It may come as a shock to some of you, but I in fact am not an iSchool student. Crazy considering how many iSchool sponsored events I’ve lectured at and programs I’ve experienced, right? Despite not being an iSchool student, I’ve always considered Hinds Hall one of my homes on the Syracuse campus, and have never let my being a Newhouse student stop me from applying to go on trips like Spring Break In Silicon Valley.

SBinSV is an immersion trip where about a dozen undergrads and graduate students travel to Silicon Valley and visit dozens of start-ups and established tech companies, all in the span of a week. The best part? It’s a three-credit class, too.

The classroom element of Spring Break in Silicon Valley includes assignments such as researching tech companies you’re assigned, preparing presentations about various companies, and creating (or editing) your resume for the trip. You also get to know the other students going on the trip, and you start to discover the unique personalities and skill-sets of the group the SBinSV faculty advisors have assembled.

So what do you have to do to apply? Make a short video talking about a tech company in the San Francisco area that you want to visit, and why you want to visit that company. It doesn’t have to be a beautifully crafted video with editing and graphics, either. I filmed my video in one take, with my webcam, while sitting in the Katzer Room at Hinds. Whether you’re a freshman or a second-year grad student, all are invited to apply for a spot to go on the trip.

When anyone asks me about my Spring Break In Silicon Valley experience, it always causes a flood of emotions to come rushing back to me. The week that the group spent traveling all around San Francisco was one of the most invigorating experiences of my life, and one I will cherish for the personal discoveries as well as the learning opportunities.

I think the most important thing I took away from the trip is to be yourself and market your unique skill-set. As a Television, Radio, and Film major in Newhouse, I didn’t necessarily come from a very technical background. I can handle basic coding, and that’s about where my expertise ends.

When I first started the trip, I was a little intimidated by the fact that I seemed so vastly different from the rest of the group – people who have made websites from scratch, have started their own businesses, and who can talk tech with the most savvy Silicon Valley CEOs. But after visiting a few companies on the first day, you learn that your design, creative, and people-oriented skills are just as highly sought-after as those who can code and hack.

Embrace your differences and find companies that will do the same! Every person on the trip found at least one company that they were so passionate about and could see themselves working at.

For me, I loved the venture capital firms, Tilt, and Box. Even if you’re on the fence about applying, do it anyway. I can personally say that this trip has helped shaped me into the passionate, driven, and fearless person I am today.

In the span of one semester, you’ll make life-long friends, discover your passions, and experience Silicon Valley in a way that very few people can say they have.

I’m currently pursuing a job working at Stanford as well as keeping an eye out for job openings at Tilt. Both are places we visited on the trip, and I can attribute going on SBinSV to my wanting to apply to work for two amazing organizations.

So what are you waiting for? Apply today to experience the spring break of a lifetime.

Here’s where you can apply online.  Applications are due by midnight, November 20. For more information or to get answers to your questions, see the website, or contact Julie Walas Huynh, director of Academic Advising & Student Development for the iSchool at: