The Technology and Innovation Immersion Program (TIIP) at the Rensselaer Lally School of Management provides a unique experiential learning opportunity in technological innovation and entrepreneurship. TIIP places first-year MBA students in work environments that help them discern their strengths and areas for development. TIIP serves as the context for the Professional Development Workshop III course and includes an intensive three-day experience, held this year in Silicon Valley during spring break.
“TIIP provides a deeper understanding for our MBA students to see how technology is developed and the opportunity to connect with successful alumni and alumnae, and technology and business executives,” said Thomas Triscari, professor of practice and MBA program director. “In a major hub with emerging technologies, our students see firsthand how important it is to fail as well as to keep innovating.”
During the Silicon Valley trip, MBA students expanded their networks, knowledge, and self-insight through multiple day and evening activities. They also saw different ways in which technology and innovation occur, different institutional agents’ roles in helping it occur, and the breadth of industries involved in technological innovation.
Hallmarks of TIIP include professional awareness, leadership development, insight on innovation and technology management in practice, an immersive opportunity in an innovation environment, career development, networking and professional engagement, and skill development and practice.
“The TIIP experience not only allowed me to polish my own leadership skills, but it also opened my eyes to opportunities that are available in my area of interest, organizational behavior,” said William Obenauer, MBA ’14. “While on this trip I was able to establish connections with influential innovators in the Silicon Valley while also strengthening some of my relationships within the MBA program.”
The trip included interactive visits with alumni and alumnae and senior leaders at employers such as Applied Materials, Cisco, FlameStower, SanDisk, and the law office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
“I felt a sense of belonging and connection to great alumni and alumnae from Rensselaer and Lally, most of whom are change agents in their respective industry sector,” said Temi Adedeji, MBA ’14. “It was also very refreshing to represent Lally and to talk about what our school offers, and what we all hope to get out of our MBA program.”