Exemplary Course Description



Silicon Valley Culture and Innovation Ecosystem: A Unique Working Environment for Young Generation

Tom Kosnik, Ph.D., MBA, Consulting Professor of Stanford Department of Management Science

Silicon Valley—with population less than 1% of the U.S. population—accounts for over 12% of all new patents created in the U.S. each year. The vigor of innovative power in this region attracts 40% of all venture capital investments in North America. What is unique about the ecosystem that nurtured companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook into the world’s most influential enterprises? What is the culture behind this ecosystem? In this course, Stanford Professor Tom Kosnik leads you through the history of Silicon Valley and the forces that molded its ecosystem to produce one business miracle after another. “Failure is never a stigma; it’s just an experience.”—Professor Kosnik extracts the essence of Silicon Valley spirit and explains how this has sustained its success. Drawing from his decades of experience in teaching business management and entrepreneurship, Professor Kosnik explains how we can leverage what we know about Silicon Valley culture and use it in our own career endeavors.

Cross-cultural Challenges and Opportunities for Young Generation

Karen Wong, Ph.D., J.D., Partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Globalization is not a distant business buzzword in today’s workspace. Business interests and workforce compositions everywhere are increasingly marked by diversity and internationalism. These worldwide trends brought forth new expectations for today’s professionals and professionals-to-be. Companies want talents who are not only proficient in the technical parts of the job but also adept in navigating professional relationships that transcend language, national, and cultural boundaries. In this course, Dr. Karen Wong, who came to America as a student twenty years ago and made partner at one of America’s most prestigious law firms, delineates cross-cultural challenges and opportunities. Speaking from her own experience, Dr. Wong succinctly identifies the key cultural differences and crucial lessons she learned through the years. This course provides new perspectives and practical tips for you to strike a more productive relationship with your teachers, thesis advisors, existing and future employers.

Core Skills in Life: Powers of Story Telling

Michael Gaines, Executive Coach of Fortune 500

Storytelling matters. If you are a job-seeker, your interviewers ask you to “tell us about your background.” If you are employed, your managers ask you to “explain what you propose to accomplish.” If you are a business owner, investors ask you to “explain what your company does.” Indeed, storytelling is required at every stage of your career. Good stories engage. Good stories persuade. Good stories connect. But what constitutes a good story? How do we tell a good story? In this course, Mr. Michael Gaines unveils the secrets of good storytelling through a series of interactive programs and hands-on practices. A coach for executives of many iconic Fortune 500 companies including Apple, Google, and Genentech, Mr. Gaines breaks down the elements of a story and guides you through the steps necessary to create a good story. As you recall and reflect upon your experience in these storytelling practices, this course brings you to a point of clarity and self-rediscovery.



Core Skills in Life: Design-thinking and Creativity

Barry Katz, Consulting Professor of Stanford Design Division

One of the most striking features of today’s business environment is the shift in focus from engineering to design and from technology to creativity. Reasons for this are not shrouded in mystery: it is widely recognized that technology tends toward convergence, and that the key differentiator—and thus the competitive advantage—lies beyond storage capacity or processing speed. Any business or organization that wishes to maintain a sustainable edge needs design-thinking and people who think like designers. In this course, Professor Barry Katz explains what design-thinking is and how one can leverage design-thinking to address problems in business and in life. Combining his experience in industry (design fellow in IDEO for 17 years) and in teaching (professor at Stanford University and California College of the Arts), Professor Katz introduces various interactive activities in his class to not only explain design-thinking techniques but also challenge students to adopt a creative-thinking mindset. Professor Katz shows, as one of his 3CForum students puts it, “Anyone can think like a designer.”

Decision-making Strategy

Hannah Winter, Associate Program Director of Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management Program

“We are what we choose.” Such are the words from Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com. Some choices can be hard, but it is often the hard choices that define who we are. When faced with choices like these, how do we make the best decision? What is the ideal balance of risk and gain? Hannah Winter, Associate Program Director of Stanford Strategic Decision and Risk Management Program, illustrates the complexities of decision making. In a lively session with extensive student participation, Professor Winter takes the class through a series of live decision-making scenarios. As students are challenged to make live decisions, students learn the rational and emotional forces at play in their decision-making processes.

Panel: Career Considerations

Tom Ehrlich, Former Dean of Stanford Law SchoolKarl Hendelsman, Veteran Venture Capitalist.

Are you a student, wondering how to prepare for the challenges of the real world? Are you a professional, wondering how to advance your career? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you are not alone. As our panelists share, we were all confused at some point. Those who “made it” went through the same challenges that are destined for all of us. In this session, 3CForum brings together accomplished leaders from government, industry, law, and finance to share their successes and failures. From their first jobs to career transitions, from successful endeavors to tough defeats, our panelists walk you through the paths that they walked through. In an intimate session, our panelists draw from their personal experience to answer your most pressing questions.


Stories from Silicon Valley–“Innovation, Invention, and Entrepreneurial Thinking”

Mir Imran, CEO of Rani Therapeutics, Founder of Incube Lab Ventures

Innovation is the impetus of success of Silicon Valley. But innovation is easier said than done. What constitutes good innovation? How can one rapidly bring innovation to the marketplace to truly realize its value and impact? In this course, Mr. Mir Imran will demystify the process from innovation to invention and to entrepreneurship, step-by-step and with his own success and setback stories. Mr. Imran founded over 19 successful startup companies amounting to over billions of market cap. He is an inventor of over 200 patents covering a wide range of disruptive technologies. Students learn directly from this eminent scientist, creative inventor, and serial entrepreneur how he has achieved continuous breakthrough in technology from his own incubation center (InCube Labs), and how he has systematically and seamlessly integrated his nascent breakthrough into a robust process of commercialization.

Building Successful Technology Companies from Scratch

Winnie Wan, Executive Chairman and CEO, OncoHealth Corp

Every year, waves of entrepreneurs venture into Silicon Valley to build companies with big dreams, bright ideas and sometimes with disruptive technologies. At the same time, more than two thirds of those companies file for bankruptcy every year. Indeed, starting a business is not just about having dedication and a “can-do” attitude. In this course, Dr. Winnie Wan, scientist and entrepreneur with decades of experience in the life science industry, explains how to start a successful business in a highly competitive environment. Drawing from her experience founding a series of startup companies in the Silicon Valley with successful exits, including ForteBio (acquired by Pall Corp), Guava Technologies (acquired by Millipore) and SyStemix (acquired by Novartis), Dr. Wan illustrates key tools, steps, and methods for an entrepreneur to launch new companies and commercialize disruptive technologies. Dr. Wan, as one of the very few Asian and female researchers, shares with the students her own path from a laboratory scientist to a high-power female CEO.

Mock Interviews

Linda Capello, Communication and Executive Coach, Stanford Business School

Davidson Young, Communication and Executive Coach, Stanford Business School

People say “practice makes perfect.” But some become “perfect” faster than others. Besides hard work, effective coaching makes a key difference. In this session, students have the rare opportunity to practice their interview skills under the tutelage of experienced recruiters and professionals from 3CForum. Walking through every step of a real-life interview, individual students receive immediate feedback in front of a panel with Dr. Karen Wong, Professor Tom Kosnik and Coach Linda Capello, all of whom routinely interview and interact with top-notch students and professionals from Fortune 500 companies. Students may be delightfully surprised by how quickly these experienced coaches can spot subtleties in their body and verbal language. This mock session could change the outcome of your next job interview.