Day one of the Bay Area TREKS proved to be the #1 place to be – students found the excursions to Stryker, Google, eBay, Mcafee, and Chegg informative about cultural trends in the Silicon Valley job market (team work oriented), helpful (alumni led some of the tours, welcomed questions, and encouraged to enter the job search by being confident in yourself), and fun. The day closed with a alumni networking dinner at Santa Clara University and final words of wisdom delivered from CEO of Chegg Dan Rosensweig. Mr. Rosensweig emphasized “betting on yourself” and to not “define yourself in a way that others define you.”

 “There are jobs for the best educated, there are jobs with those with good souls and good hearts, for high achievers, for those who don’t fear failure but embrace opportunity.”

Starting Thursday morning, students rode in two busses to Stryker to meet Caitlin O’Toole and Bridget Moran, both Gonzaga grads, class of 2011. Both expressed how, even in the biotech endoscopy facility, the company felt similar to Gonzaga – the community, the meeting of different people (and the chance to get lost should not be overestimated) and how each person fits into their role within the company culture.

That’s the other thing—the overarching lesson of the day to students was seeking companies they saw a role they could fit into within the culture—“where will you give the best of you in that company?,” asked Rosensweig.

The Silicon TREK is both impressive and invaluable for those looking to network in the Bay Area. Even if you get a chance to stand next to Director of Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program Kevin Pratt, who continues to ask students how they fit into the roles they dream of, is worth the trip, and a visit to the Career Center’s Office (forgive the plug :)).

Sample of Kevin Pratt’s questionnaires

  • How would you add value?
  • What are your strengths?
  • Tip: Answer quickly, concisely
  • Any way you can craft your message to be more articulate, cohesive and concise is going to help you.
  • Why us? (the company you want to work for) Why you? (how do you differ from others)

The TREKS can help YOU become #1 in standing out to an employer. How will you define success?