This January, the School piloted our first “TraveLER” site visit to a remote location, taking students to visit companies and alumni in Northern California.
We were excited to have a huge response from students when this trip was pitched as an activity, and through a lottery process were able to select 20 LER students to join us in the Bay. “I was excited to have a very real way to connect with companies that was different from the feel of a campus visit and information session,” said second-semester Karrissa McDermott. “This was an immensely valuable trip, and I wanted to network with industry leaders who could show us what is possible after we graduate.”
Prior to the students’ arrival, nearly 20 alumni gathered at The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building in San Francisco at a dinner hosted by Lindsey Datta, MHRIR 04, and her employer, McKesson.
The morning before the students gathered, Melissa Wiley, MHRIR 05, gave LER staff a wonderful tour of the new Google Cloud facility. We can’t wait to go back and visit the massage chairs, nap pods, and Olympic pool!
After the students gathered at the hotel and started the tour, we were hosted at Maxim Integrated by John Klein, MHRIR 16, and Cam Bohorquez, MHRIR 17. Maxim hosted a panel of HR staff and leaders to give a realistic preview of HR in a tech environment, followed by tours of the facility and their sound lab.
That evening, about 15 alumni joined our student group for a fun night of networking and game-watching for the National Championship at SP2 Communal Bar. It was wonderful to watch the students enjoy the atmosphere and conversations with alumni.
The following morning, the group had an early start, departing our hotel at 6:30 a.m. to attend a breakfast at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, hosted by Alan May, AM 82, Executive Vice President of Human Resources. Alan spent 90 minutes with our group, and even after a very aggressive and impressive agenda of visits, the students agreed that meeting him and hearing his viewpoints on the HR function and the trajectory of their careers was the most memorable part of the visit.
“We all debriefed on our amazing trip the following morning,” says McDermott, “and it was pretty widely accepted that meeting Alan was the best part of our trip. Hearing his experiences and being asked OUR opinions on the future of our careers and human resources was amazing. The panel at Maxim and conversation at Facebook were two other examples of how we learned so much about our function in a very real way with a peer-to-peer feel.”
After a quick trip through challenging traffic, we ended up on the Bayfront Expressway at Facebook Headquarters. We got our exercise for the day as we wandered through some impressive facilities, viewing Mark Zuckerberg’s office, touring the living rooftop, eating ice cream at the Sweet Stop, hitting the company store, participating in an Oculus demonstration, and hearing from their VP HR Technology, Christine Ellis. Special thanks to Josh Westbrook, MHRIR 05, and Ashley Jenkins, MHRIR 09 for making this tour fantastic.
The tour ended with a visit to Tesla, hosted by John Cukierski, MHRIR 11. The team hosted an informative panel about life in HR at Tesla and all of the opportunities available to students through their vehicle manufacturing site and gigafactory.
Reflecting on the trip, Karissa states that “I was genuinely amazed at this opportunity the entire time we were there. What a fantastic opportunity to learn about HR in the Bay and how it’s different from other areas of the country, as well as seeing how successful alumni have used their LER experience to create a path to success.”
LER extends deep gratitude to all the companies and alumni who helped make our trip an outstanding experience, with special thanks to Maxim Integrated who gave a generous gift to fund our Bay Area transportation.
Click on the image below to view a gallery of photos from the trip.