When: January 2016
Where: DECO Products, Decorah, IA
Majors: Accounting and Data Science
In January, Belal interned at DECO Products, a company that specializes in zinc die casting. As a data analyst, he gathered sales department data from previous years and filtered, organized, and visualized the data sets using Excel and other programs. He was exposed to different working environments by touring the plant and the manufacturing area to understand the data better. Belal improved his multitasking and interpersonal communication skills by working on many different projects. In addition to the unlimited access to free coffee, he enjoyed getting off campus and getting a taste of the real world. He found that interpreting big data into graphs and simple terms for managers is incredibly important. Because of this, he is extremely excited about the high demand of his newly-added Data Science major. Belal believes he personally grew through this experience and feels more prepared for life after graduation.
When: Summer 2015
Where: IBM Rochester
Majors: Computer Science/Health; Computer Science
During their internship at IBM, Blaise and Michael worked on developing an administrator’s console for the Watson Oncology Advisor along with three other undergraduate students. While working with a team, they refined their coding skills and learned that collaboration is an essential part of turning an idea into an end product. One of the highlights was during the last week of their internship when Michael, Blaise, and their team traveled to the IBM Manhattan office to take part in a national internship competition for IBM, a competition between almost 100 interns. Their team ending up winning the grand prize, a “Future of Watson” trophy and some IBM gear! Blaise says, “While talking to some of the executives at dinner that night, we were informed that we stood out because we were able to demonstrate our product to customers using their feedback to create the best user experience possible.” This internship gave both Blaise and Michael the confidence to take what they have learned in school and apply it to real world development and write production-quality code. In the end Blaise discovered that, “You have to find a place that values you as a person and has other bright, friendly minds to work with. You really have to love what you are doing every day and surround yourself with great people to find true enjoyment in your work!”
When: Summer 2014
Where: Mayo Clinic
I worked as a summer student in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Mayo Clinic. I conducted my own research project developing a program that would transform a series of 2-D ultrasound images into a 3-D virtual space. I implemented transformation matrices to coordinates in the ultrasound image space. This was done using Matlab. The SURF program in the Biomedical Engineering Department is a great opportunity for students to develop software that communicates with medical hardware. It is also a great opportunity to get experience in research development.
When: Summer 2014
Where: Winneshiek Energy District
I had the opportunity to work with the Winneshiek Energy District this summer on a ridesharing app, Ridecircles.us. It involved making the tool aesthetically pleasing, determining necessary features to share rides, and implementing the features. The internship allowed me to work from home while communicating with advisors over video chat. This was convenient and allowed me to concentrate on development. The most valuable outcome of having full control over an app’s development is learning how it must communicate with the developer and the end user.
When: Summer 2013
Where: Epic Systems
As an intern at Epic, I really enjoyed the ability to work on a real, important, shipping project. I worked with a few other interns to plan, design, and develop an application. The amount of independence Epic gives interns is really cool. We had to make sure we were getting feedback along the way, solving problems that people were actually encountering, and making sure it fit in with the rest of Epic's infrastructure. The amount of independence meant that I had to think about a lot more than just writing code. Epic asked a lot of me, but I'm a much better developer because of it.
When: Summer 2014
During the summer of 2014, I worked as an intern for IBM's Watson project in Rochester, MN. Watson was the computer system that won Jeopardy! Today, Watson is being targeted toward solving many different problems in medicine, telecommunications, and other areas. I worked on a project that collected user feedback for evaluating Watson’s performance. Eventually, the feedback may help train Watson so it can “learn” new things. During my internship I worked with three other interns from Harvard, the University of Illinois-Urbana, and the University of Minnesota. Late in the summer, all the Watson interns from around the country, around 50 total, gathered in New York to present our projects to each other and top executives at IBM. Our project was chosen as one of the top four Watson projects. It was a great experience and I learned a lot!
When: Summer 2014
I had the opportunity to work for Banno, a recently acquired startup in Cedar Falls, this past summer. Banno creates fully responsive, customizable websites for banks with a content management system (which allows non-programmers to change the content and images within their website). I worked in an account management position while working through tutorials on front-end, user interface development, and was able to sit in with back-end and mobile developers as well as designers and a couple of sales calls to gain an understanding of all the roles that play a part in the technology industry today. Banno provides a learning environment full of really great, fun, and innovative leaders who are always willing to help, and these people along with the 'start-up culture' added up to a really great summer. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a ton while getting to meet some really amazing people!
When: Summer 2014
Where: Runestone Interactive
The summer after my sophomore year I had the opportunity to do student/faculty collaborative research with Brad Miller, analyzing the large database associated with the Interactive Python online textbook. The vast majority of the work I did with the project was cleaning up the database, finding and removing unwanted data, to ready it for future analysis, but as the summer waned, I moved to more data analysis, exploring how students interacted with the textbook. It was exciting research, getting to work with a database that is among the largest of its kind, setting the ground work for future research that will be done with interactive textbooks. Student/faculty collaborative research is a great way to get involved in computer science in a much more involved way than your classes can provide and helps you learn skills involved with publishing and presenting academic works.
When: Summer 2014
Where: U.S. Foods
This summer I was a web application development intern at US Foods in Rosemont, Illinois. I worked on UI improvements and bug fixes for the upcoming release of the companies eCommerce web application. It was a great experience being part of such a massive project and gave me exposure to things like the Agile development methodology, continuous integration, and Oracle ADF Development. The other interns and I were also part of the SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) team at US Foods, helping to enforce the reuse of web services among the many different IT projects. What I liked most about my internship was the opportunity and freedom to expose myself to whatever I wanted to and learn as much as I could. I had one on one meetings with many employees from a wide variety of positions and backgrounds, which gave me a better understanding of everything that goes in the IT department of a large company and also the many different career paths that exist for computer science majors.
When: Summer 2013-2014
Over the past two summers I worked as an intern for Seagate Technology, a company that provides storage solutions for computers. Both times I was in their enterprise drive reliability department working on porting over abilities of their older tester software package to their new one. Each time I was there I was on a different team which I liked because it gave me experience with different kinds of managerial leadership. I was able to apply what I learned at school directly to the software projects I was involved in. However, in Seagate’s internship program, producing a product seemed secondary to experiencing their corporate culture and meeting new people. In the physical area I was in I was with seven other college students ranging in experience from undergraduate students to Ph.D. candidates. Biweekly, all 40 interns would get together for a full day or a half day and do something as a group, like a picnic, a site tour or or a lecture by a head of a new technology.