This week, Dean Marios Papaefthymiou of UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences visited The Portal because he recognizes the value of the services we provide to our community.

Papaefthymiou is new to UCI. He began serving as the dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences in January of 2017. He received his doctorate in computer science from MIT and received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Papaefthymiou is interested in The Portal because we share his passion for entrepreneurship. He was the co-founder and chief scientist of Cyclos Semiconductor. I did some research to find out what his company does.  

Papaefthymiou’s company, Cyclos Semiconductor, found a solution to a problem: it’s hard to  make computers fast and energy efficient. We know that computers require energy to do even the smallest tasks, like a Google search. Cyclos Semiconductor found a way to make the clocks inside computers faster and more energy efficient! Head to their website if you want to learn more.

Here at The Portal, we bring Dean Papaefthymiou’s two passions for education and entrepreneurship together. As the students talked with the dean, one person mentioned that in most internship opportunities, students rarely have the opportunity to work directly with clients or learn how running a business really works. The Portal is different! Our students interface with clients and create products their customers love.

Dean Papaefthymiou also asked how students learn about entrepreneurial opportunities on campus. He mentioned that in many cases, if students want to be successful after graduation, they’ll need business skills. The students admitted that usually they don’t know about how to build their entrepreneurial skills. Fortunately, when students work with The Portal, they interface with clients and learn how to deliver products their customers will love.

In the apprenticeships at The Portal, students learn real-life entrepreneurial skills. Because we are a small business, students have opportunities to learn and contribute to the decisions we make. At the same time, when students work with their clients, they also learn how those businesses work and what makes them effective.  

We are very glad that Dean Papaefthymiou came to visit us! It’s clear just how closely associated our passions are: equipping students with both development and entrepreneurial skills, which will allow them greater success upon graduation.

This article was originally published on our blog, July 27, 2017.