Tech Trip 2011: The Adventure of a Lifetime!
This blog is written by Kim, our campus ambassador from NYU, where she studies marketing and computer science in the business school.
This past summer, Lauren emailed all of her Campus Ambassadors with an amazing opportunity she had heard of – Lenovo’s “TechTrip.” After an application and several rounds of selection, I was chosen of hundreds of students to embark on this whirlwind, once-in-a-lifetime “TechTrip.”
The two-week trip flew me and two other college students all around the nation – from Raleigh to San Jose to San Francisco! Whilst thoroughly exhausting (I saw a total of four hotels and nine airports), it was absolutely worth the long days and late nights. I proudly consider myself a tech monster that lives and breathes startup life, but it was great to see the true foundation of tech – the “OG” tech movement, as I like to call it!
Because I have been blessed to be born into Generation Y, my life is very much defined by mobile, quickly accessible technology at my fingertips. Because of this near-dependency, I have almost forgotten that there is actual hardware behind the tech magic.
Visiting the various companies’ headquarters around the nation was a refreshing wake-up call. At both Lenovo and Intel, the three of us learned about the true work and innovation that goes into all of the seemingly simple parts that we take for granted everyday in our laptops and computers. By creating these products, Lenovo and Intel are essentially enabling further innovation and creativity. I found that at each company, I was consistently surprised (and delighted) by what they were doing and what they planned to do - I can say with confidence that these are no longer just my dad’s old computer companies!
Once the three of us hit the West Coast to visit with Namco Bandai and Dolby, we truly saw the future of tech in terms of the social space, gaming, and the importance of online community. I loved that they were so willing to embrace (and in fact, run with utter abandon) this sense of new generation tech.
While it was a lot of learning, touring, and networking, the group genuinely had fun! I personally love traveling, and try to take advantage of it whenever and wherever I can. The chance to revisit some of my favorite cities was amazing; while I’m an East Coast girl at heart, something about SF tugs at my heartstrings.
I also got to frolic about and explore with the two other winners, SrBilyon and Alan. While both of the boys are older (attending DeVry University and University of Houston, respectively) and have much more technical backgrounds, we all ended up becoming best friends by the end of the two-week trip. (I still joke that they’re like my little brothers.)
The three of us bonded quickly – whether we were brunching in San Francisco, eating tacos in Raleigh, or working on the company challenges in various hotel lobbies. They are both so wonderfully goofy and lovable, and I expect to stay in touch.