September 02, 2019
Practical Application: Summer Internships
By Elizabeth Donaldson
Though many iii students left campus at the end of the spring semester, their education continued throughout the summer. Out of the classroom, students learned from industry leaders as interns at top innovation companies like Volvo, Adobe, Google, Salesforce, and more.
The summer internship is a transformative and defining experience for many students: in addition to giving real-world application to their skillset, the internship is an opportunity to grow their professional network and try out potential roles as UX designers, software leaders, and product managers.
iii at Google
"My project is optimizing the purchase flow for Google Play to increase conversion. What’s so cool is that I’m responsible for end to end design, so even though I’m an intern, I’m actually responsible for a full product. I work with all kinds of people, too: engineers, other designers, researchers. It's a very collaborative team. And, working at Google is fun. We've been off-site for barbeques and visited Half Moon Bay as a team. It's a great place to work."
"I analyze certain data sets to identify improvements in our scripts to better forecast network demand. It’s a lot of coordination between data centers, so I’ve been brought on to better the workflow and use data to make improvements. The Technical Program Manager internship is a perfect position: I get to use my technical skills while doing a lot of management work. I really love that there's a culture of learning here and always something being offered that can help you better yourself. It's been such a great learning opportunity to utilize the skills I've gained at Carnegie Mellon and translate them into the workplace."
iii at Autodesk
"I'm focusing on the Fusion 360 mobile application. My role involves conducting user research, gathering and compiling product requirements, prioritizing and then executing in the form of lo-fi and hi-fi screens, and finally handing it off to developers. My team is distributed all over the world including the US, Canada, India, and Singapore, which calls for a lot of collaboration across different time zones. It is exciting for me to work with software architects, PMs, and developers. I have always known Autodesk products as a user, but it feels very different and like a big responsibility to be on the other side. More than gaining something from this experience, my thoughts revolve around how I can give back, make an impact, and improve the product for the customers."
iii at Salesfore
"I work as a PM Intern with the Salesforce security team, helping teams on their vulnerability patch management lifecycle. I'm responsible for identifying shortcomings in our current processes and charting ways to improve processes. During the course of the internship, I have dealt with the entire product lifecycle right from identifying problems to coming up with multiple solutions to eventually having a solution built for our customers. I'm product person with a strong technology background, and this internship brings the best of the two worlds together for me. My life's ambition is to build products that will benefit and improve the lives of 1+ billion people: this internship is one small step in that direction and beginning of a childhood dream of working in the Silicon Valley."
"I'm a Software Engineering Intern and working on the Salesforce Self-Service Cloud. My team is converting product components into new technology. In this internship, I can utilize my background in technology to better understand what our customers need. Working in cloud computing, you need to have a strong technical background, and to be a good product manager, you have to understand your users and learn how to use your features better."
iii at SAP
"I’m on the strategic customer engagement team, so we work with really big clients to identify their problems, learn their business goals, propose potential solutions, and a share a proof of concept that they can immediately adopt. Even as an intern, I have the opportunity to work on really big projects and solving real problems for businesses and customers. As an intern, you kind of expect that you'll just be given a toy project, but here, I can see I'm making a really big impact on society. It's really amazing."
iii at Volvo
"I'm researching and analyzing data to consider how urban life can be improved with transportation solutions. The focus of this office isn't on Volvo cars, but trucks and greater transportation solutions, and I've really enjoyed digging deep into project. The Volvo Innovation Lab really is the best of both worlds: it’s both a huge corporation and a start-up, all in one. Here, we have a lot of support from our supervisor as well as the people working around us: UX designers, engineers, data scientists."
"I try to propose solutions basically related to intelligent transportation systems, which is my area of expertise. We're focusing on connecting cities and connecting vehicles like buses and trucks to city infrastructure. We're cleaning and analyzing data to propose new solutions; it's a lot of strategy development. We're engaging in all aspects of the problem.It's a startup experience here and each day is different. " More of Ojas's reflections can be found here.
"We're looking at creating a Smarter City, improving traffic and how people commuite. The trucking industry has a big toll on traffic, especially in cities, so Volvo is exploring how to make trucking more efficient. I do a lot of data organizing and am processing how we can use that data to improve infrastructure, then pitching that to an executive and prove how our solution would work. We're partnering with other governmental and corporate partners, and I’m doing some collaboration with city government and other graduate students from Stanford."
iii at Deloitte
"My daily responsibilities required communicating with different clients and understanding the technologies that they had along with their requirements. After capturing their current technologies and their requirements, I had to prepare proposals, which I presented to our management along to the client. Most of the projects that I worked on were related to IT, digital technologies, and IoT capabilities. Throughout my experience, I learned the importance of being able to relate to the user as we innovate solutions that addressed their requirements and pain points. I realized how it’s important to be able to capture the user journey and innovate from there to promote a user-centered solution."
iii at Adobe
"As a Machine Intelligence Design Intern, I look at the future of next-gen creative tools as part of Adobe Design, developing newinterfaces and interaction mechanisms for AI/ML functionality and cross-collaborating with Adobe Research and Sensei teams.