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Penn students are taking their diplomas from coast to coast.

According to Director of Career Services Patricia Rose, the number of students interested in working on the West Coast has been increasing over the years.

A survey conducted last spring revealed that, after New York, San Francisco was the most desirable work location among graduating seniors, Rose said.

“Our students are coastal people,” she said. “They tend to focus on the East Coast and the West Coast, and we’re definitely seeing more interest in the West Coast over the years.”

For many students, going west is going home. California, in fact, is Penn’s fourth largest feeder state, Rose said.

College senior Antonieta Pimienta, a Los Angeles native, has held internships in Southern California every summer since her freshman year, ranging from Fox Studios to the Children’s Law Center.

According to Pimienta, getting internships in Los Angeles is very much based upon “who you know.”

She also noted that many West Coast jobs posted through career services are in the media and entertainment industries — “very stereotypically L.A. types of internships,” said Pimienta, who plans to attend law school after graduation.

Engineering and Wharton senior Amin Lakhani has worked on the West Coast for the past two summers — at Google in the Bay Area and then at Microsoft in Seattle.

A native of Chicago, Lakhani was drawn to the West Coast for its weather as well as its “more relaxed pace,” he said.

He applied to Google directly, but Lakhani got his Microsoft internship through On-Campus Recruiting. Upon graduation, Lakhani will return to Seattle for work full time for Microsoft.

Though “OCR leans East Coast,” Lakhani said, there is no shortage of opportunities on the West Coast.

To help accommodate for the fact that job and internship postings tend to be regional, Penn is part of an online internship consortium called iNet, which pools postings among 11 private universities, including Stanford and the University of Southern California.

Career services, furthermore, makes an effort to reach out to parents and alumni on the West Coast to encourage them to post jobs at Penn, Rose said.

Though there may never be as many employers from the West Coast as from the East Coast, increasing numbers of graduates working in the west will provide valuable connections in the future, Rose said.

In addition to the resources provided by Career Services, College sophomore Marissa Seto hopes to provide students interested in the West Coast with another opportunity to network, both socially and professionally.

Seto, along with Wharton sophomore Daniel Keyes, founded Penn West Coast Connection at the end of last semester.

“Given that the job and internship market on the West Coast is smaller than that on the east coast, West Coast students needed to find a way to keep themselves connected,” Seto said.

For students interested in working in the west, Pimienta recommends starting early.

“In a city like L.A., they give priority to students who are studying there,” she said.

According to Wharton junior Victoria Polubinska, the tendency for West Coast employers to hire locally can work to Penn students’ advantages.

“A lot of West Coast companies love to hear from students who aren’t in their area because most hiring occurs from the West Coast universities,” Polubinska said.

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