Between BBQ and breakfast tacos, 2018's Spring Break TechTour to Austin had CCTers pitching themselves to companies, nonprofits, and renowned centers of research. At WE Communications and Bumble we learned about integrated storytelling and bringing in core values to shape the user's experience. Boxx and Accenture took us through their approach to connecting client needs to workstation building and consulting solutions, respectively. Nucleus Learning Network cofounder Sarah Morris described linking Austin area education assets. And at UT Austin we were welcomed by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas as they planned for their annual ISOJ conference, then went behind the scenes at the Moody College of Communication from the KUTX studio to the Brain and Behavioral Science Laboratory.
"It was a week of many firsts for me: my first time in Austin, my first time in Texas, and my first time spending spring break on a "tech tour," visiting companies across a city with some of my fellow students. I am very glad I took a chance on all three. It was really great to learn so much about a compelling variety of companies in a relatively short time span. All of them had inviting employees and compelling professional opportunities. I also packed an insane number of amazing cultural outings into my week: from multiple visits to the raging live music scene on 6th street, to a five-hour bike ride in Barton Creek Park up to Sculpture Falls, our time in Texas was eye-opening in more ways than I would have ever anticipated." - Josh Weiner
The Austin Tech Tours provided us with an intimate and informational platform for interacting with professionals across different industries that appeal to CCT students. I was surprised about the number of career paths exist for people with a similar background to mine (CCT) from crisis communications to computer hardware! Plus, Austin was a super cool city to spend a few days exploring. - Carson Collier
Through visits to Hubspot, Berkman Klein Research Center, Breakaway Capital, Genuine Digital, WBUR, and The Globe, Boston showed CCT it is truly aware of the changing business and workforce infrastructure. 14 students spent spring break visiting diverse companies in the fields of software, research, marketing, venture capital, and digital and print media. While the companies ranged in size, culture, and sector, all were keenly aware with how emerging technologies impact everyday needs. Companies approached the issue from varied perspectives, from robots at the Boston Globe to internal surveys employee happiness assessment at Hubspot, but efficiency and efficacy were always paramount. The trip was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into many worlds that CCTers can inhabit, and what those current fields value most in their employees. And it goes without saying, we also ate a ton of lobster, baked beans, and Dunkin Donuts.
In many ways, the Boston Tech Tour felt like a reflection of CCT itself: fascinating, diverse and inherently interdisciplinary approaches to rapidly-changing industries. It became clear in our talk-backs with the various organizations that the qualities hey look for in applicants — flexibility, independent problem-solving, strong communication skills — perfectly align with those honed at CCT. Despite our disparate focus areas, it was fun to see how our individual passions and interests could potentially fit in at all of the organizations we visited. I came to the tour with preconceived notions about my post-grad plan that were ultimately challenged (in a good way!) by the opportunities presented at all of our visits. tldr; Tech Tour is an excellent way to spend your Spring Break — I’d take braving the snow in Boston with my fellow CCT’ers over a beach in Cancun any day. - Ellen Kaufman ‘18
I was most intrigued by Berkman Klein Research Center’s Meta Lab, “a knowledge-design lab dedicated to innovation and experimentation in the networked arts and humanities.” I was supremely impressed by the lab’s ability to integrate experiential engagement with research and provocative thought, and simultaneously create infrastructure product useful for the current Harvard student needs. -Lucy Obus ‘18
During Spring 2016, CCTers visited New York City and toured The Wall Street Journal, Data and Society, AdCouncil, Tasks and Purpose, The Guggenheim, and MediaVest. They also met up with CCT alums for networking and attended a happy hour with Venture Hoyas.
MediaVest is a division of Starcom Meidavest Group (SMG), a part of the world’s largest communication group, the Publicis Group in Paris. The visit was a great opportunity to have interface with employees of this elite industry. Oleg Korenfeld, the senior vice president of Ad Tech & Platforms, delivered a brilliant lecture about their data architecture team. MediaVest is not a traditional design agency; it is focused on driving content and analyzing different kinds of data to help the client to buy digital products. CCT alumni Ramez Karkar, the director of Ad Tech & Data Architecture, also gave us a personalized tour. The most fascinating aspect of the TechTour is it helped me open a door to see culture of a company. During the three days, I recognized almost every company talked about big data and virtual reality--it’s definitely important in the future. Thanks again to the TechTour team who organized this wonderful and insightful trip! -Waynu Zhang '17
We visited Ad Council during the second day of the New York TechTour, and this organization really impressed me. As a non-profit advertising company, Ad Council contributes to social good, working with the government, public services, and leading agencies. Each campaign takes about 9 months, and each team takes responsibility for tracking exposures, follow-up surveys, and data analysis. Ad Council targets a variety of topics such as bullying, drinking and driving, and animal adoption on both national and local levels. One of the most successful campaigns is “Love Has No Labels.” I was shocked, because I had seen this commercial before and really liked it, but didn’t know it was from Ad Council. I really admire the people in Ad Council, who dedicate their creativity and passion into social good. They are the ones who are trying to make this world a better place! -Shimeng Tong '17
For the inaugural CCTechTour, students traveled to San Francisco to visit exciting companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Pandora, OpenTable, Elance-O-Desk, Founders Fund, Intuit and Kiva. The CCTers on the trip came away with an increased understanding of career opportunities, real world networking, and great stories!
My favorite companies to visit were Facebook and Google. Their work culture is unique and definitely worth experiencing. It gave me the opportunity to imagine myself working there, something that I hadn’t done before. Having the chance to meet people and see it for myself has inspired me to submit applications and continue networking with the individuals we met. -Krisia Jones
The tour was a perfect balance of “fun” spring break--the adventure of traveling west, enough free time to enjoy the city and some of the surrounding environs, that incomparable California sun--and “productive” business trip--networking with potential future professional connections, exploring a new professional landscape, gaining new experiences and ideas about my potential fit in the post CCT professional world. -Zach Schalk
Before the tour, Facebook, Google, and Pandora were merely big names I read about. The TechTour helped familiarize me with these tech companies, the processes that organize them, and the people who work for them. The CCTechTour gave me an unbeatable understanding of what “technology and innovation can change the way we live” really means. Being able to not only understand technology policies in class at CCT, but actually visit the meeting room in Google where Googlers constantly convert great ideas to next generation of Google products, and ask questions to the company representatives and Georgetown alumni that have a voice on in those meetings truly enhanced my understanding of the technology world. -Dong Xing