University of Texas at Austin


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Fall 2015 IT Company Field Trip

November 6, 2015

Students arrived bright and early at Littlefield Fountain on November 6th to embark on our second annual IT company field trip. Last year we met with companies in the Austin area and this year we decided to expand out a bit by traveling to San Antonio.

road trip 1     road trip #2

After a rather bumpy ride down I-35, we arrived at USAA to learn more about the IT side of this company that provides insurance, banking, and investment services to military members and their families. We were met at the visitor’s entrance of this massive facility by our awesome hosts Diana Garcia and Marco Jimenez as well as several USAA employees, including UT Austin MIS alumni. Our first stop was to a meeting room where we were give a virtual tour of the Plano office. A developer from the office gave the tour via a collaboration robot that followed him throughout the office. After this, we were given a tour of the facility that is more than ¾ of a mile long and covers 282 acres! During the tour we were able to witness a standup meeting by employees involved with an Apple Pay application. It was great insight into how USAA employees operate and function on a daily basis. The tour ended at USAA’s innovation lab. We were able to hear about the impressive number of patents and ideas that USAA employees contribute. Our time at USAA was an awesome experience for the students to see USAA employees in action and get feedback and advice from so many alumni!

USAA Field Trip

Our next stop was at Rackspace, a company that manages web hosting and cloud computing for businesses.  We were met at the doors by our amazing hosts, Kim Tryce and Chris Caillouet. The first item on our agenda was a tour of the Rackspace facility aka “The Castle.” Chris led us on a tour of the Castle that left our heads spinning as there was so much to look at from the nerf gun room to the giant slide at the center of the facility. We then had lunch with a panel of rackers (Rackspace employees) who told us about the various positions they held at the company. The rackers spent time with each student, asking about their coursework for the semester. The rackers were candid and honest about what they felt students should know when leaving school and looking for a job in the industry. It was a great experience that left the students with a lot to think about and take away from the meeting.

food court image     slide imageflags image     nerf gun roomgroup pic 1     panel pic

We’d like to thank our hosts for this amazing experience and the time that they took to introduce our students to their companies. We can’t wait for wherever our next fieldtrip will take us!

tower pic 1

If you or your company are interested in hosting a field trip, please contact us at