Seattle STEM Trip - Nallely Gonzalez

The summer of twenty-eighteen has been filled with laughter, exploring, and learning, which much came from this trip. I was fortunate enough to travel on the first ever Future Hispanic Leaders of America STEM trip. We went to places like Boeing, Microsoft, and toured the University of Washington. On theses tours, we were able to interact with staff members and ask questions to get familiar with their occupation or the environment of the place. There were eight students, including myself, who all came with different backgrounds, grades, and of course goals within their education. 



One of my favorite tours on this trip was Microsoft! Monday morning we stepped foot in the newly renovated visitor center at Microsoft. Before the tour began, I had already been amazed with how many people were heading their way to Microsoft, which made me question how many people worked there. I later found out there were over forty-thousand employees who worked at that Microsoft, not including the employees they had across the nation. During the tour, we learned the history of Microsoft then how it gradually moved up to how we see it today! Not only were we able to see their current projects but even got a sneak peek to the inventions they are yet to release to the public. For example, the touch screen temperature monitor that was transparent. Super cool!! I had always thought that Microsoft only hired those with computer experience when in fact they hire people of all sorts of professions. They have a legal team, marketing team, engineers, and many other different departments that make Microsoft strong. It remains true that Microsoft likes to hire those with any sort of technology experience because modern times are starting to evolve more with technology. 



Aside from visiting STEM based companies, we were also able to tour the beautiful city Seattle. For many of us it was our first time visiting Seattle, even first time traveling without parents. The thought of traveling to a different state with people you didn’t know is scary, but luckily this group of people made it feel like a family. We all got along super well! Even had a few jokes that connected us even more (“STEM FOREVER” we’d chant as a break after a conversation). In Seattle we got to see the aquarium, space needle, Pike market, go on a boat ride, and go to the science center! We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s contribution in all of our fundraisers!  The fundraisers allowed us to buy our city passes, our meals for the days, and even get to buy cool souvenirs. It made it refreshing to not have to worry if I had enough for the trip. It was also a great responsibility to be trusted with this amount of money, it made me think for myself, as a leader. 



A great trip can become even greater with feedback. What I realized we lacked was our communication through text. Text message was difficult to get ahold of people because sometimes people didn’t have their phones on them or they simply didn’t reply. However, we had strong communication when we would have meetings in the lobby at a specific time. We were able to discuss meal plans, the agenda for the next day, and receive feedback. 



I am so thankful to have gone on this trip! I learned so much and met so many new friends! Before this trip I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study just business, but now I’ve realized that I really want to challenge myself into a career in the STEM field! Our tour guide from Microsoft made a really good point about how our world is evolving so much with new technology. Personally, I love being on social media and was always curious about computers like the coding that goes into building a website! I have a meeting with my college advisors this week and I plan to discuss the different paths that I can incorporate business with technology! After this trip I have gained a new motto that I learned from our tour at the University of Washington, my purpose in my education is to Think, Inspire, and Mastering (T.I.M).



I wish best of luck to the students in my group on their journey to become leaders! I would also like to thank everyone who made this trip possible, especially our chaperones! Can’t wait to see what trip will bring for the future students :) 

Luis Caloca