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Silicon Valley Program Fall 2024 Academic Intern


The Silicon Valley Program (SVP) provides emerging leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs from the Claremont Colleges with an off-campus study semester that integrates high-impact internship experience, related coursework, and professional development and networking opportunities in the prime hotbed of global innovation, Silicon Valley.

SVP staff will work with you to fine-tune your resume, enhance your LinkedIn profile, and apply proven search strategies to secure a full-time semester internship in a company that speaks to your talents, passions, and professional aspirations. SVP academic interns have worked in start-ups, established companies, and non-profit organizations, learning what it takes to be successful in a wide range of functions, including: product management, software development, data science and analytics, sales/business development, marketing, customer success, and finance.

The curriculum includes four courses presented by Claremont McKenna College faculty. All four SVP courses are applied directly to what you will be learning and experiencing on the job as an academic intern. Your internship serves as the ultimate “laboratory” to bring the classroom to life. In addition, you will get to experience the heart of Silicon Valley while establishing and developing personal and professional relationships with Claremont alumni, parents, friends, and employers during specially-crafted professional development events.


SVP is coordinated by Claremont McKenna College. Second-semester sophomores, all juniors, and all seniors from any of the Claremont Colleges are eligible to apply, although non-CMC applicants should check with their college's off-campus study office before applying. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and successful completion of ECON 50 CM or an equivalent course. We will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Students who successfully complete the written application will be invited to interview with the SVP selection committee. 


ECON 065/165 CM: Innovation Management/Industrial Organization is a cross-listed course that can be taken as a level 1 or a level 2 economics course. This course uses economics to study firm strategy and industry evolution in contexts where innovation is important. Students discuss imperfect competition and the main sources of competitive advantage, describe several stylized facts about innovation, consider factors that impact the generation and diffusion of innovations, study dynamic strategic interaction and how high-tech firms and industries evolve, and develop an understanding of the role and impacts of public policies in innovative industries. ECON 165 serves as an elective for the finance sequence at CMC, counts toward the Science and Management major, and requires successful completion of ECON 101 CM Intermediate Microeconomics or equivalent.

LEAD 150 CM: Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley provides an overview of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship theories and constructs, with applications and implications for leading in innovative and cutting-edge organizations in Silicon Valley. Topics range from the history of Silicon Valley, to leading creative teams, to entrepreneurial start-ups, and the leadership skills necessary to foster innovative organizations. A central theme is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be effective leaders in innovative organizations. This course satisfies the capstone requirement of the leadership sequence at CMC.

INT 030 CM: Silicon Valley Program Internship integrates a full-time internship with career coaching, class discussions, and other professional development activities. Students gain experience in innovative organizations by securing full-time internships in consultation with the program directors. This experience complements the other coursework in the program to enhance students’ understanding of the strategies and practices of innovative organizations, firm-level innovation ecosystems, high-tech markets and the regional system of innovation in Silicon Valley and the surrounding area. Whether credit is earned depends on the policies of each campus. This course satisfies the experiential requirement of the leadership sequence at CMC.

In addition, each student enrolls in one structured independent study course. Offerings vary by semester depending on student interests and faculty availability (ECON 98 and 198 are always offered). If any Claremont-based courses are taught online, then it might be possible for an SVP student to obtain approval to select a 5C course as their fourth course. In such cases, it will be vital to ensure that the course is taught in an asynchronous way (to avoid conflicts with the work day), and it will also be important to assess whether the deliverables associated with the course are likely to be manageable given the student’s other responsibilities during the SVP semester.


SVP Fall 2024 is scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 29, 2024 and conclude Saturday, December 14, 2024.

For additional details, visit our website: Questions may be directed to Nereida Moussa at