Watching Cutting Edge Tech Bloom at Solstice

Businesses who fall behind in the post-modern digital Wild West will suffer most of all. That’s where Solstice comes in. The B2B design, strategy and engineering firm helps big-name Fortune 500 clients shift their strategy to be digital-conscious

Solstice’s work shows just how quickly the tech and business industries are evolving, providing an opportunity for students to find fascinating and challenging careers.

As a part of the Real-World Learning program,  ChiTech students visited Solstice’s offices to see what the company has been working on, and to learn about what a career in a fast-growing tech company is like.

“We wanted our students to see the kinds of innovations that are the edge of the technology curve and to meet with professionals working in a wide variety of job-types in a technology company,” Lance Russell, ChiTech CEO and field trip chaperone said.

ChiTech just ended February Internship Month, in which seniors take a month off school to take an internship position in a tech company to develop their professional skills and cap their four-year STEM education at ChiTech. The trip to Solstice was comprised of different grade levels to give students a taste of the tech world.

Students saw incredibly advanced projects during their visit at Solstice including a “smart” ping pong table that uses voice technology, a device built with Arduino boards to track and visualize environmental data in the office space, and a gleaming white robot with a friendly face and glowing eyes. There was no sign of an impending robot takeover.

A panel discussion with several engineers and managers revealed three takeaways for students:

  • There are many different paths to this career. According to Russell, most of the panelists carried a college major or a first job that’s quite different from the position they’re in now. For example, Jenny Finn, Senior Manager of Employee Experience was a teacher before become an HR professional. Jared Johnson, Principal Digital Strategist, was an earth scientist first. In other words, it’s okay to change your mind and try new career paths.
  • Gaining any kind of work experience is valuable. Whether it’s working in grandma’s shop or spending your summer as a waiter, every gig will teach you about yourself and allow you to develop skills and interests to use later in life.
  • Technology is beautiful. “The beauty of technology is not in technology for its own sake, but in how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives and problem solve in the world around us,” Russell recalled from the panel.

Learn more about Real-World Learning at ChiTech and stay up to date on more field trips by checking out our blog and following us on Twitter.

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