CMC To Offer Semester in Silicon Valley

Claremont McKenna College will begin offering an off-campus study program based in Silicon Valley next fall.    

Students participating in the semester-long program will complete a full-time internship at a technology company, two academic courses and a research paper related to the internship for a total of four academic credits.    

For the past seven years, CMC has been offering a weeklong trip to Silicon Valley, during which students tour ten information technology companies and meet CMC alumni. The new Silicon Valley Semester Program builds on that idea and gives students further opportunities to immerse themselves in the technology world.    

The program is affiliated with CMC’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance and is administered by Off-Campus Study. Students studying at all 5Cs are encouraged to apply. The only prerequisite is that students will have taken intermediate microeconomics before beginning the program.    

“They are looking for people who understand data, who can understand what customers want and translate that into goods and services—creative, thoughtful people who can dream big and help create opportunities,” Program Director Steve Siegel CM ’87 said.    

Students do not have to be economics or computer science majors to apply.    

Among companies that may participate are Google, Electronic Arts, Atlassian, Applied Materials and Intuit. While some of these companies are overrun by internship applications for the summer, they have spare room to take on interns during the fall and spring semesters.    

“We will work with our students to create good resumes, and there might be Skype interviews. But basically CMC is prescreening the students for internships,” said Siegel, who is currently CMC’s Senior Development Officer.    

Some of the details of the program, such as housing and transportation, still need to be finalized, but students will likely be interning during the week and spending Saturdays taking an organizational behavior course as well as a course in special topics in economics.    

One of the goals of the program is to build a community, Siegel said.    

“The last thing we want is to have the students scattered to the wind in Silicon Valley,” he said. “We want to be able to connect our students with our alumni who are in the area, as well as with each other.”      

There will be internships offered in the areas of finance, marketing, corporate strategy and human resources, among others.    

CMC already has a domestic semester study program in Washington, D.C. for students interested in politics.

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