My Silicon Valley Experience, by Michael Franklin

Joe inspired me to write a little poem for y’all so that is how I will start my post:

On a hot summer day in mid July
A little boy named Michael began to cry
He hated his current internship at this bank
Everything was so boring and his hopes shrank
The future looked dismal, full of demise
Praying that the Valley would bring a pleasant surprise
Our brave young hero was jealous of his friends going to Spain
Meeting beautiful foreign women, and travelling Europe by train
But little did he know, the Valley would be awesome
With Brock, Filson, Steve, and a professor named Rossum
The rest of my story, will not be in rhyme
But instead, will be prose documenting my time

This summer was my first internship and I was really excited to be interning at this local bank. It all sounded perfect to me, I got to live at home, my work was only five minutes away, and I found a paid internship in the field I was interested in. I discovered very quickly that banking is not what I was trying to do. I really struggled through my internship and did not have high hopes for my upcoming semester in Silicon Valley, as I was doing an accounting internship and believed it would be similar to my summer banking internship. The first week of my internship at Travelzoo was really boring and I was starting to really get concerned and question my career path. But after that first week, everything started getting so much better and all of my concerns were immediately eradicated. As an accounting intern, I was put in charge of the accounts payable department with one of my co-workers. This showed me that I could be trusted with a pretty significant part of the company’s operations while also giving me the opportunity to learn some very helpful skills. As I began mastering my job, I started having more and more free time to pursue my own project. With this free time, I have been taking lessons from what we’ve been learning in our marketing and innovation class and coming up with a new marketing campaign for Travelzoo. I’ve been presenting it to various people in the marketing department and have gotten mainly positive feedback. I am really excited because I am presenting my idea to the CFO of Travelzoo this Thursday and think this could be my lucky break!

One thing I’ve learned this semester is that whatever career path I choose for the future needs to be something I enjoy doing. Before my internships, I naively believed I would be able to do anything, regardless of how boring it was, if I were receiving a good paycheck. I learned that some people can definitely pull that off, but I am not one of them. Mountain View and Silicon Valley in general is an area that fosters innovation and it is very infectious. Since being up here, I have started my first website and my first business with some classmates. I am truly enjoying my time up here and am learning a lot about myself. I can confidently say that I have never worked so hard in my life, but it is always good to see how far you can push yourself.

Michael Franklin CMC
Class of 2014