Buckeye Trek — Exploring Silicon Valley
Growing up, computers always fascinated me. Once I decided that I would be making a career out of my passion for building software, I immediately learned as much as I could about the world’s most influential technology companies. Because of this, it’s no surprise that in my head ‘Silicon Valley’ grew notorious for its association with computers and innovation.
I applied to the Buckeye Trek because of my genuine fascination with the Bay Area. So when I got an email letting me know that I (and 10 other CSE selected students from Ohio State)was going to be spending fall break exploring the area and its culture firsthand, my tremendous excitement was met with nervous anticipation.
What is Buckeye Trek?
Buckeye Trek was a unique opportunity to finally explore Silicon Valley, all while meeting wonderfully friendly people in some of the coolest companies in the world! Over a few days, we met with leaders and Alumni (often leaders that are Alumni!) at companies ranging from startups, to hardware companies, to software companies. On just the first day there, we visited Western Digital, Facebook, Google and even the Stanford Design School! The next day, we visited Clockwise, Turnitin, Microsoft, and Amazon. And the last day, we wrapped up with visiting Box! At each company visit, we typically walked through a tour of the office (each office was like a playground for geeks), allowing us to observe employees in a normal workday setting, shared a meal or snacks with Alumni, and participated in Q&A with company leadership and recruiting. Outside of our office visits, we ate dinner with OSU Alumni working in the area. Honestly, getting to hear firsthand what living and working in the Bay Area is like was the most valuable part of the trip to me.
I would say that anyone who is even curious about life in Silicon Valley should apply! The short time I spent there has already paid dividends in my career search. As I explore my career path, I now have connections with remarkably talented and unbelievably friendly professionals at some of the worlds most highly desired companies.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the trip is paid for? There is no way I could have gone on the Trek if I had to come up with money for travel, lodging, and food. Thanks to generous donations, all I had to worry about was learning absolutely as much as I could. This leaves no excuse to not apply!
As a last note, yes, the weather is as perfect as you’ve heard it is. And yes, the people are just as brilliant as you’ve heard they are. But nothing could prepare me for how excited people were to help us on our career paths.