by Jon Yeow (WG’15)
Getting off the plane this time, it felt different. This definitely wasn’t Philly. Instead, this place smelt of organic kale chips and was brimming with bright-eyed entrepreneurial optimism. San Francisco here I come.
The Semester in San Francisco (SSF) program is a unique opportunity for full-time MBA students to spend their fall semester at the Wharton San Francisco campus. Besides continuing to take classes here, the program aims to get students to engage with the people and community that make up the vibrant economy of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
The campus is located on the sixth floor of the Hills Brother Plaza that sits right on the Embarcadero. When you walk onto our floor, you’ll find yourself looking out onto a stunning view of the bay and the Oakland bay bridge. On the occasional bright sunny day, you’ll see yachts and boats out on the water and as the sun comes down, the bridge puts on a vibrant light display.
With a large majority of the class looking to go into tech and startups, the curriculum does have a technology and entrepreneurship skew. One highlight is the regional seminar course, which features weekly speakers consisting of executives, entrepreneurs, Wharton alumni, and current students. The course kicked off this week with a great session on big data analytics with Jeff Erhardt (WG’06), CEO of wise.io. In the weeks to come, we’ll be hearing from executives at Box, Amazon and LinkedIn among others. This week, we were given 3 days off to attend TechCrunch Disrupt, one of the leading tech conferences in Silicon Valley. But more to come on that later.
Being miles away from our 700 other classmates has the potential to give rise to FOMO and PUB withdrawal syndrome. Recognizing this danger are our dedicated SLFs Lois Wang (WG’15) and Stephanie Smellie (WG’15). I’ve heard whispers about trips to Tahoe, Hawaii, Vegas in the pipeline. Many of our favorite WGA clubs such as Tech Club, Whalasa and Asia Club are also planning events out here to assuage our fears of missing out on marquee events back in Philly.
And where do we start with the food. Ann Miller, our SSF coordinator and undercover chef, has been showcasing the best of SF’s food scene for our catered lunches. The city is a culinary mecca. The options are endless and the quality outstanding. No longer are we limited to Little Pete’s and Tower Pizza for post-inebriation grub. Instead, we’ll be in a line for an equally healthy burrito at El Farolito or one of the many late night tacquerias in the Mission. Nate Krishnamurthy (WG’15), our food club representative, will ensure that we stay on the food trail throughout the semester.
So stay tuned as Cohort SF continues to bring you the best from SSF. From tips on how to navigate the crazies of the Tenderloin, to photo journals of us hiking through Muir Woods, we hope to stay engaged with our big family back in Philly. And if you find yourself in SF this semester, feel free to reach out to us and pay us a visit! If nothing more than just to check out the view.