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Veronique Baudon

head of strategic partnerships at imec, San Jose, USA

Veronique Baudon
“Moving to a new country means missing old friends but also finding new ones and exploring new places for a fantastic experience.“

Wonders of the West

Veronique grew up in the suburbs of Paris, France, and studied computer engineering at Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble. She also has an MBA. After working at Hewlett-Packard in Grenoble in the 1990s, she and her husband moved to California, USA, as HP team members in 1999. They planned to return to France after two years, but in 2023 they are still living and raising their children in California. In 2019, Veronique became a senior strategic partnership manager at imec.

las vegas
Las Vegas
colony of pelicans
Colony of pelicans
point lobos state natural reserve - rocky coastline
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve - Rocky coastline
los angeles - santa monica pier at night
Los Angeles - Santa Monica pier at night

Destiny calls

Hewlett and Packard, both Stanford alumni, laid the groundwork for Silicon Valley’s original startup scene. An intriguing connection lies in the fact that professor Roger Van Overstraeten, founder of imec, also obtained his PhD from Stanford in 1963. Stanford’s pivotal role in Silicon Valley’s evolution is undeniable. Veronique sees this interesting connection between imec, Stanford, startup culture, and Silicon Valley as a sign guiding her towards joining imec’s mission. She is excited to be part of this dynamic space, where academic research seamlessly merges with real-world industry applications.

Veronique also shared some interesting perspectives about the USA. One noticeable difference here is the strong support for students to pursue their careers and sports. In contrast, back in France, she had to set aside her passion for sports to focus on her engineering studies fully. Before dedicating herself to engineering, Veronique was part of the under-19 national volleyball team in France.

Pedaling paradise and culinary fusion

While it is often said that many cities in the USA are not very bike-friendly, Santa Cruz breaks the mold. In fact, this California city is known for its dedication to alternative transportation. They have built an extensive network of bike lanes and paths, making it a place where biking is not just possible but encouraged. They also operate the Santa Cruz Beach Trolley during the summer to help reduce traffic jams. It is an all-electric, ecofriendly shuttle service connecting downtown Santa Cruz to the beach and wharf area. The city is always working on the latest programs and facilities to ensure biking is safe and convenient for its residents and visitors.

On another note, Veronique has a fondness for fusion cuisine, and the Bay area offers an abundance of it. One can find a mix of flavors from around the world right there. Whether the mood is for Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Hawaiian, Central Asian, or even a fusion of American BBQ, this area has it all.

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San Francisco
bryce canyon national park - red rock hoodoos
Bryce Canyon National Park - Red rock hoodoos
yosemite national park - el capitan monolith and half dome granite
Yosemite National Park - El Capitan monolith and Half Dome granite
california - point lobos state natural reserve
California - Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Wonders and wildlife along the West

Veronique’s recommendation starts in California, known for its Mediterranean climate. The sunny skies and mild temperatures of Santa Cruz make it a perfect destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Heading north, travelers encounter the majestic Redwood trees, some of the tallest and oldest living organisms on the planet. These towering giants are found in places like Redwood National and State Parks, where strolls beneath their massive canopies connect people with nature on an epic scale.

Further up the coast, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in California is a coastal gem with stony cliffs, dramatic ocean views, and abundant wildlife. It is a haven for birdwatchers and marine life enthusiasts. Journeying eastward, the path unveils the iconic National Parks of Utah and Arizona. In Arizona, the Grand Canyon stands as a geological wonder. In Utah, Bryce Canyon presents surreal hoodoos, spire-shaped rock formations. Lake Powell, straddling both Arizona and Utah, offers a stunning contrast with its deep blue waters set against the backdrop of stunning red rocks. Further North, the route could lead to Yellowstone National Park, a wilderness paradise famous for its geothermal marvels and diverse wildlife.

Traveling along the west of the USA is an incredible journey filled with diverse climates, iconic natural wonders, and abundant wildlife. From the Mediterranean climate to the grandeur of the National Parks, there is no shortage of breathtaking experiences to check out in this region.

Must do

Experience exciting rides, beachfront fun, and a throwback to classic seaside amusement parks at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.