On the sixth annual Career Planning “Tech Trek” to Boston, fifty students traveled around the city, visiting technology companies and speaking with Bowdoin alumni who work for them.
Since Sean Marsh ’95 of Point Judith Capital helped launch the program, the Tech Trek has brought students to over a dozen firms and continues to be one of the most popular Career Planning events each fall, according to Todd Herrmann, Bowdoin Career Planning’s associate director of employer relations.
Herrmann said that the yearly visit opens Bowdoin students to the “breadth of the appeal that liberal arts students have to these tech employers.” He added that employers are not looking only for computer science majors, but for students who can offer a variety of critical thinking, analytical, and creative skills.
In addition to stopping at tech headquarters, the students this year attended a special entrepreneurship class at Harvard Business School taught by Bowdoin Trustee Bob White ’77, who is a senior lecturer at the school’s Entrepreneurial Management Unit.
In the class, White broke down a case study of Airbnb. Herrmann said the Bowdoin students, who were from all class years, “rose to the challenge” of participating in the class. “In a Harvard Business School class you do not raise your hand to participate. You are called upon by the professor,” he observed. The students spent an hour with White, and also spoke with Dee Leopold of Harvard Business School’s 2+2 Program, a deferred admission process for current students.
After the class, the students visited Tamr, a data-curation startup, where they were hosted by founder Andy Palmer ’88 and spoke with Tamr employees Sam Roberts ’14, Kelsey Cole ’11, and Rori Cremer ’11. They then went on to Wayfair where they learned about the company’s positions that are open to recent graduates and college interns. Among the nine presenters was Becca Perry ’07, a software engineer for the Boston-based home furnishings e-commerce company, which recently opened an office at Brunswick Landing, close to Bowdoin.
In the afternoon, the Bowdoin group stopped at the software company LogMeIn, where their visit was hosted by Jeremy Segal ’92, who is the company’s vice president of corporate development. Managing Director Ben Johnson of Raizlabs, a company that develops apps, also popped in to speak to the students about creating mobile solutions for a range of diverse businesses.
The last visit was to the start-up accelerator nonprofit MassChallenge, founded by CEO John Harthorne ’95. They also heard from MassChallenge’s director of marketing Robby Bitting ’11.
Bowdoin senior Tommy Garry ’17, who interned at LogMeIn last summer, said he joined the Tech Trek because he wants to “go down the entrepreneurial/tech path, and the Trek is a great way to get exposure to some of the prominent companies in the largest tech hub in the country, if not the world.”
Julia Bottone ’17 said she signed up for the trip because she’s “interested in the technology industry from the business side [and] wanted to learn what kind of business functions I could become involved in within a tech startup.” Since returning from the Tech Trek, Bottone has been in contact with some of the alumni she met on the trip to get their advice on how to get involved in a tech start-up.
“I was able to make sincere connections with successful alumni who are willing to speak with me further, which I find incredibly valuable,” she added.