As soon as our group began the uphill ascent to the Skywalker ranch on I realized how blessed we all were to be on this trip. We were given an opportunity to visit some of the most well known yet exclusive tech companies in the United States, perhaps even the world. One evening before the end of our trip we went to an evening reception, and while there I began talking with a member of our group about our experiences. In the middle of the discussion they mentioned that the price we paid was totally surpassed by the companies and people we were able to visit.

They then mentioned how lucky we were, because not everyone can just walk into the places we had been during that week, to which I agreed.

Being in Silicon Valley with a group of Berklee students felt surreal and exhilarating. We are a truly unique and diverse school, and this group reflected that. We asked the hard hitting, philosophical and culturally based questions in true Berklee fashion, proving that not only  an we understand (somewhat) and articulate the left brained tech world, but we tap into the right brain  consciousness as well. We as Berklee students can make it in the tech industry and have an advantage being both musical and technically inclined. Before attending this trip I had no idea about or interest in Silicon Valley, but as I’m writing that I believe that I  could work and thrive there. If I had any doubts, I could just ask the vast amount of Berklee alumni doing just that. We went to companies such as: Facebook, Apple, Sony Playstation, Skywalker Sound, Spotify and more, and there were Berklee alumni working at all of them. Watching and speaking with them truly showed Berklee’s reach and power, and made me proud to say I had also graduated from this esteemed institution.

Being at Berklee has been an amazing opportunity, and this trip exemplifies this. We had an inside look input the biggest and brightest companies at the intersections of tech and music, and I am extremely grateful to everyone involved for allowing us this chance. Some of the biggest takeaways I found had little to do with tech specif8cally, and more to do with life in general. They are: 1. Company culture is important, and if the culture does not align with your values, it may not be the right fit. 2. Hard work and innovation remains the key to proving yourself at any job, but especially so in the teachings have world. 3. People are an incredibly valuable key to success. Many of those we met got to where they  have due to  connections, as well as work ethic and knowledge of their field. It’s important to treat people well, because you never know what the future holds, (and karma exists so be kind anyway). 4. Silicon Valley remains white male dominated, but there is room for change.

I would like to thank Nicole, Dustin, Panos and everyone else who joined us in Silicon Valley.  You all truly made this trip so worthwhile, and made sure we got much more than our money’s worth. I’m sure that future students will be as impressed with Silicon Valley as I was, and again I would like to thank you all for allowing me to attend th8a immerse experience.

Cierra Johnson

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