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Electrical & Computer Engineering

Silicon Valley Spring Break

20 ECE Students. 4 Faculty. 16 Companies.


Silicon Valley's high concentration of startups and tech companies makes it a magnet for engineers, and Northeastern co-op students and graduates are well-positioned to make a substantial impact. The ECE Silicon Valley Spring Break program was established after several prominent alumni of the Northeastern University West Coast Council identified the importance of exposing talented engineering students to the various career opportunities in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and the surrounding areas of Northern California.

As part of the trip, ECE students spend their spring vacations visiting a range of Silicon Valley companies, meeting with employees, and hearing presentations on company benefits. These visits are arranged through a partnership between the College of Engineering Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, Northeastern Corporate Relationships, and ECE.

From our students: What was the best feature of the trip?

  • "I loved seeing so many companies and learning about what they do. The start-ups on the last day were a great juxtaposition to the bigger companies. The advisors were great! The trip really helped put things in perspective for me in regards to my strengths and weakness."
  • "Seeing what the real engineering world looks like and experiencing different work environments in the Bay Area."
  • "The best feature was meeting with other students on this trip. I got to connect with them, learn of their co-op experiences, and career insights. Another great feature was getting to talk to and learn from the companies. I really got to see what is available in Silicon Valley and where technology is going."
  • "Lab tours and demonstrations of the jobs in Silicon Valley and networking with alumni."
  • "Visiting companies and seeing alumni who got their job from participating on the trip."
  • "Learning about the cultural environment of a large number of varied companies."
  • "MoSys was a great company to visit. I enjoyed seeing all of the architecture and work being done in the lab."
  • "The best feature of the trip was the ability to talk to employees from a variety of companies and alumni in Silicon Valley."
  • "Meeting with several companies to help my decision on a career path."
  • "MoSys tour, some networking, and flexibility of advisors."
  • "Exposure to all of the leaders in technology."
  • "Seeing how different companies operate."
  • "Conversations with top executives were a surprising part of the trip. I found our conversation with the CEO of MoSys (an alumnus!) about his career path very inspiring. He spent 30 minutes giving us great advice. Leaders at Altera also spent a good amount of time with us."

Other Comments:

  • "Great trip! Overall, a wonderful experience and opportunity."
  • "Thank you so much for holding this program. It is the best trip I have participated in while a student of ECE. I hope that Northeastern will be able to expand this platform further, and eventually companies will contact Northeastern asking to be part of this program."
  • "It was a great trip. I am very grateful for the opportunity. It was very helpful and the advisors were great."
  • "It was extremely informative and a good learning experience. I learned as much from upperclassmen as I did at the companies."
  • "It was an eye-opening experience and I’m really glad that I participated."
  • "Excellent! Would participate again!"


Location    Silicon Valley/San Francisco, CA   
Dates    Sunday, March 2, 2014 – Saturday, March 8, 2014   
Visits    NVIDIA, Samsung, MoSys, Brocade, Google, Nest Labs, AMD, Altera, VMware, Symantec, Twitter, International Computer Science Institute, SkyDeck, Captricity, EasyESI, Magoosh   

Empower: San Jose (03/04/14)
Empower: San Francisco (03/06/14)

Students    20 ECE undergraduate students
  • 2014 – 5
  • 2015 – 8
  • 2016 – 1
  • 2017 – 5
  • 2018 – 1


Location    Silicon Valley/San Francisco, CA   
Dates    Sunday, March 3, 2013 – Saturday, March 9, 2013   
Visits    Qualcomm, MoSys, VMware, NVIDIA, Brocade, Altera, Samsung, Google, Twitter   
Events    Intel Museum – general tour (03/04/13)
College of Engineering Student Spring Break Reception (03/06/13)   
Students    18 ECE undergraduate students
  • 2014 – 3
  • 2015 – 5
  • 2016 – 8
  • 2017 – 2

2 ECE graduate students


Location    Silicon Valley/San Francisco, CA   
Dates    Sunday, March 4, 2012 – Saturday, March 9, 2012   
Visits    Brocade, AMD, MoSys, VMware, Xilinx, Google, Broadcom, NVIDIA, Metaswitch   
Events    Intel Museum – general tour (03/05/12)
Northern CA Alumni Event at Ferrari Maserati Silicon Valley (03/07/12)   
Students    18 undergraduate students (17 ECE, 1 undeclared)
  • 2012 – 3
  • 2013 – 8
  • 2014 – 4
  • 2016 – 3

2 ECE graduate students

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