Aug 28, 2023

Mayank Sethi Shares His Experience as a Software Engineering Intern at Cadence

Mayank Sethi, Software Engineering Intern, Cadence

Mayank Sethi (MIMS ’24) spent the summer as a Software Engineering Intern at Cadence, a chip design software company.

Describe a typical day at your internship.

My typical day kicks off with a spirited dash to the office, ensuring I arrive promptly by 10 AM. The day commences with a dynamic standup meeting alongside my team, where we align on tasks, reviews, and targets for the day. Following this, I dedicate my focus to addressing any code reviews I had initiated the prior evening, while also formulating a strategic plan to tackle the day's objectives. Simultaneously, I diligently sift through my emails, seeking any updates pertinent to my responsibilities.

The subsequent rendezvous involves a productive discussion with my mentor. During this interaction, we delve into matters stemming from the latest code review or delve into defining the scope and timelines of the feature I am actively working on. By approximately 11:30 AM, I wholeheartedly engage myself in honing my coding prowess, meticulously refining my contributions to the ongoing project.

This endeavor persists until 1 PM, at which point my colleagues and I embark on a leisurely lunch break. This interval provides an opportunity to forge deeper connections, gaining insights into the intriguing aspects of their lives and the vibrant city surroundings, often leading to the inception of weekend plans. Additionally, I relish valuable interactions with fellow interns in the office, acquiring a firsthand understanding of the remarkable projects they are involved in.

As the day draws to a close, I occasionally indulge in a few games to unwind, particularly during those periods when the intensity subsides. Moreover, I allocate time for post-office planning and may even squeeze in a gym session. This phase of my life markedly contrasts with my university experience, as I relish the opportunity to connect with new individuals, actively participate in the creation of innovative solutions, and witness the transformative journey of collaborating teams, all while nurturing my personal growth.

What was the most valuable thing you learned at your internship? 

Navigating the realm of software design as a newcomer, my transformative three-month journey underscored the significance of effective collaboration and lasting relationships. Witnessing diverse minds unite, each offering unique insights, expertise, and perspectives, led to the rapid development of a high-impact project. This experience not only reshaped my understanding of teamwork’s potential but also highlighted the importance of networking. Sharing ideas, constructive critique, and building upon each other’s work demonstrated how innovation thrives in an environment of open communication and respect. Beyond project success, the connections forged during this period translated into lasting relationships, amplifying the collaborative spirit beyond the confines of our initial endeavor. This immersive journey unveiled the pivotal role that collaboration and networking play in achieving exceptional outcomes and nurturing meaningful bonds.

What was the biggest challenge?

Throughout the summer, I encountered several challenges while following my manager’s advice to experiment and create new things. Being new to the field of software engineering, deciding which technology to use involved a fair amount of research into factors like performance, compatibility, and availability. This process proved difficult at times and also took up quite a bit of time.

My main project involved developing a comprehensive full-stack program testing tool, aiming to enhance the existing industry test suites. Looking back, I see that I had a lot of help along the way from my mentors, manager, and people I connected with across different time zones. Though it was sometimes overwhelming to understand the complex codebase of the company's flagship product, my mentors guided me through. They gave me the confidence to tackle the task and provided a fantastic platform.

While it was often overwhelming, the collective assistance of my mentors and colleagues helped me sail forward. This journey has undoubtedly forged an exceptional cornerstone for my career, laying the groundwork for the pursuit of even more formidable challenges ahead.

Sharing ideas, constructive critique, and building upon each other’s work demonstrated how innovation thrives in an environment of open communication and respect.

How did your work at the I School prepare you for this role?

I am thankful for the coursework my school offered over the last year, especially courses like Front-End and Back-End Web Architecture which have set up a strong foundation for taking on industry tasks. I also feel comfortable now doing all the tasks relating to machine learning and AI with all the foundation courses that I took over the last year. Definitely, the coursework here has catapulted my skills to an extreme level and I feel much more confident in doing advanced tasks. After the invigoration of the skills through internship, I feel extremely empowered to fulfill my ambitions. 

Any advice for next years MIMS students as they prepare for their internships?

One standout aspect of I School is its ability to open up a plethora of career avenues for exploration. However, I must admit, for those who haven’t had industry exposure, the array of choices can sometimes feel overwhelming. My advice is to start with a certain career direction in mind and align your courses accordingly. Still, don’t miss the chance to delve into your other interests, thanks to the diverse course offerings.

With the campus brimming with a wide variety of courses, you can allocate some time to pursue other passions too. This approach not only lets you understand your inclinations better but also provides a clear route for progression. Moreover, it’s important to expand your network beyond just the I School and explore connections throughout the campus. This way, you can gain insights into what complements your career plans.

I’ve discovered that the university offers fantastic options to make learning an enjoyable experience, embracing both your chosen path and your broader interests.

Did your internship influence your career plans after graduation?

Absolutely, without a doubt. Having spent nearly three years in the industry, I had realized the skill set required to enhance my career. And this internship has undeniably contributed to that in the precise manner I had anticipated. I’m now imbued with greater confidence and enthusiasm to operate at the crossroads of research and industry once I complete my studies. I feel it’s true; we might not always pinpoint a singular interest, but we can certainly identify what doesn’t intrigue us. Through this internship, the dynamics of the role have provided me with a clearer vision of the professional path I aspire to thrive in. 

Last updated:

August 25, 2023