T-Mobile Field Trip with Auburn Mountainview High School

On February 1, 2024, Auburn Mountainview High School students had the chance to attend an IGNITE Field Trip to T-Mobile headquarters in Seattle, WA. The event featured a tour of the Business Operations Center and an insightful panel discussion featuring Vidya Varadarajan, Jnanesh Matyavalahally, and Jenny Philips, senior leaders in technical and software development roles at T-Mobile.

The event started with a tour of T-Mobile’s Business Operations Center, which featured the sophisticated systems used to monitor networks and ensure client satisfaction. Screens tracking weather, news, usage, outages, and social media, highlighting the company’s commitment to rapid response. The revelation that someone’s job involved scrolling through and responding to social media posts about T-Mobile left the students surprised. The facility also showcased T-Mobile’s nationwide operations, with staff members explaining their roles, such as distributing phones during natural disasters. Getting the chance to engage with the staff there provided the students with a glimpse into diverse career possibilities and the chance to ask questions in the moment!

After the tour, students had the chance to hear from the Panelists. During the discussion, they addressed questions about internship programs and career preparation in STEM fields. The Panelists offered information on T-Mobile’s Explorer internship program for high school students and the University of Magenta for college-age students, which stood out as exciting opportunities. The emphasis on passion, community inclusion, and embracing failures as learning moments resonated with the students. The Panelists also encouraged a growth mindset, openness to learning, and the importance of communication and empathy as essential skills for success.

The IGNITE Worldwide Field Trip at T-Mobile provided Auburn Mountainview High School students with an immersive experience. It exposed them to the dynamic world of technology and telecommunications, leaving a lasting impact on their perception of the industry.

Thank you to the individuals who contributed to the success of this event. Our appreciation goes to our Panelists, Vidya Varadarajan, Jnanesh Matyavalahally, and Jenny Philips. Your valuable insights and expertise enriched our discussions and added immense value to the event. Special recognition to Melanie Lenahan for her outstanding organizational efforts and dedication to ensuring a smooth and impactful experience for all. A warm thank you to Candice Boyd for facilitating the event with grace and expertise. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to Karen Ainsworth, an Educator whose support played a pivotal role in making this event a success. Your commitment to education is truly commendable, and we are grateful for the positive impact you’ve had on our IGNITE community.

After attending this event:


of students are interested in STEM

Take STEM Class


of students know more about STEM career choices and the benefits of working in a STEM field

Ask Teacher about Additional STEM Activities


of students feel more confident in pursuing STEM


of students gained perspective and feel more hopeful about the future

Here’s what the students thought of the event:

Today’s trip opened my interest in STEM and marketing. It made me realize that I would love to work in this field when I’m older because I love technology in general, but this trip made me love it as a job. Biggest takeaway from this trip was the whole building. I loved everything about it, as well as the workers and the volunteers here who were very kind and helpful.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

This experience was inspiring, and the building was cool.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

The volunteers helped me understand STEM. Thank you.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

One of the panelists mentioned how we should not be afraid of failure but instead be afraid of not trying. They talked about overcoming adversity and challenges in your career. I also learned that T-Mobile offers internship programs for high school students. All the workers seemed content with their jobs.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

“I wasn’t really interested in STEM, but I really enjoyed this trip, and I learned a lot of information. I took everything in and I enjoyed it.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

“Very bright and inspiring. This showed me to open my eyes to bigger things and that failure is a lesson. Girl power!” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

“Today’s event helped me experience and learn about different types of work. Hearing the volunteers’ personal experiences and the advice they had to share was helpful.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

I was inspired listening to the panel discuss their journeys as well as why they decided to stay in technology and the impact they create. I gained new insight into technology and the careers within it.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

“This event was great and I learned that there are a lot of women that belong in STEM.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

“Coming here and seeing how things work in STEM really inspired me.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

“I think just looking at the environment and how peaceful and fun it looks inspired me. Also, just the volunteers talking about the different choices as well. The big takeaways would be that T-Mobile has many more cell towers than I thought and this could be a potential career of mine – thank you, volunteers!!!” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

“I liked the big TVs and I learned a lot from the panel.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

Today showed me how many careers there are to choose from in T-Mobile. It was cool seeing that T-Mobile watches to make sure nothing crashes and their customers are happy.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

“This event inspired me to realize that being a woman in STEM shouldn’t be a scary thing. Thanks to the volunteers who took their time to explain what they do and share their backstories.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

It was inspiring to see that the volunteers were happy and positive about working at T-Mobile.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Today inspired me to try new things. I learned about STEM and how they do what they do.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me to pursue my dreams, especially after seeing all the women in this field. My biggest takeaway was the internship. I’m strongly interested in doing it to grow my experience in STEM.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

“Today inspired me to be more motivated. If I want something, I should truly work for it. My biggest takeaway was the advice about how even though we may feel discouraged at times, we shouldn’t give up.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

About T-Mobile:

T-Mobile US, Inc. is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint.

About IGNITE Program Field Trip Events:

IGNITE Field Trips offer a memorable, behind-the-scenes look at STEM in action and the wide range of career opportunities at the host company. Company employees interact directly with the students through an office tour, hands-on STEM activities, and IGNITE Panel and Q&A discussion.

About IGNITE Worldwide:

IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM permanently and systematically. We work directly with teachers during the school day to provide programming that promotes gender equity and representation in STEM academics and careers. Through our award-winning program, IGNITE provides engaging, hands-on events that connect students with STEM professionals from industry leaders from around the world. Learn more at www.igniteworldwide.org.

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