Tamaki College students head to Silicon Valley

Voices - 25 August 2016

Saia Tukuafu (year 12) from Tamaki College shares about his life changing trip to Silicon Valley with classmates and teacher Jason Sharma from cohort 2014.

"This trip alone has opened my mind hugely. I now see what life is really about and what opportunities I can gain beyond my community and country. I also know that I wasn’t the only one who was transformed throughout this trip.

As a result of the trip, I now have a new, distinctive perspective and a goal for my future. I have also gained more knowledge on simple methods like, “Time Management” and “Being Punctual.” These key factors play a huge role in maintaining the efficiency and performance of the businesses we visited. Because of this overwhelming experience I now aim to be a Civil Engineer or an Architect pursuing my dreams in reaching out beyond my community and creating and innovating new and affordable structures that the less fortunate can access, in order to feel secure and safe wherever they may live.

The motivation that I have gained from this trip personally would have to be, the act of never giving up, and accepting failure. As we visited each company at least once, they would say, “Fail Hard & Fail Fast” or it would be something similar to that. I have learnt that failure shouldn’t be feared, because you can always learn from failure more than you learn from success. In fact, failure can ultimately be your key to success.

What this trip has made me realise and reinforced to me so abundantly were these two main factors: self-Belief and risk taking. Companies like Google, Facebook, Xero and Booktrack, displayed a huge quantity of self belief. Self-Belief in these terms would best be described as, “Believing in oneself when nobody else will”

I can confidently state that this experience to Silicon Valley was not only an “experience” but it was also life changing. The impact that this trip has on me is quite phenomenal. Before going on this trip I didn’t know much about how companies operated, particularly their internal culture. But being exposed to all of that for a week was just mind-blowing. Even now I still find the experience remains prominent in my mind."

Saia Tukuafu (left in photo) is currently a Year 12 student from Tamaki College.