Silicon Valley Program Blog

Spring 2016 - Startup Life, by Farhan Attamimi

Working at a startup has been an incredible experience.  There are many perceptions and ideas of what the startup experience is like, so I’d like to share my stand-out takeaways from my first three weeks of work at Sourcegraph, guided by our values: #people, #progress, and #journey.


Working at a startup is not an easy decision.  You trade the stability, glamorous brand name, and perks of big firms for an unestablished firm without any guarantee of success.  As a result, you get passionate, driven teammates, who care deeply about the product and company.   Everyone I work with cares a ton about the success of the company, and working on building the product is something they enjoy. 


Silicon Valley: Data Analytics and Dodgeball, by Alison Choe

Joining RetailNext, a data analytics company for retail stores, has been an exhilarating but also challenging experience. I feel like I am finally settling into the program – getting into the groove of classes and digging into the meat of the projects I am working on. This definitely feels good, as much of the start of the program and the application process was met with ambiguity and uncertainty. Not to be mistaken – I don’t mean that as a bad situation. In fact, the experience taught me a lot about myself and how to manage my time.

Hiking at Rancho San Antonio, by Emma Knoesen

While there is not a plethora of free time on the Silicon Valley Program, we all do find fun ways to spend it. One of these fun ways is exploring the many hiking spots around the Mountain View area. Last week, three of us—Alison, Daniel, and myself—decided to explore one of these spots. I found Rancho San Antonio online and after finding that it was only a fifteen minute drive from the apartments, was convinced to give it a try.

A mountain top view of blue sky and green trees A mountain top view of rooftops and green trees

Silicon Valley Program Begins, by Ciera Fleming

The Silicon Valley Program is off to a great start and I volunteered to write my blog post before we got too busy with work and classes.

I moved into the Mountain View apartment the day before orientation giving me plenty of time to settle in, as there was not much to set up. The apartments are fully furnished and although the website already says this, you should not underestimate this. When they say fully furnished they mean cups, plates, towels, sheets and even extra sheets. So while I came with a lot of stuff, I would not recommend bringing anything but your clothes, books, and electronics. The apartment is very nice and makes you feel like you are living the luxury life in a hotel-styled apartment, including a gym and a pool nearby. The Caltrain stop is also a convenient 5-10 minute walk away, which goes straight to San Francisco.

Site Visit: Kaiser Permanente’s Garfield Innovation Center, by Emily Zhang

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.

A Larger World, by Joey Yu

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.

Introducing the SVP Spring 2015 Class, by Andrew Yeh

Group photo of students



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.

“You Skipped a Semester of College… To Work?!”, by Alec Koh

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?”.

Small and Mighty: SVP Spring 2015 Students Announced

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.

SVP Spring 2015 Pictured: Jiaqi "Rebecca" Chen, Yichen Lu, Tavin Olarnsakul, Jie "Victoria" Tang, Andrew Yeh, Zhongyi "Joey" Yu, and Emily Zhang. Not Pictured: Jill Rosok