Students are eligible for the Silicon Valley Program in spring of sophomore year, junior year, and fall of senior year. Most students attend as juniors. Proper course selections in the freshman and sophomore years can help students prepare for the SVP courses and particular internships. We also provide guidance on other ways to prepare and other programs that might be of interest to prospective SVP students.
Courses to Prepare for SVP Courses
1. Everyone should take Econ 50 Principles of Economics at CMC or the equivalent at Pitzer, Pomona or Scripps (Econ 52 Principles of Microeconomics) or Harvey Mudd College (Econ 54 Principles of Microeconomics). We normally require completion of this course prior to attending SVP, although we consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
2. Economics majors should take Econ 101 Intermediate Microeconomics at CMC or the equivalent at Pitzer (Econ 105 Microeconomic Theory), Pomona (Econ 102 Microeconomic Theory) or Scripps (Econ 101 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory). This course prepares students to take two level 2 economics electives offered by the program (Econ 165 and Econ 198).
3. Students interested in taking Econ 128 Data Science, an independent study track grounded in Econometrics and Computer Science, should take Econ 125 Econometrics at CMC or a comparable course at Pitzer, Pomona, or Scripps (Econ 125 PZ, Econ 125 SC, Econ 107 PO, Econ 167 PO) and an introductory CS course. Like all SVP independent studies other than Econ 98/198, Econ 128 is offered conditional on faculty availability.
4. Science and Management majors who want to count an SVP course toward their major should take Econ 101 Intermediate Microeconomics at CMC or the equivalent at Pitzer (Econ 105 Microeconomic Theory), Pomona (Econ 102 Microeconomic Theory) or Scripps (Econ 101 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory). Econ 101 prepares the students to take Econ 165 in the SVP, which replaces the Econ 134 requirement in the Science and Management major.
Courses to Prepare for SVP Internships
Students should take courses to prepare for the position they want to hold. Many internships do not require any field-specific skills, so all types of students are eligible for the program. However, some positions require programming skills, some require statistics/econometrics, and some require both. Appropriate courses depend on interests and aptitudes. Students interested in a programming/technical position and/or an econometric/statistical modeling position should take particular courses prior to joining the program. Such courses can also enhance employment prospects for students primarily interested in other areas (which could include positions involving data analysis, financial analysis, investment banking, marketing, etc.):
1. Programming/technical positions (based on guidance from Remy Guercio SVP Fall 2014 and Anant Jaitha SVP Fall 2015): Students are encouraged to take CSCI005 and CSCI070 at HMC (Introduction to Computer Science and Data Structures/Program Development) or comparable courses at CMC/POM. The concepts learned in CS70 or a comparable course usually form the basis for most programming/technical internship interviews. Other courses that teach SQL, Python, Java, C/C++, R, or other common programming languages might also help secure a programming/technical position.
2. Econometric/statistical modeling: Students should take Econ 125 Econometrics at CMC or a comparable course or a comparable course at Pitzer, Pomona, or Scripps (Econ 125 PZ, Econ 125 SC, Econ 107 PO, Econ 167 PO). Taking Econometrics as a sophomore normally requires advance planning, because econometrics courses typically have statistics and possibly other economics courses as prerequisites. However, with careful planning, it is possible to complete Econ 125 by the end of sophomore year. In most cases, it will not be feasible to take any more advanced econometrics courses before attending the program. However, if advanced courses are offered and can fit into your schedule, they could be useful (all build on a first course in Econometrics; examples include Econ 126 Microeconometrics and Econ 127 Economic and Financial Forecasting at CMC, Econ 169 Advanced Econometrics at Pomona, and courses offered by Claremont Graduate University).
Other Ways to Prepare and Other Programs that Might be of Interest
1. Students interested in the SVP will likely also be interested in getting involved with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CMC.
2. Harvey Mudd College has a summer program for rising sophomores that could be of interest: students work in small groups on a project and present the results at the end of summer for academic credit. Technically-minded students would benefit from participating, but business-oriented students interested in technology would benefit as well.
3. The Student Opportunity Center at CMC can help students find summer programs and other opportunities that could help students prepare for positions in entrepreneurial and/or innovation-focused firms.
4. Special guidance for HMC engineering majors: engineering majors need to complete a clinic in one semester during junior year (and both semesters senior year). HMC recommends that students interested in the SVP complete the clinic in the junior fall and attend the SVP in the junior spring.
5. Special guidance for foreign students: foreign students might have visa issues or other conditions of work (such as obtaining a social security number) that need to be resolved before going on the SVP. Resources exist at the colleges to help students navigate the necessary processes.