By: Hannah Jones
Photo Credit: Trina Bernal
This semester’s series of College and Career Center Tours ended with a trip to the Silicon Valley, where students checked out two colleges and a business, all of which are sure to move America into the future. The day started out with a long drive down to San Jose, but it was all worth the drive once we arrived at our first stop, Green Circuit. This company started out in 2006 with a six-person staff and has since grown into the amazing company that it is today, serving customers such as Apple, Tesla, Sony, Google etc. This company takes the designs from companies like this and builds the circuit boards for their products. We got to go on a tour of their amazing workspace and learned about how these boards go from PCB’s to the brains behind the newest iPhone. The boards first start out in a machine that places and solders the pieces into place. These machines are capable of applying 10,000 components per hour. Once the components are placed by the machine they’re sent to a drying oven to set the solder. Once they are dry they take the components to the washing station where they make sure the boards are nice and clean, and that there is no extra solder in the wrong places. The board then gets its through hole parts, which are components that actually go through the board rather than sitting on top. On some special boards, these processes must be done by hand rather than by machine to ensure the best quality. We saw this being done with handheld soldering tools and microscopes. Once the boards are completed they go through a final inspection where they make sure it has all the parts the design required so they can have only the best quality leave the shop. Once we were back in the lobby we had some refreshments and got to talk to some of the staff who were very friendly and gave us some pretty good life advice. The CFO, Tammy Nguyen, suggested that we always put 210% into everything we do and especially into moving forward in our careers. She told us that we should always make ourselves an asset to the people that we work for and work hard enough that in order to replace us they would have to hire two people. She also suggested that we stay in school and to get a master’s degree so that we won’t be held back from higher-paying jobs because we lack the degree. She also told us that this amazing company also offers a summer internship which lets you submit a resume, do a formal interview and work alongside these amazing businesspeople. If you are interested in this program contact Mrs. Marwick for more information.
We then made our way over to the beautiful Santa Clara University. We took a self-guided tour with the help of the Santa Clara app. The campus itself was amazing but without the help of a guide it felt like we were being fed information we could have looked up online while walking around the campus aimlessly. I suggest if you want to explore the campus that you book a guided tour because without it, it isn’t worth the stop.
The last stop in Silicon Valley was San Jose State which is the birthplace of many things that affect our day-to-day lives. The campus’s many majors all have something that makes them stand out from the rest. The art department is an amazing program that helped to animate well-known movies such as The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and other Pixar movies. They also help animate smaller projects for Disney, Nickelodeon, Sony and many more. In the business department, new students are greeted with a new iPad when they join the college and are right on track to working at companies such as Google, Yahoo, and other companies in the Silicon Valley. They also have a pretty neat library right on campus that is open 24/7 to both the public and the students. The library includes interesting things such as an Alice and the Wonderland Elevator, a secret bookshelf that opens up when the right book is pulled and the brain and skull of Ludwig van Beethoven. Some other random fun facts that we learned on the tour was that in one of the buildings the 1997 movie Flubber was filmed on campus, and that Earth Day was started on campus by the Environmental Science department. This tour was very informational and would not have been the same without our amazing tour guide.
This trip was pretty good and I am looking forward to more guided tours of colleges and businesses in the future. Make sure you are on the lookout for more information of future events.