Insights into Student Trip to Silicon Valley

Our students recently returned from a trip to Silicon Valley where they were able to visit multiple companies and organisations that are on the leading edge of 21st century innovation. Read below what MIS student Sofia shares about the trip...

Innovation Trip to Silicon Valley

The innovation trip, a brand-new experience for the MIS community, was clearly a time to remember. It was headed by Daragh Comerford and comprised five full days in Silicon Valley. The trip was intended to inspire us as students and to allow us the opportunity to visit some of the most innovative companies of the past twenty years.

Each company showed us unique insights into how Silicon Valley worked as a place and why innovation was crucial. 

During our time in Silicon Valley, we visited a total of 10 companies, went to an evening talk about venture capitalism and attended a lecture at Stanford. It was a once in a lifetime chance to see how Gore, Salesforce and Cisco and many other multi-national companies approached technology and the world of innovation. At each company, we heard talks about the sectors where each operated and how they were working to be ahead in their respective sectors of the market. Each company showed us unique insights into how Silicon Valley worked as a place and why innovation was crucial.

The trip was a phenomenal experience and there were many take home lessons. One of the main concepts that we learned in our time there was the fail fast mentality. This mindset advocates that failure needs to be accepted readily, lessons learned identified and then they are applied while moving quickly to the next project. This concept was something which was very foreign to us, due to the fact that often times in Germany people try to save something which is in decline, rather than be truly innovative with process or product development. Failure is to be avoided, rather than embraced as a part of the learning process. Furthermore, we learned about the benefits of work culture in Silicon Valley and Germany, through talking to companies such as the German American Chamber of Commerce. It was an experience which allowed us to reflect on innovation across the globe and how it took place in both Germany and in Silicon Valley. Through the trip the students who attended got to embark on a unique journey, in which we left with far more knowledge about innovation then we came in with.

Sofia is a Grade 11 Student at Munich International School