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US Study Tour – Student Reflections

Posted July 5, 2017.

US Study Tour – Student Reflections

As the US Study Tour travels to the East Coast, we asked our students to reflect on their time in San Francisco and Palo Alto.


  • Google was really interesting, I was amazed at the diversity of the jobs available there, and to learn of what is to come in the future for the company. There was also a real sense of it being a fun place to work.
  • Stanford is an amazing school with great architecture.
  • At eBay, we learned about the entire process of purchasing an item on eBay – it was fascinating. Even though eBay is a huge business, I really liked how they make work a fun environment.


  • Google – I was amazed to learn that Google offer up their own software for entrepreneurs to base their own innovative business concepts on and from there they can start things such as Snap Chat.
  • Stanford – I enjoyed the talk from George Foster on creating a personal brand and what makes a positive or a negative brand.
  • eBay – The presentation from Kevin was inspiring, how he stumbled upon eBay when it was first starting up and how he had no idea what he wanted to do. Since then he has been all over the world and worked in so many positions despite not knowing what he was doing in some. I suppose his journey gave me hope for my lack of surety in my future.


  • Intriguing to see what a crucial role coding will become in the future and how it will become more of a useful skill to acquire for daily life and not just for a job. Google and eBay both mentioning this is enlightening to how technology will influence our lives more and more every day. The introduction of the Google home assistant is incredible predominately because it is a major step forward towards possible future technology such as artificial intelligence.


  • Google is really interesting as it is a huge building with multiple departments with each department specific to a certain job. I was surprised at the size of the building and how it can house up to 50 000 people working. Learning about how Google operates and how it takes care of competitors was interesting as they buy their competition to cover more ground in the market.
  • Stanford was a huge university and a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the buildings. I really enjoyed the lecture that George Foster gave us as it was interesting to see what are some characteristics of good and bad companies.
  • eBay was a great experience as I learned about how the concept of the business developed and how useful eBay is to people all over the world


  • Google – visiting Google was the perfect in terms of informing and educating us on how large global companies function in an efficient, far from unwieldy manner. I learned how google has an inspiring and productive work environment, which is due to the unique and fascinating processes they use on their employees on how to boost their work ethic. These wondrous techniques assist in fostering innovation – in everyone. Google truly believes that there is no limit to one’s capability and this potential can be found in everyone. One especially intriguing example that displays this belief is the Google cloud drive which provides new, expanding companies with plenty of opportunity by reducing unnecessary expenditure.

Coming to America for me was not just about the breathtaking views or the days off school, it was an opportunity to gain insight on the bigger issue: how the world functions as a whole.

  • The visit to Google has enlightened me as I take home not only the experience and stories told by the fantastic people who have pursued their dreams and aspirations but also the knowledge of those who had preceded myself and their journeys to their current position. Conversing with Josh and Dave was a great opportunity to evaluate future pathways and outcomes. Meeting George Foster was a rather humbling experience, with his highly regarded expertise in field of advertisement and personal branding many of us were able to obtain information of the betterment of oneself and development as a functional member of society.
  • Stanford – Kegan shared his brief but relevant and significant wisdom on his experiences within the field of medical and cardiological research, driving home the important message of the importance of the balance in the success and failure in life and the willingness to encounter obstacles and overcome them.


  • Google was very interesting. I loved learning about the amount of products they have and the lengths they go to ensure a fun environment for all of the employees.
  • Visiting Stanford was incredible and both George and Kegan had great advice to give us. In particular, I liked George’s approach to talking to groups by incorporating us all into the talk. In addition, Kegan provided a great insight into our future careers by outlining the many paths and branches of a particular subject that can appear as time comes along.
  • In all the meetings and presentations, I loved how everyone that we saw emphasised that even if we do not know where to go with our career straight away, we will always find our place.


  • Google – So far during the tour the highlight for me was the visit to Google. It was a rare experience to communicate with the people behind the company and get an exclusive view behind the scenes. Both Josh and Dave offered great answers to the range of questions we asked.
  • Stanford – Talking to George Foster was also another great experience. We got to talk about ‘brands’ which is a topic we rarely talk about back at school. George offered advice and opened our eyes to how our actions impact the person we are. It was unfortunate we had to rush the meeting as George was very engaging and never lost our attention. The final speaker we got to talk to on the day was Kegan Moneghetti. It was inspiring to see a Ballarat Clarendon College student working at Stanford and showing to current students that our career paths could take us anywhere. Like all the other speakers during the day, Kegan was approachable and gave us valuable advice on how to approach life after VCE.
  • The main thing that stuck out was the growing importance to have a basic understanding of coding. Unsurprisingly, Josh and Dave offered this advice but Kegan, whose field isn’t directly linked to coding, echoed this advice.


  • Stanford – the highlight of the US study trip so far has definitely been Stanford University. The tour of the university was very intriguing and visiting the Medical Centre was very interesting. I was especially ‘blown away’ by the facilities. The college takes up an enormous space and features stadiums, pools, many different complexes and more. This breathtaking trip was further enhanced by the meetings we had with Kegan Moneghetti and George Foster. Kegan gave some invaluable advice about his journey to one of the world’s greatest colleges – which was very inspiring. George told some enthralling stories of previous encounters he has had with famous people and helped us outline who we are and where we want to get too.

The tour so far has definitely been very rewarding. We have been to various companies and had the chance to explore a wonderful world-class University. There have been many highlights and I have learnt a whole lot.

  • Google – Visiting Google was a real eye opener as we got an exclusive introduction by Dave and Josh about the company’s functions and different projects. It was especially interesting to find out the origins of the company, and how it grew into a world-wide billion-dollar company that has more than 60,000 employees.
  • Stanford – Another exciting moment was meeting an Old Collegian, Kegan Moneghetti who is a Cardio-Vascular Specialist. Kegan is now working as a Researcher for the Stanford University Medical department. His story from Clarendon to Stanford was a great insight on how one should never be discouraged by setbacks. Although Keegan himself got into his preferred courses, he urged us to understand that even setbacks could be a vital step in reaching your dream future.
  • Two of the most interesting things that I have learned is having basic computer coding skills and always asking questions. These two skills are something that I must work on improving as I have come to realize just how vital they are to my future.
  • This journey has truly opened my eyes to the possibilities in my future and I am looking to realising this even more so in the next stages of the tour.

The trip has been very eye opening with our visits to places such as Google, Stanford and EBay.

  • Google – This visit has definitely been a highlight of the trip so far. Google executives, Dave and Josh, told us a vital lesson how it is natural when you are overwhelmed in a new environment to feel like an imposter. They also spoke about the growing importance of the knowledge of coding in society, as it will become a common tool for many professions. They urged us to learn some coding, as even if we do not wish to become computer engineers, it is an important skill to have to improve work in any profession.
  • Stanford – We also visited George Foster who spoke about the vast importance of how our actions and decisions effect our self-branding. These new skills will become very important in our future and I look forward to the rest of the tour and all the new experiences I will have.


  • Google – Visiting Google has been my favourite part of the trip so far. Being in an executive meeting room with a Software Engineer and a User Experience Manager was an awesome experience and really enlightened me on just how many different jobs with different skills are available in the same business. Dave spoke about how in order to get to his current job he didn’t necessarily climb up a ladder but more of a lattice.
  • Stanford – this idea of climbing lattice to get where you want to be was reinforced during our talk with Kegan Moneghetti, who is a Cardio-Vascular Imaging Specialist. The importance of having computer coding knowledge was also stressed by Kegan. The tour of Stanford has shown me just how huge universities in America are. Stanford was a very interesting place with its own stadium and pools.