Guest Blog: West Coast Technology-Focused Job Trek

This week’s guest blog is by First Year Chris McCabe. Read about his experience at the West Coast Technology-Focused Job Trek:

McCabe_ChrisDarden students experience a number of important transformations during the fall semester of their First Year.  Chief among these is the shift in focus over class participation points and upcoming final exams to the pursuit of summer internships.  Throughout the fall semester, there are many opportunities to get to know the multitude of companies that recruit on Grounds.  A wide variety of firms host company briefings, networking nights, dinners, cocktail hours, mock interviews and other opportunities to get to know the companies and their employees.

Among the most important recruiting experiences, however, are the Job Treks that occur after the completion of final exams at the end of the fall semester.  Treks are organized by industry, geography, or both, and bring a small army of Darden students to visit companies in each Trek’s region.  This year, Darden students organized a New York City Luxury Goods Trek, a Minneapolis Marketing Trek, a Texas Oil and Gas Trek, a Northwest Outdoor and Adventure Trek, a Week on Wall Street, an Atlanta Trek and a West Coast Tech Trek, among others.  I had the privilege of helping to organize a portion of the Tech Trek to Seattle and San Francisco.

Organizing a Job Trek is a great way to build relationships with companies and also to bond with fellow classmates outside of the “Darden bubble.”  I had never been to Seattle or San Francisco, so it was an excellent chance to spend time in the cities I might potentially be living in this summer.  An Alumni Happy Hour is another important component of the Job Trek.  With help from Alumni Services, we organized get-togethers at local restaurants and spent the evening chatting with Darden alumni living in the cities we visited.  In Seattle, we went to Amazon, a Danaher portfolio company called Fluke and brought the largest group of MBA students from any school ever to visit Microsoft.

Darden First Year Students on the West Coast Tech Trek in Seattle, Washington

Darden First Year Students on the West Coast Tech Trek in Seattle, Washington

In San Francisco, we visited Google, Facebook, Twitter, Cisco, VMware, Tesla, the mobile gaming company GREE and a venture-backed start up called Twilio.  Alumni from Salesforce.com, Intuit and Apple joined us at the happy hour in Palo Alto.  In addition, handful of students individually scheduled time to interview with other west coast tech firms, and a few more students have since done phone interviews with companies they met during the Trek.

Darden First Year Students during the West Coast Tech Trek in San Francisco, California

Darden First Year Students during the West Coast Tech Trek in San Francisco, California

Over the past two weeks, Amazon, Microsoft and Danaher have come to Darden to conduct interviews for summer internships.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to hang out at these companies’ headquarters and chat with some of the same people who conducted the interviews.  Now that my internship hunt is in full swing, I am grateful that I got to see the landscape of the Tech industry firsthand in both Seattle and Silicon Valley and form strong contacts at several top notch west coast companies.

Chris McCabe
MBA Class of 2014

Chris grew up near Detroit, Michigan and attended Albion College.  After graduating from Albion, Chris spent four years in management consulting, implementing cutting edge software at struggling automotive suppliers across North America.  Chris is currently recruiting for internships in the Technology industry.

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