Semester Series: Sumeet Sinha – GBS Technology Trek Part 1: Seattle

Block 2 was merciless on the Goizueta Business School students, who could be seen toiling hard and spending time at school and library with teams completing assignments at all hours of the day and night. The story wasn’t much different for me, but what kept me going were the thoughts of week just after the Block 2 exams. I had signed up for the Technology Trek conducted by the Goizueta Technology Association, under the guidance of Brian Smith from the Career Management Center.

Amidst the chaos of the final few days of Block 2, a group of 20 odd students were also buying flight tickets, booking hotels, deciding on carpooling, and researching about companies where we were scheduled to visit. There was a lot on plate, but GBS students can handle anything and everything!

I, along with a bunch of friends, took a flight to Seattle on a Sunday morning. There was a layover at Denver for 4 hours. So we sneaked in a visit to Denver downtown for some brunch and a short walk around. Braving the long lines at security check at Denver airport, we flew to Seattle that welcomed us with grey clouds and drizzle. That didn’t stop us from checking out some cool eating joints, the port of Seattle and the Space Needle.

Next day, early morning, we drove to Redmond to the Microsoft office and met the GBS alums there. We had a fruitful discussion with them on issues ranging from life at Miscrosoft to how change in top leadership has changed the attitude of the organization.

At Microsoft, Redmond.

At Microsoft, Redmond.

We got to do a lot of cool stuff too, like play Xbox at their Visitor Center!

B school students also enjoy dancing to XboxOne

B school students also enjoy dancing to XboxOne

We then visited Zillow, the online real estate giant. We had a great lunch there, gorging on delicious food while treating our eyes to picturesque Seattle. They definitely have one of the best views from their office! We learnt how they manage to stay ahead of the competition and how Zillow has helped people find the right houses over the years.

View from the Zillow office

View from the Zillow office

Just after Zillow, we were scheduled to visit Amazon. We realized that the world’s first Starbucks store was just a short walk away from us. We dashed to the Pike Street and visited the Starbucks. We didn’t have enough time to grab a coffee, but a couple of quick selfies never hurt!

The alums at Amazon welcomed us with warm smiles and Amazon cookies! We learnt about the internship opportunities at Amazon and also discussed how the Amazon’s Leadership Principles have preserved the work culture in a fast growing company. We took a tour of their offices and came to know that Amazon is a dog friendly company (awesome!). Even a building was named after man’s beloved four legged friend named Rufus. Way to go Amazon!

Pic with the Amazon logo decorated for Halloween.

Pic with the Amazon logo decorated for Halloween.

While it kept drizzling for our entire stay in Seattle, we loved walking around and exploring this beautiful city before we took off, some for San Francisco, some for other places, some back to Atlanta. We loved Seattle and the amazing companies there!

Brian Smith put tremendous effort to schedule our visits to all the companies and also helped us during the trek. His thoughts on the trek: “I love leading the annual MBA Tech Trek to Seattle and San Francisco. We have amazing alumni on the West Coast, and the opportunity to meet with them and gain insight into their professional lives always inspires. Aside from being a ton of fun, the trip is one of the many reminders that Goizueta is an amazing place not only because of what happens inside the classroom, but because of all the real world growth opportunities and the lifelong network waiting for you wherever you go.”

(Next part of the tech trek series coming soon.)

 

 

Sumeet Sinha

MBA candidate at Emory University Goizueta Business School. Loves Quora.com and manages ExoticIdiotism.com

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