WMU TechNext – Debrief

Megan Gesler

How would you describe this trip?
I had an amazing time, and I learned a ton in the process. I will never forget this trip, and it’s going to change the direction I was heading in for the better. Professor Barcley impacted my life in a very positive way and I am extremely grateful for that. Overall this changed my outlook for the better, and I am more excited for the future.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
My favorite part of the experience was the networking dinner at the interval. We met with successful alumni and were all offered helping hands. The people out here really want to help you succeed. Some of us even had meetings with people we met that night the next day which was really cool.
What did you learn about entrepreneurship and innovation? Did any particular part of the experience change your ideas about entrepreneurship, innovation or technology companies?
I learned some of the tricks in the business for example going open source means that you make a part of the software free in order to gain traction. A few of the companies we met with did this, and told us they think it was the best decision for them. It didn’t necessarily change my perspective on them it just helped me understand them (a lot) more than I used to.
What experiences from this trip will you take with you into your future career?
The most important skill I believe I got from this trip, that I will take with me into future careers is my ability to ask questions. Barcley stressed the importance of this for months, and I really got to see the benefit of it while we were there. When we would ask really good questions I feel we got more respect, and we also got more out of the experience.
How did this experience compare to your expectations of the experience? What did you learn about yourself in the process?
I expected great things based on what I’d heard from Kirsten when she pitched this opportunity to me. My expectations were exceeded, not only academically but even through the friendships I made with the other students on the trip. We supported and rooted for each other the whole time, it was really empowering.
What would you say to a student interested in participating in this experience in the future?
If they are interested, it should be no question! This is an absolutely wonderful experience that I think more students should have! You have to be dedicated though, if you don’t put in work you won’t get as much out of it then you could have. Barcley does assign a bit but none of it is busy work, it actually matters.

What did you learn from interacting with business alumni at the alumni event?
I learned that you don’t need a PhD from Stanford University to make it in San Francisco. They say that a lot of what matters is networking, an that’s exactly what we were doing on our trip. They were all very helpful, and I can’t wait to see some familiar faces next semester.

And?
I will definitely be signing up for Barcley’s class again next semester, hopefully this is something that I can continue to do, and grow in. If it weren’t for this my college career would have turned out much differently

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