Every year a group of intrepid Columbia Business School MBAs head west to Seattle and the Bay Area to check out companies, meet recruiters and get a sense if the location and opportunities in the tech, startup and energy industries are something they want to pursue.
We traveled with the more than 70 students on their annual trek and was inspired by the curiosity and preparation of the students and the accessibility and creativity of the 40+ companies in Seattle and the Bay Area. From an inside look at the assembly line at Tesla Motors (unfortunately we were not able to bring our camera on the premises) to meeting “Baxter the Robot” at the manufacturing plant, Flextronics, to learning about fuel cells as the new energy grid at Bloom Energy.
The trip was a fascinating deep dive into big tech, energy, startup and VC industries. Although we wonder how the myriad of “big data” companies spawned in the San Francisco startup hub of SoMa are going to sustain themselves over years to come, there is an unrivaled innovative eco system that makes the bay area the tech destination hub of the world. Cities like New York, Boston, Austin, Seattle grudgingly acknowledge this, and although their public and business leaders often cry the death knell for the bay area, it has created a heated race for the #2 spot.
But after many a discussion we learned that no matter where you are in this connected world, if you have the right idea, drive, team and network you can be anywhere.
Some of the highlights from our trek were company visits to Flextronics, Bloom Energy and Microsoft. We talked with students, alumni and recruiters on working in the ever-changing technology industry and hope these segments are useful.
Hear From The Experts: Is Silicon Valley For You?