For two gadget-filled days, Kelley students descended on Silicon Valley to meet business leaders in the tech industry. The trek was put on by the Kelley High Tech Club, an organization that helps MBA students learn about business roles and make contacts, in this dynamic industry. 20 Kelley 1st-years and 2nd-years made the trip out to the San Francisco Bay Area.
After enjoying delicious ethnic food in downtown Mountain View, the group kicked off the company visits with a stop at Intuit. There they met with the creator of Intuit Brainstorm, an idea-sharing social network that has rapidly accelerated innovation within the company and is now making waves in firms across the US. After that, they headed up the road to tour Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto. Built out of an old warehouse, the HQ was a scene of complete openness mixed with a heaping spoonful of creativity. After learning all about the culture and the structure that makes the company tick, the group stopped for photo ops by The Facebook Wall, waved goodbye to Mark Zuckerberg, and prepared for the next day.
Day Two began bright and early at Brocade's brand-new facility in San Jose. There students heard from experts in product management, marketing, finance, and human resources to learn about many of the roles that MBAs play in the leading provider of business networking solutions. The trek's host at Brocade, a Kelley alum, even arranged to have IU's fight song play as the group arrived. Following that session, the students headed back to Palo Alto to have lunch with Cooliris, an exciting startup that developed the must-have browser add-on of the same name and that just launched a new photo-sharing application called Liveshare. The company's CEO, as well as members of the marketing and engineering departments, talked with the group about working in a fast-paced startup and gave them hands-on demos of their latest creations. After that, the trek continued in downtown San Francisco at CBS Interactive, developer of online content and hosting for the media giant's family of websites, which includes favorites such as cnet.com, tv.com, and NCAA.com. The company's lead recruiter gave the group a tour and a presentation on the ins-and-outs of the corporate structure. To cap off the trek, students headed out for happy hour in San Francisco, where they met with a representative of Genentech to get a perspective on the bio-side of technology.
After all was said and done, the trek participants were ready to relax after an intense but incredibly valuable two days in the center of the technology world.
Guest blog post entry by Jason Fletchall, 2012 Kelley MBA candidate.