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Experiential Learning

TechTrek Chicago

What is TechTrek Chicago?

TechTrek Chicago is one of the iSchool's immersion experiences.

Chicago is unlike any city you’ve explored before! The city’s culture is strongly focused in community building and social responsibility in comparison with the hustle of Silicon Valley and the bustle of New York City.

It is home to promising startups like GrubHub, Peapod, Cars.com, Groupon, Uptake, MATTER, and Basecamp, as well as more established firms like Walgreens and Boeing. Chicago (and its surrounding cities) also host offices for Salesforce, Google, Yelp, Uber, Linkedin, CareerBuilder, Orbitz, Redbox, Motorola, and many more.

Applications for TechTrek Chicago 2019 will open Fall 2018. See more information in the Admissions Information section.

What Does A Typical Day on TechTrek Chicago Look Like?

  • 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. - Wake up and eat breakfast at hotel with Syracuse University alumni
  • 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Visit Company 1
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Visit Company 2
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Lunch and visit Company 3
  • 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Coffee break
  • 3:45 - 5:00 p.m. - Visit Company 4
  • 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Interactive activity that may include snacks with Company 5
  • 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Dinner and nighttime cultural element
  • 9:30 - 10:30 p.m. - Debrief at the hotel

Why is TechTrek Chicago Important?

For students to:

  • Learn what you want in employment
  • Distinguish what you like in a city
  • Learn what recruiters are looking for
  • Connect within a company
  • Deepen connection to Syracuse University through alumni networking

For alumni to:

  • Show off where you work
  • Pay it forward to students who were once in your shoes
  • Meet potential interns and hires
  • Establish relationships within the University after graduating
  • Have a source for focus group studies within your company

For sponsors to:

  • Create a groundbreaking learning style for Syracuse University
  • Foster the connections between alumni and students
  • Pique the interest of alumni in other cities to participate in an immersion program
  • Spread the Orange influence everywhere
  • Influence a current student’s trajectory toward their future careers

TechTrek Chicago Course Description

The TechTrek Chicago cohort travels to Chicago and spends 5 days meeting with information-based organizations. Daily visits provide the cohort with a well-rounded vision of the innovative ecosystem and its cultural context.

Accordingly, students are required to study the subject ecosystem and its companies prior to the trip, need to record their observations during the trip, and provide a reflection piece upon their return. Students are required to synthesize their observations by reporting back best practices to a local Syracuse firm.

This course involves travel and significant dedication. In addition to the approximate 100 contact hours during the trip itself, there are several mandatory pre-meetings, one required local company contact session, several writing assignments and a final presentation required.

Admissions Information

Applications for TechTrek Chicago open in the fall semester and the week-long immersion program takes place in May each year.

TechTrek Chicago is a competitive program with limited space.

To be considered for admission, you should have, at the time of application, a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. In addition to GPA, we place a strong emphasis on your Experiential Learning statement, to be submitted as part of this application. We are also asking for applicants to submit a short video describing what they envision as the ideal company or organization to visit on this trip. These details are all contained in the application.

Students who participate in this program are expected to not only represent themselves well, but also act as strong ambassadors for Syracuse University. In order for this opportunity to be made available to future students, current students must work to ensure that we are invited back to the companies who host us during this event.

Admissions decisions are based on a full review of the application file, including the transcript, resume, the Experiential Learning statement, short video, and any disciplinary records. Once admitted to the program, you must remain a student in good standing (academic and judicial) to stay eligible to participate in this program.

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