In February, a group of Lassonde co-op students headed to Silicon Valley for four days to experience the tech capital for themselves.
They toured the offices of some of the biggest players, like Google, LinkedIn and Uber.
The students met with some of the biggest companies like Twitter and Amazon, talked with recruiters, developers, networked and visited startups.
Lassonde alumni greeted them wherever they went.
At LinkedIn, Maciej Lis, a new grad and web developer, spoke to them about the concept of a T-shaped set of skills: "The vertical bar represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field. The horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one's own."
At Uber, Lassonde grad and software engineer Ron Tal reminded students that "luck is where preparation meets opportunity."
Amir Razmara, Lassonde alumni and Chief Technology Officer at Avenue Code, gave the students a real look at how to make it in Silicon Valley.
"There is a culture that fuels innovation with the most talented professionals in the region, the most fun and creative work spaces, but you don't manage money well, you can lose everything," he said of the risks.
This was an invaluable opportunity for students to gain personal connections with alumni, successful expats and other employees they met at the various companies they visited.
They learned about Silicon Valley's unique entrepreneurial culture and had a chance to explore a wide variety of career options.
"I got a real taste of what the tech industry in Silicon Valley is like. I visited giants like Google and small startups.
I've gained a better understanding of what to work on for my resume so that I could be more prepared when I graduate,"
-Richard Bun, 3rd year Computer Science/International Dual Degree Program student
"Silicon Valley lived up the hype as the best hub for disruptive innovation, where progressive and success-driven people come together to learn and fail and learn and fail, yet again!"
-April Lico, 4th year, Computer Engineering/International Dual Degree Program student