Hi everyone! Last week, I blogged about my experience interning with Centurylink Technology Solutions. On that same note of careers, I just got back to LA from a trek to San Francisco. A group of about 30 Viterbi students got to take part in a new event called Viterbi Trek. We all traveled to NorCal and got to visit different companies and meet their employees. It was a great experience that I want to share with you!

We left on Wednesday on Virgin America Airlines. It was so funny because they have a music video to inform their customers about safety hazards. We all got a kick out of it. Once we arrived, we stayed in this cute boutique hotel and got to know each other a little better. The next morning we headed straight to Yelp’s headquarters. We got facility tours and got to talk to Mike Afari, a USC alum. He is currently the Vice President for Yelp and had some great advice for finding our paths. It was great to see how big the Trojan Family really is!


Steph and I at Yelp HQ

After Yelp, we hopped on the bus and headed for Electronic Arts. They had such a cool building with lots of games and giant figurines of their characters. We talked to two of the computer science engineers who also attended USC. They told us about the great culture and work environment that EA has. They both worked on Sims 4 but gave us some insight on the sports side as well. We even got a little perk of buying games at a discounted price!


That night the USC Advancement Office hosted a networking event with appetizers and drinks. I met a woman, Amy, who graduated from USC with her degree in Computer Science in 2009 (Fun fact: She was a Viterbi Student Ambassador, too!). After college, she proceeded to work for product development with Microsoft, specifically working on Excel. She then went on to found her own startup based on education, and she was very excited to have her company bought recently. She opened my eyes to the possibility of joining the startup world.

The next day we woke up and took off for Youtube. I was very impressed by their headquarters with its casual culture and endless snacks and goodies. It was interesting to listen to a UCLA graduate talk about his first year working with Youtube. His most recent project dealt with personalization to recommend videos to users that they would most likely enjoy.

YouTube HQ

YouTube HQ

The last business that we went to was a startup called AirPR. Their goal is to analyze data relating to PR efforts for companies at an affordable price. AirPR’s first client was the New York Stock Exchange, which just comes to show what a great direction they are headed. They have a small office right in the city and work very closely as a team. In the next year, they look to expand by adding a team specifically dedicated to sales. I look forward to seeing how much AirPR grows in the next couple of years.

Well that was a quick summary of the companies we got to visit this last week in San Francisco. This trek definitely got me thinking more about my goals for the coming summer. Fight on!

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Industrial & Systems Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!