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Silicon Valley Program: Setting a High Bar for Excellence

"Best. Intern. Ever."

That's the review a Silicon Valley Program internship supervisor gave to his SVP intern. Comments about our other 27 students are equally compelling: “…extremely driven and showed a tremendous amount of initiative…", “…versatile, intelligent…", and “…given that [he] is in his junior year of undergrad I believe he has done a great job working with a team of PMs with many years more experience (many are MBAs)."

As the Silicon Valley Program wraps its first year of operations, it can claim an unqualified success. Interns excelled at Addepar, Alpine Investors, Applied Materials, Atlassian (3), Avinger, eBay (2), Edmodo (2), Electronic Arts (3), Equinix, Google (3), Intuit (2), Retail Next (3), Square, Steelcase, Tegile, Travelzoo, and Zynga. Duties included marketing, market analytics, product management, financial services, human resources, and product development. The interns' performances led many supervisors to request another SVPer in future semesters.
Spring 2013 Silicon Valley Program students gather at Electronic Arts for the semi-annual networking reception (l to r): Briana Smith SC'14, Matt Taylor CMC'14, Chad Newbry CMC'14, Daniel Serra CMC'14, Madison Friedman CMC'14, Xiaoyin Qu PO'15, Shree Pandya CMC'14, Hye Won Chung CMC'14, Szeyin Lee SCR'14, Nikhita Narendran CMC'14, and Franceen Chua CMC'14.
Most students individually acquired these internships using the robust network of CMC alumni, parents, and friends in the region. A few stepped out on their own to develop relationships that landed them the “perfect" internship. The power of the network was tested – and passed with flying colors – on a couple of occasions. The program is indebted to many individuals who saw the value early and promoted the SVP to colleagues within their organizations.

Bleary-eyed and well-prepared, SVP students capped-off their busy weeks of work with two Saturday classes held in space graciously provided by Google in Mountain View. Darren Filson, associate professor of economics at the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at CMC, taught Industrial Organization, and Constance Rossum, visiting faculty member who teaches on leadership, organization, and marketing, taught a special topics course entitled “Marketing and Innovation." Prof. Brock Blomberg, Dean of the Robert Day School supervised the students' independent study papers, along with colleagues at Pomona College.

CMC alumni in the Bay Area rolled out the red carpet both semesters, hosting informal gatherings at their homes, outings to the Golden State Warriors games, events with the CMC Alumni Association chapters, and providing informal mentorship during the students' stay in Silicon Valley. The CMCAA plans to increase their activity with SVP students in the coming year by organizing a formal mentorship program, and additional social events.
"CMC Trustee and SVP founder/counselor Barton Evans '70 speaks with SVP volunteer Christopher Cheung '03 and SVP student Hye Won Chung '14."
The Silicon Valley Program appreciates the counsel and guidance provided by CMC alumni Bart Evans '70, Carol Hartman '86, Jim McElwee '74 P'12, and Jonathan Rosenberg '83 P'14 P'17, along with Pomona College alumnus Laszlo Bock '94. The program benefits from their guidance, as well as the unwavering support of the CMC Board of Trustees, President Pamela Gann, Dean Gregory Hess, and Dean Brock Blomberg.

The Silicon Valley Program – and its sister program, the Silicon Valley Networking Trip – was developed to demonstrate that students with a liberal arts education can play a significant role in the creation, growth, and innovation of technology companies. This quote from a non-CMC supervisor of a Spring 2013 SVP intern: “[T]he Silicon Valley Program provides tremendous value for both the company and its leaders as well as for the interns, alike. Great program! I was a member of a similar program when I was a student and it changed my life. I'm glad that SVP is here and I'm looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the program."

To learn more about the Silicon Valley Program, please visit http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/svp/.
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