Aug 18, 2014

An Inside Look at MIMS Students' Summer Internships

This week, most of the students from the MIMS class of 2015 are finishing up summer internships and preparing to return to South Hall for the second year of their master’s program.

Students spent the summer at a wide range of internships on four continents, working for Akamai Technologies, Apple, Chevron, Constant Contact, Facebook, Google, Kaiser Permanente, LinkedIn, Nokia, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Salesforce, SAP Labs, SurveyMonkey, Symantec, Workday, and more. They worked in fields like big data analytics, business intelligence, information security, product management, software engineering, UI design, user experience design, user experience research, information architecture, and web development.

Several students were able to intern at non-profit organizations with support from the I School’s Non-Profit Internship Grant.

We spoke with six MIMS students from the class of 2015 about what they’ve been doing this summer, how they found their internships, and how their first year’s classes prepared them.

Katey Basye

UI Design Intern

About my internship
I mostly designed for the Salesforce Platform team, which is responsible for the interface that Salesforce administrators use to build and manage their end-user systems — and I also got to participate in user research activities and do a little prototyping.

I School connections
I’ve encountered material from school every day; I think something from every one of my classes has come up. For design, the most applicable have been Info 202. Information Organization and Retrieval, Info 213. User Interface Design and Development, and Info 247. Information Visualization and Presentation — but Info 203. Social and Organizational Issues of Information and Info 205. Information Law and Policy gave me a great sense of responsibility for what I'm doing, and Info C263. Technologies for Creativity and Learning and Info 232. Applied Behavioral Economics made me a more creative, considerate, and effective problem solver.

A couple other MIMS students — Jenny Lo and Cameron Reed — also worked at Salesforce this summer, and we were really excited to be around people who speak our language. It was confirmation that this program is a good choice!

How I got the internship
The School of Information hosted a Salesforce recruiting event, where second-year MIMS students who had worked there the previous summer presented their work. There was a 20-minute portfolio review, and they asked for my resume the next day. A week later, I had a phone interview, and a few days later, I got an offer.

Chalenge Masekera

Data Scientist Intern
iHub (Nairobi, Kenya)

About my internship
The iHub is a tech hub that aims to catalyze growth of the Kenyan tech community by helping startups, surfacing information, and connecting people. I worked on a project called Umati, which monitors dangerous speech on social media platforms, newspapers, and blogs, so as to analyze and predict incidents of violence in the real world.

I helped build tools to automate the data collection process, as well as to classify and annotate the large amounts of data we’re collecting through machine learning algorithms.We’ll roll out the platform to monitor hate speech in next year’s elections in Nigeria.

I School connections
As a data scientist intern, I used a lot of skills from the Info 290T. Data Mining and Analytics in Intelligent Business Services course. I was also applied skills from Info 202. Information Organization and Retrieval and Info 247. Information Visualization and Presentation to create term-document matrices to identify keywords to track. And I mentored undergraduate interns on resume writing, using skills and resources from the I School’s Career Service team.

The internship has helped me figure out a vision for my career. As an African student, there is always this notion of brain drain, but Anno’s research helped me think instead about brain circulation, where students develop skills in more developed states, then go home to apply and share the skills, then go back to discover and develop further skills.

How I got the internship
I got the internship through last spring’s Info 190. ICTD in Practice class. We created a list of ICTD initiatives all over the world, including the iHub, so I contacted the team got offered an internship on one of the projects.

Non-profit internship grant
I was able to spend the summer in Kenya because of the I School's Non-Profit Internship Grant. The Non-Profit Internship Grant supports MIMS students serving in internships with non-profits, government agencies, or non-governmental agencies (NGOs) in the U.S. or abroad.

Robyn Perry

Information Architect

About my internship
Wiser is a NY- and SF-based company building a smart news reader for professionals and teams. I worked on taxonomy development for the content analytics and text processing side of Wiser, helping transition to a new, more sophisticated text analysis software for automatic classification of news articles.

I School connections
The internship has used all the skills from the Info 202. Information Organization and Retrieval course: controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, ontologies, classification and categorization, text processing, and information retrieval. Besides being able to immediately jump in with useful 202 contributions, I’ve also been able to share thoughtful usability feedback about the product. Wiser has been incredibly welcoming and excited to have an I School student on their team for the summer. The experience has given me confidence as an information professional and shown me how quickly and easily I can slide in and make an impact with what I’ve learned here.

How I got the internship
I found out about the internship through the I School’s internships email list.

Divyakumar Menghani

Business Analytics Intern

About my internship
I worked on building a new feature for LinkedIn members to understand their individual engagement and how they can improve their professional brand. The proof-of-concept was completed and will be launched soon.

I also worked on a project measuring engagement with various LinkedIn products — Groups, Profile, Influencer, Channels, Jobs, etc. — to help product managers understand how the products are being used. This provides the product managers an objective understanding of what’s working and not working for the end user.

I School connections
I School courses have a good balance of theory and application.The best skills I’ve acquired at I School are user-centered prototyping of technical solutions. Just knowing how to code isn’t useful unless the use-case is crystal clear.

Info 290T. Data Mining and Analytics in Intelligent Business Services was directly useful and relevant to my work at LinkedIn. I learned that data is only useful when you can draw insights from it to solve a particular business problem. Jimmy Retzlaff really taught us to focus on the business problem and not overcomplicate the data analysis.

I’ve learned a lot about product management, A/B testing, and quantitative and qualitative interplay while deciding on product features — plus the big data and data mining skills for working with terabytes of data.

Siddharth Agrawal

Engineering Innovation Intern

About my internship
I’m working on Symantec’s encryption team to develop a product architecture, prototype, and business plan for a new cloud-encryption product.

Five teams of interns from Berkeley, Stanford, Kellogg, HBS, Tuck, and other universities worked on five different ideas during the eight-week internship. Last week we presented our business case and demo to a judging panel of SVPs and the CTO. This whole internship has been an amazing experience.

I School connections
When an speaker at Symantec talking about encryption and security also mentioned privacy, intellectual property, and safe harbor laws, it reminded me of Info 205. Information Law and Policy and made my eyes light up — and that’s when I knew that I’m going to the right school and the right program.

My internship had more than just a connection to the I School; it seemed like an extension of my coursework. We started with a paper prototype and developed a working prototype for encrypted cloud storage, just like we did in Info 213. User Interface Design and Development or Computer Science 169. Prof. Chuang’s Info 290M. Open Collaboration and Peer Production class was useful, since we developed this solution on Openstack, an open source cloud platform. And the Python I learned in Info 256. Applied Natural Language Processing and the concepts from Jim Blomo's Info 253. Web Architecture class definitely came in handy.

Andrew McConachie

Research Project Assistant
Internet Society

About my internship
I created content to help promote the adoption of IETF technologies by network operators. I worked with the Internet Society’s Deploy360 Programme, which focuses on IPv6, DNSSEC, BGPSec, TLS and BCP38 (anti-spoofing) adoption.

One interesting story — I hacked on some DNSSEC Python code that was originally written by Steve Crocker. He’s the guy that wrote RFC1, and he’s still very involved in the IETF.

I School connections
Everything about the internship seemed connected to Info 203. Social and Organizational Issues of Information. I even referenced the Tragedy of the Commons in an article I wrote for the internship.

Last updated:

October 4, 2016