From August 13-18, 2017, 23 MBA students led by Associate Professor of Management Sam DeMarie and Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Management Jim Summers participated in the MBA domestic study tour to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Napa Valley.
The Autodesk visit was hosted by four ISU alumni: Jack Miller, Juan Sebastian Casallas, Jake Johnson, and Julie Sokley.
Students got an inside look into iconic Silicon Valley organizations including Tesla, Autodesk, Twitter, Oracle and Accenture. They also enjoyed a visit to a winery where they learned the challenges of this booming industry.
We spoke with MBA Students Nick Sloan and Emily Foegen about the trip. Here is what they had to say.
What was the best information you learned on the trip?
The best information I learned on the trip was the importance of collaborating with others and how useful the agile process can be. It was typical not to find any cubicles in office spaces and the layouts of the desks encouraged collaboration. – Nick Sloan
How will you use the information you learned in your MBA program and future career?
I can take what I learned and attempt to apply the methods to my team. In my past work experience, I haven’t had the opportunity to use the agile process and with more and more companies adopting that methodology, I think I’ll be using it eventually so knowing a little bit about it should be helpful. – Nick Sloan
I will use the information I learned to recognize the differences in company cultures as I move forward in my career. Culture is a major influence in someone’s employee experience and will be something I prioritize as I consider future career moves. – Emily Foegen
What was your favorite business visit and why?
My favorite business was Autodesk. I enjoyed walking through their gallery to see the different ways their software has influenced the world. They had a great panel of Iowa State alums who shared how their Cyclone experience has contributed to their success. – Emily Foegen
From Associate Professor of Management, Sam DeMarie and Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Management, Jim Summers:
“The trip gave our MBA students a close up view of business in the San Francisco Bay area. They heard firsthand how some of the most prestigious technology companies plan to execute their future business plans, how cutting edge new technology may reshape our world, what career paths are like in companies ranging from small startups to giant corporations, and how Napa Valley was developed into a world class brand.”
-Sam DeMarie, Professor of Management
“Another important aspect of the trip was to connect with ISU alumni who are doing extremely well in the companies we visited. Many alum hold VP titles which allowed access and networking opportunities–opportunities that would not be afforded to them in Iowa. Our hope is to build stronger ties to our successful alumni network across the US and world.”
-Jim Summers, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Management