Study Abroad and Global Education

Emma Knoesen

Ask me where I've been: USA

Major(s) Economics and Mathematics (dual major)
Hobbies Baking, cooking, hiking, knitting, travel
Hometown Davis, CA
Program/Study Site CMC Silicon Valley Program, Mountain View, CA
Emma Knoesen | USA

Why study abroad?

I wanted to study away to complement my academic curriculum and understand how what I was learning in the class room applied in real life professional situations.

Why did you choose USA?

I studied in Silicon Valley because the program allows you to intern full time at a tech company while also being a full-time student. Interning for an entire semester gave me a much more immersive experience where I was at a company for a longer time period and with fewer other interns—rather than feeling like you were temporarily part of a company, we felt more like full time employees. The experience allowed me to more fully integrate into the company culture and meaningfully contribute to a company’s mission.

What courses did you enroll in while abroad?

  • The Silicon Valley Program has a set curricula. While I was in the program (it has since changed), our four classes where Quantitative Data Analysis, Industrial Organization, Study on Innovation Management, and an Internship credit. In Quantitative Data Analysis, we learned the basics of three different computer languages—Stata, Python, and SQL. Industrial Organization was taught very similar to the class in Claremont; however, the course also focused more closely on the tech industry and all of the students were encouraged to supplement course discussion with experiences from the companies at which they were working. The Study on Innovation Management was an independent study course where we read different articles and books and wrote papers on how the reading related to our companies.

  • For the internship, I interned at Orbital Insight a geospatial big data startup. Orbital uses advances data analytics of satellite imagery to create novel data sets. I worked in Business Development. During my time, I communicated the commercialization of the data sets to clients, managed a remote workforce of 40 workers, improved sampling of data sets, and accumulated financial data to add to our models.

What was your living situation?

I lived at an apartment with two other students from the Claremont Colleges. We had a two bedroom apartment with two bathrooms with a kitchen that was full furnished. The apartment complex had a pool and a gym and overall, was very nice!

What did you do for fun?

I would cook for myself every night which I really enjoyed since that wasn’t something that I get to do on campus. The students living in Mountain View would also hang out every Saturday after class and go out to dinner or cook dinner together. We would also go into San Francisco over some weekends—we went to a Giants game, the Disney museum, as well as a few other trips. We also went hiking. I also joined a local church and its young adult small group that I went to every week.

Highlights of the program:

  • A BBQ at the apartment with the other program participants
  • Joining a weekly small group
  • Weekly company lunches with the CEO of Orbital Insight
  • Golden State Warriors game with SVP and Jonathan Rosenberg (Former SVP of Products, Google and CMC alum)

The most challenging aspects of your experience:

Balancing the homework from classes with the work from the internship.

Final comments or suggestions for future participants:

SVP was a great experience and I am repeatedly grateful that I did the program!!


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