Do you remember your job search in college without LinkedIn or the Internet for that matter (I know, anyone under 40 didn’t have this experience)? At my alma mater (Bowdoin College, way up north on the Maine coast) not a lot of companies came to campus and there were no startups or tech companies to be found. Eventually, I found my way into Internet startups but it took a few years and required spending some time in New York and then Boston to get immersed in the scene.
Today, job searching in tech is very different. In addition to LinkedIn with its copious amounts of business and company information, there are some great sites that offer a window into the culture and vibe of tech companies (and many other types of companies, too) including The Muse, VentureFizz Bizz Pages and Glassdoor. However, the opportunity for students to actually visit a company and spend time with the people that work there is still invaluable. To visit the actual place is a fantastic way to actually experience the culture, energy and values of a company.
With this in mind, I started a program in partnership with the Bowdoin Trustee Technology Committee and the Bowdoin IT Department, Bowdoin Career Services and theBowdoin Computer Science Department to bring Bowdoin students from the coast of Maine to the tech centers of Boston.
Since 2011, we have organized the annual Bowdoin to Boston Trek. The trek has brought a total of 150 Bowdoin students on a bus from Brunswick, ME to Boston to showcase the technology and entrepreneurial opportunities available to undergrads (including tech heavy/CS roles as well as marketing/sales/customer support, etc.).
We have visited
Akamai, hosted by Jeremy Segal, VP of Corporate Development
CoachUp, hosted by Jordan Fliegel, Bowdoin Class of 2008 and Founder and CEO of CoachUp
EMC, hosted by Kevin Petrie who was my classmate at Bowdoin
EZE Castle Software, hosted by my classmate, Pete Adams
Hubspot, hosted by Mike Volpe, Bowdoin Class of 1997 and CMO of Hubspot
MassChallenge, whose Co-Founder and CEO is John Harthorne, also my classmate at Bowdoin
Along the way, we have been joined by Andy Palmer (NEVCA Angel of the Year, serial entrepreneur and Bowdoin 1988), Kelsey Cole (Bowdoin 2011), Robby Bitting (Bowdoin 2011), Hartley Brody, (Bowdoin 2012), Dave Brown, also a Bowdoin alum and a Silicon Valley Angel investor (he was an angel investor in Pinterest among others), Mitch Davis (Bowdoin CIO), Eric Chown (Bowdoin CS Professor) and many other Bowdoin staff and alumni.
The other night I was at the Goodwin Procter holiday gathering and was telling David Brown of TUGG about the tech trek. He is a Williams alum (we can’t all be Polar Bears) and we discussed doing a bigger effort for the Boston tech community and drawing on more schools throughout New England……stay tuned!