April 23, 2019
This spring, Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) launched its first-ever Silicon Valley Immersion trip. Set during spring break, the pilot program exposed ten undergraduates to a variety of notable Silicon Valley tech companies with connections to Syracuse, including Google, Microsoft, and Linkedin.
College staff connected with alumni at top companies, established a precedent for future ECS immersions, and above all else, delivered an impactful learning experience and valuable networking opportunities for students. The trip was a truly collaborative effort between alumni; the ECS Advancement, Career Services, and Inclusive Excellence staff; and staff from the University’s regional office in Los Angeles.
“The Silicon Valley Immersion Trip is an opportunity for students to explore companies in a way they wouldn’t have expected to,” said Christopher Maldonado, an ECS career advisor. “When you are visiting these companies, they are talking to you like a friend, especially since many of our connections are through alumni.”
Throughout the trip, sophomores and juniors from across the college’s disciplines visited 12 notable companies: Google, Linkedin, YouTube, eBay, Spirent, Argo, Intel, Uber, WSP, Microsoft, AirBnB, and Lux Capital. At each location, alumni open the doors to their employer to share their company’s innovations, work culture, and opportunities with current students.
Karen Davis, the ECS Interim Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence, said, “The students get to see what their next step is going to be. They see life after college.”
Based on feedback from student and alumni participants, the college plans offer the Silicon Valley Immersion trip again during the 2020 spring break and explore the possibility of expanding to other cities, including New York.
“If I could describe it in one word, I would say inspirational,” said electrical engineering major Miguel Gomez. “It was amazing to be able to sit down and talk with these engineers. I would honestly recommend this to anyone who has a chance to go.”