Silicon Valley Program Blog
The Silicon Valley Program students recently attended a Kaiser Permanente tour, a new event addition among many great offerings of the semester. We spent two hours on a Monday afternoon at Kaiser’s Garfield Innovation Center and saw several displays of futuristic health care plans. The plans were split into two ideas: patients and doctors’ experiences within the hospital scenario and patients and doctors’ experiences outside of the hospital. Written here in this blog post are some amazing concepts that we saw.
It is always weird to connect CMC with Silicon Valley. We are good at econ; we have strong psychology department; our government professors are top level scholars. Every day, people talk about Goldman Sachs, argue about democrats and republicans. Science? That is nothing but a GE class. For a while, I thought I was going to end up as a consultant, or maybe an accountant. Who knows? Sounds equally good to me. As a result, when I first heard about the Silicon Valley program, I hesitated a lot. It sounded like a good program but did not seem to work for me. I was still not really confident about my decision when I turned in my application. However, things happened without any reason. I got in the program and received an offer from a startup called Orbital Insight.
My name is Andrew Yeh, and I'm writing the first blog post for our school's semester-long Silicon Valley Program.
Our jobs are interesting. This year, with only 7 of us, there wasn't a lot of diversity in occupations. Most of us are in marketing, but the products and responsibilities behind that marketing differ between all of us and are all equally, extremely interesting. For example, I am flogging through spreadsheets and making PowerPoint slides right now.
Tavin is ruthlessly rejecting applicants to his startup, Esper. He doesn't read their resumes; he reads their minds.
A few weeks ago, one of my close family friends called me on the phone. The conversation started how it always does; How is college? What do you want to do after you graduate? Make sure you come visit soon! As I explained to him that I am in San Francisco participating in the Silicon Valley Program, his initial response was excitement. He thinks it is a great opportunity, and he wishes he could have done something similar when we was younger. As I explained what I do at work to him, he interrupted me and said, “Wait a minute, you chose to skip a full semester of college to work full time?”.
The Silicon Valley Program is proud to welcome a small, but mighty, group of eight students to the Spring 2015 semester. These students hail from Pomona and Claremont McKenna colleges, and represent economics, government, applied mathematics, psychology, Asian studies, and theater design & technology majors.
We look forward to having them arrive in Silicon Valley after the winter break. Interested employers may still have an opportunity to secure one or more of these talented interns.
Pictured: Jiaqi "Rebecca" Chen, Yichen Lu, Tavin Olarnsakul, Jie "Victoria" Tang, Andrew Yeh, Zhongyi "Joey" Yu, and Emily Zhang. Not Pictured: Jill Rosok
Surrounded by people wearing zebra print outfits at a dance party on a Sunday morning, I was handed a card. No, it wasn’t Paul Allen’s card. It was a card with a message. A message that I had absolutely no intention of encountering that day. On one side of the card, (not the neon-disco patterned side), it read:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
Or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
Who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
Who spends himself in a worthy cause;
When I applied to the Silicon Valley Program, I was expecting to get out of my comfort-zone of beautiful and easygoing Camp Claremont and venture out into the real world for a semester. Being a Philosophy-Economics dual major with a passion for learning and teaching, I was considering pursuing higher education in philosophy. I wanted to use my semester in Silicon Valley as a metaphorical litmus test to see how I would fair in the dynamic technology industry and figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life.
After venturing out to Silicon Valley, and immersing myself in its culture, I can say that I am no closer to answering my initial question of what career I want to pursue. I have loved every moment up here. From meeting new and important people to adventuring in beautiful San Francisco, this experience has been a non-stop roller coaster ride of discovery.
We’re half way through the Silicon Valley Program. At this point, we’ve found the delicate balance between work, school, sleep, and fun. Yes, we’re all in this for the incredible experiences and opportunities afforded to us through an extended internship in one of the most exciting and innovative places in the world, but I believe that the Silicon Valley Program should just as much be a cultural experience. Even though Silicon Valley is still California, it’s an entirely different place, and, as such, there are a lot of exciting things to do and see. So, in this blog post, I’ll provide a break from the typical post one might see here (about school or work) by focusing on experiences one should have while in the Silicon Valley.
1. Utilize your Time.
Make a plan to develop practical skills that you can easily transfer from one place to another. Programming skills like SQL, design skills like Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, video editing skills. Once you have figured out which skill to invest in, make a concrete plan whether by signing up for online classes or self-learning. If it takes locking yourself up in your room for a weekend to know how to use SQL, so be it. The benefits of having a practical skill under your belt far outweigh people’s common expectation.
Hold yourself accountable by keeping track of how you use your time. Build a time log for yourself and record what you do, duration and whether it was of high value or low value to you. Adjust your habits of time allocations if you consistently spend lots of time on low-value things.
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