A group of students recently toured Seattle as part of the Encounter Engineering program. Here’s an account of the trip from one of them!
Growing up in a small town where a trip to the grocery store means running into half of the population is vastly different than the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan city. Deciding to attend Louisiana State University was a large step outside of my comfortable bubble of the quaint small town life, but it wasn’t my last step. Approaching my junior year, I was presented with the opportunity to travel with the College of Engineering to Seattle, WA. Being honest, the idea of traveling across the United States with a group of strangers was quite daunting, but I decided to take a leap of faith and sign up for this new adventure!
Upon landing in Seattle, we were whisked away with frigid air and a busy schedule. Through the week we toured seven companies including: Arena Net, Google, Amazon, Boeing, Expedia, Glympse, and 343 Industries. At each of these companies we were not only greeted with open arms, but also given a glimpse of the “real world;” each company presenting us with a different view of life in industry.
Arena Net was one of the first stops on our industry tour. One of the most memorable parts of this tour was the “Sound Room,” where all the sounds within their video games are created. This exposed each of us to a new aspect of engineering, sound engineering, but our adventure did not stop there.
The next day, we arrived at Amazon bright and early in the heart of Seattle. Outside the front entrance was a community banana stand. Each morning employees of Amazon give away bananas to anyone who walks by and they also have special treats for all furry friends. Amazon works to embrace and welcome the community as a thank you for all the support they have received from Seattle.
Reflecting upon this short cross-country trip, the experience taught me more than how to answer interview questions or build a resume. This trip gave me insight on what it is like to embrace a new culture and grow both personally and professionally. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I learned from this trip is to “be brave.” Whether it is exploring a new type of engineering or opening a banana stand to show appreciation to your community, it is the new ideas, the risks, and the bravery that make you successful in life.
– By April R. Gaydos