Notre Dame Begins Silicon Valley Semester

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(photo courtesy University of Notre Dame) (photo courtesy University of Notre Dame)

The California branch of the University of Notre Dame is giving students the chance to immerse themselves in one of the nation's largest innovation hubs. The Silicon Valley Semester program will provide a full academic course load with an internship at one of several tech companies in the area.

Ten Notre Dame juniors will participate in the program. Patrick Flynn, interim director of Notre Dame California, says he hopes to expand the program in the future.

"Our top priority is to ensure these 10 students get the most out of their semester in the Valley, both in the classroom and out in the marketplace," said Flynn. "Beyond that, we plan to use the lessons learned during the inaugural Silicon Valley Semester to expand the program to a broad set of majors in the coming years. Our goal is to increase enrollment in the SVS to 40 or more juniors in 2018, and we hope to launch similar semester-long undergraduate experiences in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County in future years."

Students will have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, initially at Menlo College in Atherton, California. The classes will move to Notre Dame's new facility in Palo Alto in February after construction is completed. Some of the companies participating in the internship portion of the program include medical technology company Stryker, intelligent machines technology company Kyndi and OpsPanda, a SaaS company focusing on applications for sales resource planning.

"The Notre Dame internship program is a great opportunity for OpsPanda to engage new talent to help shape the next generation of sales resource planning," said Hung Vo, co-founder of OpsPanda. "The candidates were so strong that we selected multiple interns who will join our artificial intelligence team and work on our toughest problems."

The university says Notre Dame California is also working to develop graduate programs, enhance career and placement services and strengthen research, entrepreneurship, commercialization and alumni engagement on the west coast.

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