The Villanova Alumni Network on Full Display at Villanova in the Valley

On the week of January 7th, the ICE Institute led a cohort of students to the innovation capital of the world: Silicon Valley. The Villanova alumni network was on full display! In case you weren’t keeping up with the group’s travels throughout the Bay Area via Snapchat, Twitter, and the ICE Institute Blog, here is a quick recap. 

Villanova in the Valley is an immersion program for undergraduate and graduate level Villanova students, from a variety of majors and backgrounds, who are interested in learning more about companies, job opportunities, and the culture in Silicon Valley. The 2018 trip featured 18 company visits in just 5 days! Students and program facilitators had the opportunity to tour the campuses of some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies, and were met by company founders, c-suite executives, VPs, and employees (most of whom were Villanova alumni) from the likes of Cisco, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Tesla, Sequoia Capital, and FireEye – just to name a few.

In addition to the company visits, the program held two networking events for students to engage with fellow Villanova alumni living and working in the region. The Grads in Action Dinner welcomed young alumni to share their social, academic, and professional experiences coming from Villanova to the Bay Area and provided students with the chance to ask questions about everything from work life and career goals to housing and nightlife.

On the final evening of the trip, over 100 alumni living in the Bay Area convened for hors d-oeuvres and networking at the San Mateo, California headquarters of software-as-a-service company Medallia for the 2018 Villanova in the Valley Alumni Reception. Father Peter and Dean Russell, from the Villanova School of Business, joined alumni from a variety of professions for the event. Geoffrey Moore – organizational theorist, management consultant, and author of Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers – gave a keynote addressing the importance of execution in entrepreneurship.  

From the organization of company visits to the strong attendance at alumni events, the Villanova alumni network played a critical role in the success of the trip. Special thanks go out to Mike Gardner (CLAS ’67) for his invaluable dedication and efforts throughout the 6 years of the Villanova in the Valley program. Without him, this incredible student opportunity would not be possible.