On another wonderfully sunny day, the students from the Telfer School of Management EMBA program were able to savour the unique culture that is Silicon Valley, where hopes and dreams are embraced and open-mindedness is a necessity to succeed.
The early morning bus ride brought the group to a relatively unknown company called Informatica, an analysis company that integrates corporate and public information to get the best return on its data.
This informative session was then followed by an open-armed welcome from the staff at LinkedIn, where we were treated with a tour of the avant-garde facilities focused on offering the best amenities to its staff and open-ended forums with some of their brightest minds in business development and recruitment.
Formality was thrown out the door to leave room for open, forthright discussions on the company's internal workings and collaborative culture; suffice to say, it was one of the highlights of the trip so far.
As we continue on this voyage into the conflicting world of celebrated failures and limited successes, we have had the opportunity, some by design, some by chance, to connect with individuals who have offered their own personal views and experiences of the Silicon Valley life.
With blood, sweat and tears, these individuals permeate the fears and wonders of being an entrepreneur and/or manager in the fast-paced world of high-tech business and have had one common message to communicate, best analogized by the current traffic situation in the Bay Area: drive alone, and you will be stuck in traffic for hours, days, maybe years on end. Convince others to hitch a ride and you will be able to carpool to quickly and successfully arrive at your destination.
We've left our footprints in the sands of California. As professionals, we had each drawn our own path to a point that converged during one brief moment in time; a short 22 months in a common goal to further our careers as leaders. As students, the footprints have run parallel and have tread a common path, a path that many outside of our immediate circle have only dreamed of achieving.
As friends, these paths have interwoven through the hills and valleys of San Jose to be solidified for years to come. Grateful and humbled, my life will be forever changed not only due to the experience of the Valley, but the experience of the EMBA.
- By Martin Lacelle
This article is the third in a series this week on the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management Executive MBA class trip to the Silicon Valley. The trip is part of the EMBA curriculum on "Innovation and Entrepreneurship."