June 11th 2024

MCiT master’s students on Study Tour in Silicon Valley

A glimpse into the American innovation hub

Peter Mirski, Head of our master’s program in Management, Communication & IT (MCiT), has been accompanied our students to Silicon Valley for years during their fourth semester. This year, from April 7th to 17th, the group set out for the epicenter of global innovation. In an interview, Peter Mirski discusses the recipe for success of the study tour, the changes over the years, and the valuable experiences for the MCiT master’s students.

Why is the Silicon Valley Study Tour so successful? How has it changed?

For over 10 years, the MCiT master’s program has been heading to Silicon Valley to stay informed about trends and startups in the industry. It is particularly the entrepreneurial spirit that continually brings forth new aspects in implementation and development, making the crucial difference and surprising us.

Currently, and unsurprisingly, it is the juxtaposition between the noticeable downturn after Corona and, on the other hand, the strong upswing in investments in Artificial Intelligence across all companies. Companies are laying off thousands of employees while simultaneously transitioning to the new megatrend AI by consolidating departments and pooling resources. This has happened, for example, at Google DeepMind and the AI teams at Google.

Our study tour adapts to trends and innovations every year. We strive to embrace as many trends as possible and build new contacts to better support the career paths of our master's students. In my opinion, this is incredibly valuable and influential because such opportunities do not arise often, but we make the best use of them.

What personal experiences do MCiT master's students gain?

It's a good mix of individual preparations for their own pitches, presenting their own career plans within the network events, and receiving feedback on their own research projects and business plans. Added to this is the opportunity to meet remarkable personalities and immerse themselves in this special, entrepreneurial, and innovative culture in Silicon Valley. This is complemented by Digital Transformation Leadership Coachings. Particularly, the discussions and personal exchanges with entrepreneurs, experts, and employees are of invaluable importance for the success of the study tour and the lasting impression on the students' side.

"Failing forward and investing in young bright minds" - this is, from my perspective, the defining impression. The spontaneous willingness of high-profile companies to personally meet us and openly discuss changes in businesses is unique.

A good example is Hap Klopp, the founder of 'The North Face,' who came to Berkeley to give a lecture about his experiences as an entrepreneur, later as a consultant, and now as an investor:

"I always hired for talent and motivation! I was looking for people who wanted to go the extra mile - especially in times of starting a business! It's not a pony ride and you need a team that believes in you and the products and services you are offering. Never fall in love with your prototypes and always look intensively at the needs of your customers! That is the essence of success!"

What is special about the master's program in Management, Communication & IT?

The special thing about our master's program is certainly that we are all interested in sustainable digital transformation and work intensively to ensure that digitization has a positive impact on our society and environment. This keeps us connected even after completing the studies, and we exchange ideas - about startups, innovations, and personal careers. Once MCiT, always MCiT ;-)

Cu you next year in San Francisco!



[1] Die Innovationskraft des Silicon Valley kennenlernen - IHK Region Stuttgart https://www.ihk.de/stuttgart/fuer-unternehmen/international/aussenwirtschaft-aktuell/der-silicon-valley-effekt-6099746

[2] Silicon Valley - Hotspot für Startups und Innovation - LOOKAUT https://lookaut.tv/v/silicon-valley-hotspot-fur-startups-und-innovation/1077

[3] Kundenzentrierung: 3 Trends aus dem Silicon Valley, die Sie kennen sollten https://www.impulse.de/marketing/kundenzentrierung/7604604.html

[4] Silicon Valley aktuell: News zum IT-Standort San Francisco - FAZ https://www.faz.net/aktuell/technik-motor/thema/silicon-valley

[5] Diese Theorie ist der neue Trend im Silicon Valley - Business Insider https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/business/diese-beschleunigungs-theorie-ist-der-neue-trend-im-silicon-valley/

Prof. Dr. Peter J. Mirski | Head of Department & Studies Bachelor's program Management, Communication & IT
Prof. Dr. Peter J. Mirski Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3500