By Alyse Brown

After attending the Silicon Valley Trip, my perspective on the tech industry has changed.  The opportunity to meet with top companies has opened my eyes to many positions where a Berklee student could work at after graduation. I had been planning to attend graduate school next year, but after meeting with Berklee alumni, I am now contemplating taking a different path. The alumni dinner was really impactful for me, as it showed me a new range of benefits that can be achieved with a music degree from Berklee. This could include being able to be incorporate music into apps, or creating music for video games. At most of these companies we were not only seen as musicians, but as innovators. It was inspiring to see the vast number of Berklee graduates who are successfully making their mark on Silicon Valley.

My favorite visits included Dolby, Mayfield Ventures and Facebook. At Dolby they were incredibly welcoming, showing us one of their studios, Atmos Theater. They also let us get a glimpse of their new recording app. I felt that they gave us the special treatment and even had a recruiter connect with us to encourage sending in internship applications. Overall, I felt that I got the most out of Dolby. Mayfield Ventures was an interesting visit, covering a range of to including tech, music, healthcare and more. While I was not interested in business at first, the business behind startups and Mayfield executive Tim Chang’s overall predictions for the future were quite fascinating to me. I felt that I received a lot of information and knowledge from this visit, and the subjects he discussed continue to be applicable in various areas of my life. My final favorite company was Facebook. It showed me what a major tech company looks like and the incredible design plan that goes into making an optimal work space. It was especially neat to see the overall behavior and work ethic of the employees at Facebook, versus employees who work in traditional cubicle style jobs. From a psychological standpoint, the work environments just made sense and were clearly conducive to creativity and output. The team we met with seemed genuinely happy and has made me strive to one day work at an institution like Facebook.

I made many friends on this trip as well as professional connections. I am currently applying to several internship positions for next year and am hoping to continue my career path at one of these companies. I would like to improve the psychological and educational aspects of tech products through user research. I am exceedingly thankful for this opportunity.