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Sequoia Cofounders Talk Tech Diversity and Why They Go East to Hire Engineering Grads

Why should a college student with job offers in finance or from a big company likeGoogle GOOGL -1.28% go work for a startup instead? That was the big question of debate at this weekend’s ‘Start @ a Startup’ event, which matched about 200 college seniors with 30 startups like Birchbox, Dropbox, Flipboard and Square.

Over snow cones and candy, the students—engineering majors from the Ivy League and largely East Coast-oriented schools like Georgia Tech, the University of Waterloo andRice University—spent two days in breakout sessions, keynote talks and eventually job interviews. Forbes caught up with the event’s co-hosts, venture firm Sequoia Capital and nonprofit Business Today, as well as three visiting cofounders from the Sequoia portfolio to talk computer science learning, hiring outside of Silicon Valley and diversity issues in tech today. Some of their best advice is below, lightly edited for clarity.

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