This is Suzy, writing from my apartment in San Francisco.
Working in tech and being at an amazing school like Caltech affords us a lot of opportunities. Last summer, I worked at the University of Iceland at Reykjavik (for more, check out my old blog, called Not Lost, I Promise. This summer, I work for the Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers Engineering Fellows program. It’s really an amazing program - KPCB (a venture capital company) collects students with an interest in and knack for engineering and navigation in small companies. They then send the students as interns to their portfolio companies - startups and early-stage public companies. I work directly for Opower, a company that helps households and small businesses be more energy efficient. Many of you, even some non-US students, probably have contact with Opower through their utilities.
I moved into my apartment a week ago last Saturday. It’s a cute little place in Bernal Heights that I share with three other people. One of my roommates is a Techer named Tago who’s a year above me, and the other two (Laura and Chet) are Carleton College students who are also interning in the area. It’s a pretty good setup. I cook with Chet on weeknights and everyone on weekends. Tago even sent me this picture of pasta sauce he was making before I finished moving in.
They’re pretty cool, I like living with them. I lost the coin flip and got the smallest bedroom; here’s me on move-in day.
That Thursday, we had our first KPCB Fellows’ event. There are going to be a lot of them this summer. It was a pretty low-key thing, just snacks and a talk from Jawbone Founder/CEO Hosain Rahman. There are maybe 80 fellows? I could look it up but I don’t really feel like it. Two of us (Tago and I) are Techers. The rest are other college students/grads. We milled around and socialized and took pictures - well, KPCB hired people to take pictures of us. There’s nothing like working for one of these programs to make you feel fancy. That and really tiny food.
Over the weekend my boyfriend came to visit from Livermore. An unfortunate consequence of being a career-oriented person who dates in college is that you’re separated from your beloved beau for weeks on end during summer/winter/spring breaks. I’m lucky that mine is working pretty close and can come visit me on weekends sometimes. We went shopping, watched Star Trek, and ate popcorn. It was Pride Weekend (which is amazing in SF, especially with the most recent Supreme Court ruling), but I wasn’t really feeling it that day so we stayed in and had a quieter time. More interesting adventures to come, I promise :)
That Saturday I went to eat dinner at this little place called Marlowe. It was amazing. My parents took me so I got to splurge a little bit and get myself these unusual but delicious scallops. After dinner we went to see Book of Mormon, which was great!
Monday I got a gym membership. I don’t function without a lot of exercise, and even then it sometimes only suffices to drive up my natural energy. My robotics team used to call me Snow White because I’m such a morning person (and am also hella pale). So, gym is the logical solution. I’ve been twice so far this week and I feel a lot better. Happy, positive, energetic, and a little sore.
Yesterday (I don’t really know when this is going up, but as of time of writing it was yesterday) I got to see a talk by Jeff Holden of Uber and formerly of Groupon, Amazon, and D.E. Shaw. Through Caltech’s E 102 class and KPCB, I have had the privilege of listening to a lot of entrepreneurs and innovators. I genuinely enjoyed Jeff’s talk maybe the most of anyone’s I’ve heard so far. He was positive, lively, engaging, and didn’t talk too slowly. It drives me just NUTS when people talk too slowly. Plus Uber gave us Thai food for dinner, so props for that.
Today I went to work, hit the gym, came home, and made bibimbap with Chet (my roommate). More to come… this weekend I’m going to Disneyland!
Until next time,
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.
Every year, the Caltech Society of Women Engineers attends the National SWE conference to network with other SWE Chapters and to hustle for jobs. Last year, the event was in Minneapolis, and the year before in Austin. This time around, it’s in Anaheim which is much more convenient for us. Since it is much closer, we were able to send many more delegates to attend and miss fewer classes in the process of doing so.
It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.