Each year, the California Business Alliance (CBA) at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business travels to the San Francisco Bay Area for a career trek, known as CalTrek. Students in the MBA student club visit a number of companies and meet and network with local alumni. This year’s trek saw the greatest number of participants in recent history.
In early January, CBA officers Darby Bukowski (MBA’18), Timur Clarke (MBA’18), and Kira Yevtukhova (MBA’19) led visits to traditional trek participants such as Google, Salesforce, Stripe, and Paypal, along with Stryker, Netflix, Lyft, Samsung Next, Splunk, and Williams and Sonoma. They also visited seven mission-driven companies — TechSoup Global, RedF, RSF Social Finance, Allbirds, IDEO.org, Mosaic, and Kapor Capital — led by Net Impact chapter president Madeleine Stokes (MBA’18).
Student interest in CalTrek ranged from general curiosity to networking for potential internships and full-time positions. Clarke, who is considering moving to the Bay Area after graduation, explained that CalTrek was “a great opportunity to learn about companies in the area and to start building a professional network out there.”
“I made valuable connections with tons of alumni at each company, as well as non-alumni folks who the alumni introduce you to,” added Bukowski, who added that she also wanted to represent the Georgetown brand well and advise first-year MBAs on getting the most out of their trek.
Since CalTrek began as a way for East Coast students to understand West Coast culture and companies, Bukowski hoped that students would use the opportunity to see if a certain company, or certain type of company, is the right cultural fit.
CBA structures CalTrek around student requests from the previous year. Last year, students wanted exposure to more social impact companies, rather than an exclusive focus on tech companies. The CBA board partnered with Net Impact, and for the first time, CalTrek incorporated mission-driven companies into its visits.
“It seemed like such a great opportunity to fulfill our Jesuit mission and Georgetown McDonough’s goal of developing principled business leaders by highlighting companies that are using different approaches to solving real social and environmental challenges,” Stokes explained.
Amanda Lane (MBA’19), CBA’s new president, already is beginning the planning process for next year. “The new board currently is planning a March event to give students the chance to learn more about California culture and socialize with their future West Coast network.”