Sep 25, 2019

The students who work in OIT do amazing things every day—both here on the hilltop and out in the “real” world. Here, three Student Ambassadors share their experiences at exciting internships and their biggest takeaways.

Simon Gohl ’20

Major: Computer Science

In OIT: Information Technology Support Associate

Where was your internship this summer? 

I was a software engineer at Electronic Arts (EA). 

What did you do? 

My primary role was to develop a text analytics web app. The big picture of this app is to get actionable insight from text data. For example, this could mean taking text data from gamer chat, surveys or social media and uploading it to the web app. The user could decide how best to analyze it, but the report would provide information on key terms, word clusters and topic hierarchy, all mapped with visual diagrams. 

Simon poses next to an ominous EA game character.

What was your favorite project? 

Developing the web app. I enjoyed building out the project — front to end. My role entailed research and development. So learning about new technologies or concepts and then actually coding them as part of my daily routine was really cool. I learned programming in React, Flask and R, as well as about data analytics and statistical models.  

Also, the project was one of 14 selected out of 1,400 submissions to showcase at the EA “What If,” a company-wide science fair. Hence, the project got a lot more attention, which was really cool, too. 

What was the most important thing you learned? 

Teamwork! I know that sounds cliche, but I would say it’s the main ingredient for any project to be successful. Also, I got some insight into the intersecting worlds of data science and software development, which was interesting.

Myrka Moreno ’20

Major: Digital Media Management 

In OIT: Digital Media Center Specialist

Where was your internship this summer? 

I was a digital intern at The Texas Observer. 

What did you do? 

I managed the Observer’s social media accounts, creating graphics to promote stories and redesigning their Instagram account. 

Myrka stands facing the camera in front of a large window.

What was your favorite project? 

To highlight the feature stories in the July/August issue, I created a video to share on social media. 

What’s the most important thing you learned? 

Time management, as I balanced several projects with regular duties and copywriting.

Josh Leikam ’20

Major: Computer Science

In OIT: Information Technology Senior Specialist

Where was your internship this summer? 

I was a software development intern for Emerson Automation Solutions.  

What did you do? 

I helped design and develop a diagnostics- and performance-testing application for Emerson’s new product, DeltaV Live. Developers can use the application I worked on, DeltaV Live Diagnostics, to better debug and test certain aspects of the product. When a change is made to the code, sometimes it’s hard to know immediately whether that change will affect performance. So the app works as part of a continuous integration pipeline to detect anomalies automatically and early.  

Josh leans on a wall with an orange, red and black mural. Text behind him reads "The Call."

What was your favorite project? 

I really enjoyed learning about React and, subsequently, Javascript and Typescript. It was therapeutic to clean up messy code I had written and find a better design for it. 

I also enjoyed helping out with Emerson’s We <3 STEM Day. I helped kids make bath bombs. 

What was the most important thing you learned? 

  1. Before attempting anything relatively complicated, outline what you’re trying to do. Never again will I underestimate the power of a pen and paper. 
  2. Solving problems is really difficult, especially when you don’t know how to solve the problem. I call this the problem-solving abyss. When I’m in the depths, I try to remember three things: First, you’re not alone and can ask other people for help. Second, take breaks often. Third, remember the last time you were in a situation like this but eventually found the answer. 
  3. Communication can be complicated. When working in a team, be (healthily) paranoid about whether you’re on the same page. It will save time and headaches.