Each year Santa Clara University hosts a variety of immersion weeks (or longer) for other university’s Executive MBA programs. I like to say, SCU Brings Silicon Valley to the World, though our marketing team hasn’t yet joined me in that. We use these weeks as opportunities to share our basic innovation principles and ground truth about living and working in the Valley. The common ground we develop expands all of our ability to work effectively together and is a chance to build networks that reach far beyond the range of a Google or Yahoo bus.

Thank You ESADE 2014!

Our most recent group was the ESADE Executive Masters in Digital Business. As the faculty dean of this program, I partner with Prof. Xavier Busquets to design a Silicon Valley immersion for 50 students from ESADE’s Barcelona and Madrid campuses. The Leavey School of Business’ Executive Development Center hosts the five-day program on campus and across the Silicon Valley.

What Does It Look Like?

Somewhere along the line, baseball became Santa Clara’s cure for jetlag, as well as a great introduction to some colorful business language. This year we opened the week with a tour of our 160 year-old campus (including our historic California mission), baseball, plugged-in management, equity compensation, and IBM’s Watson. Tuesday we learned by doing design thinking (your driving experience will never be the same), Silicon Valley investments, and had a conversation with the Spain California Chamber of Commerce. Wednesday it was about teamwork and big data, followed by a trip to Google. Thursday we opened with a living case at Oracle before diving into the founding of Tiempo, intellectual property, and open innovation. Friday was our final trip, hosted by Plug and Play Tech Center for a glimpse of the Dark Horse Competition, and a surprise conversation with Plug and Play founder and CEO, Saeed Amidi.

Some of Our Guest Speakers

How Can You Be Involved?

Would you be interested in hosting a future group? What advice do you have for us as we pick our topics and trips? Consider these programs "informational interviews" with the goal of opening the door to new relationships built to last. What do you need your non-Silicon Valley partners to understand?
Our groups range from 22 to 55 MBA, Executive MBA, or other masters students -- most employed and all looking to expand their opportunities. We look for a presentation by an executive/senior manager and a tour (if relevant). Hot topics include: how the company approaches innovation, global strategy, and how the company is unique/distinctive and altering the landscape of its industry. The key is for the group to get a better sense of what makes Silicon Valley special and to share the company’s perspectives with these unique students.