I interviewed William Lombardi and Kyle Parkan about their experience on the iSchool Hometown Road Trip in Syracuse. William and Kyle are both seniors majoring in Information Management and Technology. Here’s what they had to say!
What drew you toward wanting to go on the Hometown Road Trip?
William: I think what drew me toward wanting to go on the Hometown Road Trip was the fact I stayed in Syracuse this past summer. I interned at SIDEARM Sports and I wanted to see what else the city of Syracuse had to offer in terms of jobs. Also, I want to see what were the kind of companies are stationed in downtown Syracuse. Most of the time, I go downtown is to grab some delicious grub to eat. Last but not least, I was very curious why downtown Syracuse doesn’t get as much notice as Syracuse University.
Kyle: As a senior in the iSchool, a road trip was always something I wanted to experience but had not had the chance to yet. This was the perfect opportunity for me to participate and explore the amazing opportunities that the City of Syracuse has to offer. Especially since I am currently looking for a full-time career opportunity after graduation.
What were your expectations of the businesses in Syracuse?
William: My expectations were not too high or not too low, it was just in the middle. I think it’s interesting when you say “Syracuse” to someone. They know Syracuse University Athletics, and then Syracuse University or vice-versa. There are a small amount of people that mention downtown Syracuse. I’m curious why downtown Syracuse doesn’t get as much notice as say, the Syracuse University’s Men Basketball team.
Kyle: I was honestly not too sure what to expect of the businesses in Syracuse. The only company I had really heard of prior to the road trip was National Grid. But once I started to check out the other websites and see what they do, I was really intrigued. My goal was to go on the road trip with an open mind and explore any opportunities.
Were you surprised how many tech-based companies there are in Syracuse?
William: Yes, I’m very surprised! Personally, it’s surprising to think both a trading card company and a well-known electric utility company are both in Downtown Syracuse.
Kyle: I would say I was definitely surprised by the number of tech-based companies in Syracuse. I have really enjoyed being able to explore downtown Syracuse. I’ve wanted to over my past four years here, but never really knew much about the companies that reside here. The Hometown Road Trip allowed me to see a side of Syracuse that I wouldn’t normally get to experience.
What was your favorite part or business on the roadtrip?
William: This may sound very cliche, but I have to say EVERYTHING was my favorite part! I really liked all the different work cultures we visited. Along with the employers that we met on the road trip. We had an alumni event at the Tech Garden which was super exciting. I always wanted to go in and see what it looks like in there.
Kyle: There was one point on the trip where Jeff Rubin asked me which stop was my favorite. I honestly could not come up with an answer. Each company we visited was so cool and unique in its own way, it’s not easy to pick one. All the stops during the day, along with the alumni event in the evening, added up to make it an excellent day overall.
Could you see yourself working in Syracuse or at one of these companies in the future?
William: I can totally see myself working in one of the startup companies like TCGplayer. Less in the corporate lifestyle like National Grid. I think I’m bias towards wanting to work in a small company. I only interned for a small companies as a college student. But, I got to say that Terakeet had an interesting culture, it had a startup layout but corporate mindset.
Kyle: I could absolutely see myself working in Syracuse or at one of these companies in the future. I believe that this city has so many things to offer that I think are often unexplored by students on the hill. Syracuse has become another home to me, and if this is where a job opportunity comes up, I would be happy to stay.
Do you see Syracuse’s technology business market expanding in the future?
William: 100%. I can totally see Syracuse’s technology business market expanding in the future. This city has a lot of potential. Especially if it is to be the next smart city considering what we learned about what City Hall is doing with all the data they collect on snow plows. I think going on this road trip was the cherry on the top of my life choice of potentially moving to Syracuse post-graduation.
Kyle: I can definitely see Syracuse’s technology business market expanding in the future. Not only are some of the current tech companies expanding, but there is a lot of potential for new tech companies to also start and grow in the city.