I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time this year with the bright minds graduating for universities this year (and many who still have several years to go). As someone who travels a lot between Silicon Valley, DC, and New York, I've developed a stark appreciation of the cultural differences of each that ultimately manifest into the best and worst of each. There is a similar parallel for students at University.
A substantial amount of your education outside the classroom is influenced by the center of gravity of your school. If you go to school in Virgina, the DC outlook and worldview greatly influences what you want to do and what you will be exposed to. If you go to school at say, Cornell, my alma mater, then it is near impossible to escape the pull of New York. One of the best things Stanford gives its computer scientists is a fluency of what it takes to start a company and an appeciation and basic literacy for those that are interested. In fact, the entropy takes you there. You have to be particularly disinterested in entrepreneurship to escape it.
Now I'm hugely biased. I headed to grad school at Stanford to create a vehicle to come to Silicon Valley. Within a few months of being in Palo Alto I was working fulltime at startup as the 5th employee and loving it. I knew I wanted to be the Valley, but what I didn't know is how my own journey would take my back to New York and DC in deeply substantive and fulfilling ways -- that's I'd be able to work with the best of all three cities.
Now as I meet college students I find myself talking about the other two relevant perspectives they might not have ready access to. And that inspires the series "Your Future" -- the posts that will follow.