After a very successful inaugural 2017 trip of the Digital Study Tour and invitations from all of the companies visited to return, we headed out after spring graduation on the 2nd annual trip to the west coast. The students and I travelled to leading eCommerce and digital corporate locations to get a one-of-a-kind first-hand experience.
The trip began with our one-way flight from Dallas to Seattle. After collecting luggage and depositing at the hotel, first on our agenda was to soak in some Seattle culture, including Pike Place Market, the Seattle Space Needle and the Chihuly Glass Gardens. We were then up bright and early the next morning for our first corporate headquarters appointment at Amazon. The Amazon Go store was up and running so we tried that out, as well as a private tour of the Amazon Spheres, where we got to go to the bird’s nest to see the view of the city. We next headed to our partners at Nordstrom HQ and learned all about their eCommerce operations, then wrapped up with a trip to the Nordstrom flagship store on Pine Street.
Done with our time in Seattle on this fast-paced trip, the next morning we headed out early to the train station, where we took the Amtrak 501 to Portland, Oregon. It was a beautiful adventure across the Pacific Northwest landscape and fun to experience a different mode of travel, new for most of the students. Upon arrival in Portland, we grabbed a quick lunch in town and then headed to the famous Nike headquarters for an informative discussion about online customers, store environments and a tour of the campus and museum. After soaking up lots of knowledge about these continual innovators, we made our way to the airport and headed south to San Francisco for the next leg of our journey. The adventurous day ended with a good night’s sleep.
Next, our itinerary took us to the Walmart.com’s eCommerce hub located in San Bruno, lunch on their campus and then we headed back up north to the Macys.com offices. We have several graduates of our program working there, so it was fun to visit with those familiar faces. That evening, we headed to the Marina for dinner to meet a student who travelled on the 2017 trip and decided to move to San Francisco permanently. We took in the fresh Pacific Ocean air and snapped great photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and the famous Painted Ladies. The final day of our trip wrapped up with a first stop at Google headquarters. Then we were off to Facebook for lunch on their campus and the chance to experience what it would be like to work in the Silicon Valley.
It was an action-packed agenda and everyone had memorable and impactful experiences. The student project was a video diary to document the trip through their eyes, so everyone can have a peak at the numerous digital retail job opportunities awaiting them in their very near futures.
Watch the student produced Digital Study Tour travel diary.