FAQ #3: What are you doing for the summer?

One of the most frequently asked questions during the tours is ‘What do Mudders do during the summer?’ To answer that question, this week I’m sharing a variety of internships and research projects that students are involved in – both on campus and off campus. This week’s blog features three students, all doing internships/research off campus. There will be another blog post in two weeks including some on-campus research opportunities, so make sure to watch out for that!

Without further ado – here are Daisy, Ivan, and Maddie!

Emily Blatter '15, Daisy Hernandez '15, and Skyler Williams '16 all dressed up for go-karting!

Emily Blatter ’15, Daisy Hernandez ’15, and Skyler Williams ’16 all dressed up for go-karting!

Daisy Hernandez ’15, Computer Science
Hometown: Fontana, CA
Hobbies/interests: Food, traveling, fashion

Where are you working and what is your title? This summer I’m working at Epocrates, which is currently located in San Mateo, California. It’s a company that develops mobile apps for the health care industry. More specifically, I am a Software Engineering Intern in the iOS development team.

Are there other Mudders at the company? There are actually 3 other Mudders here. We cover various years, which is really nice! The other Mudd students are Emily Blatter ’15, Skyler Williams ’16, and Aaron Lobb ’17. Emily works for the data team, Aaron for the search team, and Skyler and I are working with the iOS development teams.

How did you find out about the internship? All of us actually found out about Epocrates through the career fairs put on at Mudd by our lovely Career Services office (the Career Fair occurs every semester and attracts about a hundred companies to come to campus and recruit Mudders). Goes to show you what great resources we have at our disposal.

Any advice for students interested in CS/industry? Use the resources available to you. Mudd has so many resources to help you succeed, so take advantage of them while you can!

Ivan '15 (left) flies away as Cassandra Meyer '15 (right) charges forward with her E80 rocket.

Ivan Wong ’15 (left) flies away as Cassandra Meyer ’15 (right) charges forward with her E80 rocket. Because, clearly, rockets are serious business.

Ivan Wong ’15, Engineering
: Singapore
Hobbies/interests: Food (favorite cuisine: Japanese), hiking, swimming, lifting

Where are you working, and what kinds of projects are you involved in? I’m a hardware intern at NVIDIA, and I’m designing voltage regulation modules for a new graphics card. In order to improve power saving features, we have to design the analog circuits to maintain accurate voltages at all the loads and to ensure consistency at start up and shut down. I also write test procedures – these are used to prove design specifications that we send to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

How has Mudd prepared you for the industry? Mudd teaches you to how to communicate – in my second week I was already presenting, and my colleagues complimented me, saying that I handled myself really well. HMC also teaches you practical skills, which help you finish your work more independently. For example, I’m really comfortable with using oscilloscopes (NIVIDA has a 40 GHz oscilloscope!) and I even know surface mount soldering. This way, I won’t be slowed down if there are no technicians to help me out.

What are your plans for after Mudd? I would like to work a couple of years as an engineer, then move into management. Given Mudd’s general engineering degree, management would be a good option because I can see things in ways that other engineers may not be able to. I think that’s a true strength of the Mudd degree, and I want to play to the strength of my education.

Any advice for students coming to Mudd? Be involved in other things and build relationships. You will learn enough about math and science in classes that you don’t always need to spend time on math and science. Things happen because you know people. In business, things will move faster if you know people. If you have deep relationships, you have more people who trust you. Trust and integrity are key. At my job, I try to meet someone new every day. I can always learn something from them, and everyone has a life story to tell – you can share your experiences and you can both grow from learning about each other.

Maddie Hansen '15 enjoying the outdoors on a hike with her fellow interns!

Maddie Hansen ’15 enjoying the outdoors on a hike with her fellow interns!

Madison Hansen ’15, Mathematical and Computational Biology
Hometown: San Luis Obispo, CA
Hobbies/interests: Popular science books, visiting art and science museums, ballroom dancing

Where are you working and what projects are you involved with? I am a research intern for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. (The program is called Summer Systematics Institute, and it is an NSF REU). The Academy is a natural history museum, but it also has an aquarium, a planetarium, and a rainforest dome! The museum has extensive collections with millions of specimens of organisms. As researchers, we use data from the collections to try to answer questions about evolution and biodiversity.

My advisor and I are studying the population genomics of Trachemys, a genus of turtles. In general at the Academy, we use both morphological and genetic data to study the process of speciation in lots of different organisms.

What are your daily duties? Some days I work in the lab, carrying out DNA sequencing reactions, and other days I work at the computer – this project is very computationally intensive! We also have lectures and meetings with the museum curators.

What is the most exciting thing about your work/bio in general? This internship is exciting because they gave us behind-the-scenes tours of the museum collections and aquarium! After the tours, I have a huge appreciation for the effort it takes to run this scientific institution, and it made me feel like I was part of a really forward-thinking research community.

How has your education at Mudd helped you in your work? My Mudd education helps me every day at work! I am constantly making connections to things I remember from my biology major classes and labs. And since my research is largely computational, my programming experience at Mudd has been key.

Any words of advice for students interested in biology? If you’re interested in biology, I recommend talking to as many professors/research advisors as you can! Even if you aren’t working in their lab, just talking to them can help you figure out your own research interests. They will probably teach you something cool, and they can give advice about which classes to take and how to get research opportunities of your own.