CCTechTours is the program's flagship student-organized networking initiative. Founded in 2015, CCTechTours sets out to answer a simple question: "what's out there in the real world after CCT??" A core student team organizes site visits to diverse organizations across numerous sectors, allowing CCTers to explore new professional opportunities and fields. Past tours have included NPR, The World Bank, Ad Council, Google, Berkman Klein Research Center, and SLATE magazine. Students meet with organization leaders (often CCT alums!) who offer behind-the-scenes perspectives on the workplace, Q&A sessions, and even future employment opportunities. DC-based tours run year round, as well as a special "spring break edition" extended tour held every March in another metropolis.
TechTours connect students with organizations relevant to CCT’s interdisciplinary values and help students better leverage their CCT skills for post-graduation opportunities. If you're a CCT alum interested in hosting the current cohort at your organization, please reach out!
SPRING 2017 TECHTOUR VISITS
SLATE Magazine and Panoply Podcast Network
CCTechTours started 2016 with a bang at the highly relevant, unfake news outlet SLATE Magazine. SLATE, a "general-interest web publication offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture" hosted students in its Dupont office and discussed everything from perspective journalism to social branding across digital platforms to the current surreal media climate ("politics is SLATE's bread and butter!" said one staffer.) News Editor Chad Lorenz and Audience Engagement Editor Evan Mackinder shared insights and took questions about the future of online newsmedia, and skyped in Christy Mirabal from Panoply's New York office to talk podcast partnerships, distribution, advertising, and analytics. CCTers from a broad cross section of interests enjoyed the dynamic presentation from one of the preiminent online news publications.
Fall 2016 Techtour visits
The World Bank
During the 90 minute tour, The World Bank - an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs - offered an amazing perspective on interdisiplinary and international career options. CCT Alum Lois Goh shared the organization's unique history and led an interactive activity illuminating how and why particular countries need financial loans. Ms. Goh explained paths to action and World Bank involvement, including participation in Youth Summits and internship/job opportunities. Students had a lively conversation with the organization whose motto is "Working for a World Free of Poverty," and concluded the tour with lunch at the office's international food court.
Sometimes the TechTour comes directly to us! On October 3, 2016, Jian Khododad of Sirius XM came to Car Barn to speak to CCTers about his experiences at the American broadcasting company. Jian discussed the different divisions of the company and spoke on how in demand data analytics is today. Jian also touched on his experience being a student and employee at the same time, as he is currently a MBA candidate at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. Our students enjoyed Mr. Khododad's visit, and learned a lot from his insights.
Spring 2016 TECHTOUR SPRING BREAK: New York City
During Spring 2016, CCTers visited New York City and toured The Wall Street Journal, Data and Society, AdCouncil, Tasks and Purpose, The Guggenheim, and MediaVest. They also met up with CCT alums for networking and attended a happy hour with Venture Hoyas.
MediaVest is a division of Starcom Meidavest Group (SMG), a part of the world’s largest communication group, the Publicis Group in Paris. The visit was a great opportunity to have interface with employees of this elite industry. Oleg Korenfeld, the senior vice president of Ad Tech & Platforms, delivered a brilliant lecture about their data architecture team. MediaVest is not a traditional design agency; it is focused on driving content and analyzing different kinds of data to help the client to buy digital products. CCT alumni Ramez Karkar, the director of Ad Tech & Data Architecture, also gave us a personalized tour. The most fascinating aspect of the TechTour is it helped me open a door to see culture of a company. During the three days, I recognized almost every company talked about big data and virtual reality--it’s definitely important in the future. Thanks again to the TechTour team who organized this wonderful and insightful trip! -Waynu Zhang '17
We visited Ad Council during the second day of the New York TechTour, and this organization really impressed me. As a non-profit advertising company, Ad Council contributes to social good, working with the government, public services, and leading agencies. Each campaign takes about 9 months, and each team takes responsibility for tracking exposures, follow-up surveys, and data analysis. Ad Council targets a variety of topics such as bullying, drinking and driving, and animal adoption on both national and local levels. One of the most successful campaigns is “Love Has No Labels.” I was shocked, because I had seen this commercial before and really liked it, but didn’t know it was from Ad Council. I really admire the people in Ad Council, who dedicate their creativity and passion into social good. They are the ones who are trying to make this world a better place! -Shimeng Tong '17
Spring 2016 TechTours
For Spring 2016, CCTechTours organized its first virtual site visit by skyping with Gabriel Dillion, a CCT alum who works for Algolia, a tech start up that helps users deliver intuitive search-as-you-type experiences on their websites and mobile apps.
We met some of Dillion’s colleagues in both the Paris and San Francisco offices. The uniqueness of the set up and his openness to anything that we wanted to learn more about led to conversations on what as employers they look for in applicants. Big pointers included “has an applicant done anything interesting such as made an impactful change in their program or previous job?” and “has the applicant done their research on us? Because we can tell when they haven’t.” They also gave insights on what they have learned while working after graduate school. Dillion recommended that while in school, we should keep a list of the goals we want to accomplish professionally, as well as what kind of work environment we want. Harder than it sounds, but worth it when we graduate! The experience of our first virtual tour went well and we learned a lot about start ups, preparing for graduation, and insight on what employers really look for in applicants. -Tara Jabbari '17
Fall 2015: CCTechtours begin in dc!
Visits included large corporations like Google, where students conversed with Internet policy specialists, and smaller organizations like Opower and Zoomph, where coding and data-driven approaches powerfully impact brands, consumers, the environment, and society. At Clarabridge, students explored the practical applications of the intersection of communication and technology by learning how text analytics techniques helps to drive better customer experiences. A representative from the Library of Congress' World Digital Library also visited students at Carbarn, where they discussed the sociotechnical impacts of digitizing ancient foreign language texts and the opportunities available to students whose studies align with their work.
The World Digital Library
The World Digital Library staff spoke to us and showed us what they do: digitizing books, pictures, maps, and many other artifacts from all over the world. They translate each artifact into six languages and publish it on their website. A few weeks later, the team organized a CCTechTour to visit the Library of Congress and the the World Digital Library offices. The history and purpose of the WDL truly combines communication, culture and technology. Staff shared information on jobs and internships. Their work and travels have brought historically conflicted countries together in preserving hundreds of years of script. -Tara Jabbari '17
Spring 2015 TECHTOUR SPRING BREAK: San Francisco
For the inaugural CCTechTour, students traveled to San Francisco to visit exciting companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Pandora, OpenTable, Elance-O-Desk, Founders Fund, Intuit and Kiva. The CCTers on the trip came away with an increased understanding of career opportunities, real world networking, and great stories! Here is what some of those students had to say…
My favorite companies to visit were Facebook and Google. Their work culture is unique and definitely worth experiencing. It gave me the opportunity to imagine myself working there, something that I hadn’t done before. Having the chance to meet people and see it for myself has inspired me to submit applications and continue networking with the individuals we met. -Krisia Jones
The trip gave us invaluable exposure and insights into the tech industry. There is a very unique culture in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, and the diversity in our company visits gave us a pretty comprehensive view into how the industry operates. I have worked with start-ups before but I’ve never met with venture capitalists – especially at the level of a firm like Founders Fund. And I have worked in high-profile corporations, but I have never experienced the innovation-focused culture that dominates the Bay Area. -Emily Rothkopf
The tour was a perfect balance of “fun” spring break--the adventure of traveling west, enough free time to enjoy the city and some of the surrounding environs, that incomparable California sun--and “productive” business trip--networking with potential future professional connections, exploring a new professional landscape, gaining new experiences and ideas about my potential fit in the post CCT professional world. -Zach Schalk
Before the tour, Facebook, Google, and Pandora were merely big names I read about. The TechTour helped familiarize me with these tech companies, the processes that organize them, and the people who work for them. The CCTechTour gave me an unbeatable understanding of what “technology and innovation can change the way we live” really means. Being able to not only understand technology policies in class at CCT, but actually visit the meeting room in Google where Googlers constantly convert great ideas to next generation of Google products, and ask questions to the company representatives and Georgetown alumni that have a voice on in those meetings truly enhanced my understanding of the technology world. -Dong Xing