“Hey, I like your scarf! Where are you guys from?” A simple, but effective, way to engage in conversation. It is true that Americans are full of compliments. Their social, optimistic and resolute personalities is what left an impression on our students who visited the San Francisco campus last week.
The trip began with a meeting with Ron, the campus manager. Ron is a smiling, welcoming person, ready to do all he can to put his guests at ease. Next up, tea, coffee, and the programme for the week. With tired but excited eyes the students discovered all that awaited them: lectures with well-known speakers, a guided tour of the city, a visit to Silicon Valley, tourist trips and more.
A great balance between professionalism and fun, this trip was experienced differently by each person: our students have distinct preferences and specialisms but everyone was able to find something just for them. For example, the visit to the FOG design+art, was particularly enjoyed by certain DA students, while the lecture on Data Analysis spoke more to the analytical side of the DM students. The visit to Silicon Valley, in particular Draper University and Google, is the activity that was most enjoyed… Except for the tourist visits at the weekend, of course! Some listened to their favourite artists in concert for the first time, others explored a city that has a thousand and one treasures on offer, and it would have been difficult to have been bored.
“Hey, I like your scarf! Where are you guys from?” It was in fact a stranger, met during an event on the advent of Chatbots, who said this. Over beers and pizzas, there was a great atmosphere for discussion. That’s how it’s done in California, contacts are made not really by chance, but during meet-ups after work. The evenings generally follow three phases: networking – discussion – networking. This was a great experience for our students who are used to more formal events in Switzerland.
Although the trip only lasted 10 days, what the students learnt on both a personal and professional level will stay with them all their lives.