciplinary subjects and really investigate our interests. On top of this, unique immersive experiences like Tech Trek West allow us to further evaluate our passions in a more hands-on environment. This well-rounded approach to education allows us to be better equipped to find what we love and do it well.
Be passionate about something. It doesn’t have to be sports. Just find what you are passionate about and pursue that.Doug Mack, Fanatics
After speaking to various Boston College alumni on this trip, both at office visits and the Tech Council event, I was able to step back and see the benefit of the Boston College education. This, paired with the robust alumni network, creates the perfect environment for its graduates to thrive in the real world, no matter where we end up.
On the plane home, somewhere in between sleep and reflection, I realized how important this all was. I
could should stop being so conservative in my approach to my education and professional career. I needed to step back and be honest to myself about where my passions are and pursue more opportunities relating to them.
Unfortunately, I realized this going into my senior year. It has been a little overwhelming trying to balance all of the interesting classes that I want to take over the next two semesters with the ones that I have to take. Hopefully the sophomores on the trip will make this same realization with plenty of time to really pursue those passions in an academic setting.
I took a deep breath, picked my head up and looked out the plane window. The sky was perfectly clear, a stark juxtaposition to where I had been just a week before, both physically and mentally.