A study tour to Silicon Valley for Communication and Social Media professional Alice Baumann gets her outside of her comfort zone, where magic happens.

My friends asked me why I was trading in a nice relaxing Easter holiday for a study tour (basically a working vacation) in the Silicon Valley, organized and guided by swissnex San Francisco. Why would I fly 12 hours from Switzerland to the USA to spend an intense week and suffer jetlag on both sides of the trip? Why would I pay for my flight, the stay, and the programming? Could the experience possibly be worth it?

The simple answer is yes! The adventure was unique, interesting, and only positive. My goal from the start—to gain marketing and communication insights through targeted visits with startups and established companies—was more than fulfilled.

My personal conclusions from the tour are:

  • Silicon Valley is not a valley, but a region and a mentality. Everyone wants—and expects—to succeed
  • As a visitor, the smaller the company, the more open-minded and interested in an honest exchange of opinions people seem to be.
  • Switzerland is not so far behind. Most major developments in the use of social media and other marketing strategies are being utilized at home, too. And perhaps Switzerland could share some of its our core values, for example quality, reliability, perfection, and punctuality.
  • swissnex San Francisco does a great job of connecting Swiss experts with American entrepreneurs. I can’t think of a better way to learn so much about a country, a state, and their companies. We got inspired leaving our comfort zone and moving into a landscape where magic happens!

Read what another member of this study tour, Gabriele Ottino, had to say about his time in Silicon Valley.

More on the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ) study tour to Silicon Valley in March (in German only).