Forty members of the Class of 2015, in addtion to Telfer Executive MBA staff and special senior executive guests from the Ottawa area, had an early morning on Saturday May 10th as they arrived at the Ottawa airport at 5 a.m.
Some may consider it a higher possibility of having a celebrity sighting occurring within California than within Ottawa but this was not the case for select members of the class. As they entered through the security check point in Ottawa on Saturday morning they were pleasantly surprised to see Canadian actor Mr. Donald Sutherland taking a break for a morning snack.
With the celebrity entertainment portion of their Silicon Valley trip checked off of their list early in the week, the Class' anticipation for an exciting and perception-altering business trip began.
On Sunday morning the Class of 2015 gathered together for the Telfer Executive MBA's 'Discover Silicon Valley' exercise. This exercise allows candidates to reflect on the secondary research they had conducted within Ottawa on Silicon Valley and the innovative culture within the area. The teams identify common assumptions and further created an initial hypothesis on what they thought was the recipe that makes the Silicon Valley environment so unique. Identifying early impressions and assumptions of Silicon Valley allowed candidates to create a list learning objectives for the week in Silicon Valley. It also works as a document they can use to reflect back upon at the end of the trip to see how their initial assumptions have changed after experiencing Silicon Valley for themselves.
The Class boarded a private bus at noon to travel to the San Francisco Bay region. The large group was dropped off at Union Square where they broke into smaller groups and explored the many urban peaks and valleys of San Francisco. Candidates were delighted for the multitude of photo opportunities of the area- the Golden Gate bridge, museums, street trolleys, and many statues and figurines along the streets. The groups enjoyed dinner at various locations along Fisherman's Wharf before boarding the bus to return to San Jose.
The Telfer Executive MBA Class of 2015 joined the Dean of the Telfer School of Management and the Vice-President of External Relations of the University of Ottawa as well as other Telfer School of Management alumni within the San Jose region for the Telfer School's alumni reception. The dinner reception included a presentation from Professor Jonathan Calof on his recent study on 'The Fall of a Giant: What Went Wrong with Nortel'
Candidates visited several of the world's leading technology companies and attended private executive briefings with senior Silicon Valley leaders throughout the week. Technology companies on the agenda for this year included IBM, Apple, Google, Aruba Networks, Cisco Systems, YouNoodle and US Market Access Centre.