Help Make Industry Road Trips Possible for All Students

Support for this campaign will help provide financial assistance to University of Rochester students participating in the tech industry road trip to Silicon Valley and San Francisco in January 2019!

Industry road trips, sponsored by the Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education and Connections, provide undergraduate students with the unique opportunity to visit major cities across the country for networking sessions and career exploration in real-life working environments. These experiential learning trips are invaluable and transformative, but come with a cost to student participants who are responsible for their own airfare and lodging.

Our goal is to make industry road trips accessible to all students who are interested by mitigating financial barriers and offsetting the out-of-pocket costs incurred by participants.

* The video linked below was created and shared by past road trip participant, Haytham Mohamed ’20

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The Greene Center Silicon Valley Road Trip

About The Campaign

A Career-Shaping Experience

Industry Road Trips are a way for students to network with alumni and employers around the country in an area of interest. Through these trips, students get to experience what it may be like to actually work in a specific industry. The Greene Center is excited to provide students with these opportunities to explore career options, learn about skills and competencies needed in various sectors, build their networks, and explore internship options.

“Students are seeing what the real world looks like. It can be jarring and illuminating.”
– Joe Testani, Assistant Dean and Executive Director, The Greene Center

Through these trips, students will be able to:

Silicon Valley Road Trip Itinerary - On this year's Silicon Valley Road Trip, January 8th - 10th, students will have the exciting opportunity to visit top tech companies, such as: KLA-Tencor, Nvidia Corporation, Intel, Google, Qventus, Menlo Security, Periscope Data, Handshake, and Synapse. 2.1

Make a Direct Impact on UR Students

Funds raised through this campaign will support The Greene Center in providing financial assistance to students selected for the Silicon Valley Road Trip. Student expenses typically associated with the trip include: airfare to California, hotel accommodations for 3-4 nights, professional dress and other miscellaneous trip expenses.

This year, 20-25 University of Rochester students will be selected from an applicant pool of over 50, to experience this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Out of the 22 students who traveled to the Silicon Valley last year, 21 requested financial assistance. We expect the need this year to be similar.

Without financial assistance, the trip may be out of reach for a good portion of the student body, often those who could benefit the most from a transformative educational experience like this. 2.1

Why Your Support Matters

“The Silicon Valley Road Trip afforded me the opportunity to network, develop communication skills and see firsthand how academic pursuits are applied in the workplace. I had the unique opportunity as a sophomore to visit companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter and to gain valuable insight from alums that worked there. This past summer, I was a User Experience Intern at Apple in Cupertino, California. The Silicon Valley Road Trip played a truly invaluable role in making such opportunities possible.

Carolyn Zelicof ’19
2017 Silicon Valley Road Trip Participant

"Participating in the Silicon Valley Swarm was the highlight of my semester. Students often ignore the importance of company culture in deciding what firm they want to start their career with. Our generation proves that company culture is indeed the biggest reason for employees to leave a firm. Millennials live in a fast-paced world with job security not being our primary concern. We are willing to take risks and therefore end up spending an average of under two years at any given firm. The road trip provides an opportunity to experience what it's like to work at top tech companies without having to spend the entire summer going through the competitive recruitment process. I am extremely thankful to the The Greene Center and alumni of the University of Rochester who put this program together, and I hope that many more students get to reap the benefits of the Swarm."

Sidhant Ahluwalia '18
2017 Silicon Valley Road Trip Participant
Technology Analyst, Accenture

"It is no secret that Silicon Valley universities such as Stanford and Berkeley have capitalized on their alumni connections and donations to create a virtuous cycle of innovation and leadership. I believe that the Greene Center's Silicon Valley Road Trip presents an opportunity to create a similar virtuous cycle for the UofR --- a cycle that, given sufficient community participation, will increase the value and prestige of a Rochester education for current students and alumni alike. Helping to bootstrap this virtuous cycle is my core motivation for hosting UofR students on their annual Road Trip to Silicon Valley at Menlo Security, Inc.---a cybersecurity startup based in Palo Alto, CA that I co-founded back in 2013.

Going beyond mere sight-seeing, the Road Trip is an opportunity for students to connect with entrepreneurs, engineers, and technologists doing great things in some of the hottest startup and name-brand companies in the Valley---all in the context of warm introductions facilitated by UofR alumni hosts. I can attest that these networking opportunities have led to internships that have substantial standalone educational and future employment value. For hosting companies, the Road Trip is an opportunity to become aware of and harness the talent coming out of UofR. With consistent support that enables broad student participation, I believe the Road Trip will become a key enabler for boosting UofR's influence in the Valley, and that success would benefit us all."

Gautam Altekar '04 
Silicon Valley Road Trip Alumni Host
Menlo Security, Inc.

"In January 2017 I was privileged to accompany a group of Computer Science sophomores to Silicon Valley. This ‘trek’ was organized by The Greene Center. The group visited eight companies, large and small in a whirlwind 3-day trip.  I saw the excitement on their faces, heard their well-prepared questions, and enjoyed the interaction with so many URCS alumni at the companies we visited.  Though this opportunity was open to all students, there was a self-pay component for a significant portion of the travel expenses.  Unfortunately, this eliminates a good portion of the student body, often those who could benefit the most from a networking experience like these treks.  In order to make these trips accessible to all students and to help companies increase diversity in their workforce, please consider contributing to our crowdsourcing fund to help those without the financial means benefit from this career-shaping experience."

Marty Guenther
Past Undergraduate Coordinator
Computer Science Department

"I was lucky to join the first Silicon Valley trip organized by The Greene Center. I was a freshman, and even though the trip was for Sophomores and Juniors, they let me join even though I was the only freshman in the group. The trip was very eye-opening and shifted my perspective about my career and what I call as fulfilling work. I saw a small startup, with a small team, that is trying to build big, ambitious goals and their success in creating culture and purpose which inspired me. The beauty of the field of Computer Science attracted me, you can build cool things and work from anywhere in the world. So I ended up switching majors from Electrical and Computer Engineering to Computer Science, a bit late, but I am happy with my decision. You don't have to work at Google to be happy, you can work from your garage-- in fact, this is how Google started."

Haytham Mohamed ’20
Past Silicon Valley Road Trip Participant