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Senior Excited to Graduate from Penn Bubble to Silicon Valley Bubble


Photo by Jean Beaufort / Public Domain

Michaela Johnson (W ‘20, E ‘20) has spent her Penn experience bouncing comfortably from building to building between 33rd and 42nd, Market and Baltimore. While others in her social circle chose to explore the city of brotherly love and beyond, Johnson stayed firmly put — not even a sorority “LINvilla Orchards” event could coax her from campus. You might think that she would be nervous to graduate and leave the Penn bubble. You would be wrong.

“I’m so excited to get out into the real world,” Johnson enthused. During her summer in Mountain View, California as a Google product management intern, Johnson had a taste of the even bigger, sturdier bubble enveloping Silicon Valley. And it was so, so sweet.

While other interns took weekend day trips up to San Francisco, Johnson contented herself with Ubering in an endless loop from Mountain View to Palo Alto, down to Cupertino, and back to Sunnyvale. While her friends went hiking over the Fourth of July weekend, she visited her top Bay Area attractions: Facebook’s campus, Apple’s campus, and Google’s other campus. 

Johnson lived, breathed, and ate tech. Early mornings were spent jogging around the Googleplex, days were for guiding product decisions, and in evenings, she relaxed through board games with full-time employees. On her favorite nights, Johnson could be found snuggled up in an office nap pod, poring over Hacker News.

“This place has everything I want,” said Johnson. “I don’t know why I’d ever leave!”