Name: Saumyaa Mehra
Class Year: 2021
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Internship Organization: Tresata
Job Title: Data Engineering Intern
Location: Originally Charlotte, N.C., but worked remotely from New Delhi, India
What’s happening at your internship?
During the course of my internship, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to learn a lot through some exciting work. My first two weeks consisted of training and completing Tresata Academy, which gave me a strong foundation in Scala, Spark, Zeppelin, and Linux. The following weeks, all the interns were required to collect many datasets on COVID-19, profile and curate those datasets in Zeppelin, and then derive insights by analyzing and processing the curated data. Each of us worked on a variety of variables and geographical regions, such as the impact of income disparity, racial bias, and healthcare infrastructure on COVID-19 spread, and changes in mobility and effectiveness of contact tracing, among many others. After finishing our analysis, we wrapped up the internship with a presentation on our findings and a fun virtual intern graduation. Fun fact: pre-graduation, the entire staff competed in a cookie-eating competition and I was actually able to eat a cookie placed on my forehead without using my hands…it was hilarious.
Why did you apply for this internship?
My experience with data science was limited to mathematical modeling, cleaning and analysis of datasets using Excel. It is well known that management and storage of data, as well as deriving insight from it, has become very crucial, especially given the rate at which data is being produced today. To get a chance to explore this further and become more skilled in the field, all while being a part of an amazing company, I decided to apply for the data engineering position at Tresata.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of my internship was getting a chance to connect with fellow interns and Tresata employees. As part of the program, we had many opportunities like:
- peer-to-peer conversations to get to know interns one-on-one
- "(i)QuaranTEAs": these were video calls with either Tresata employees or the intern cohort when we played some silly and fun games
- "Mentor Moments": these were opportunities for interns to network with senior Tresata staff and learn about their journey
Because of these conscious efforts organized for interns to connect with people, I never felt like I was working in my room alone. The distance actually brought many of us much closer, due to which I constantly felt like I was a part of Tresata.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge for me would be working remotely with a 9.5-hour time-difference. The time-zone difference gave a completely unfamiliar structure to my day at first, but I slowly got accustomed to it. However, being surrounded by such a supportive and understanding group of people made the transition a lot smoother. My supervisors were determined to make this internship work, even though two interns (including me) were in India, one in Vienna, and another one in Greece. And so eventually, working globally may have been a challenge, but was also very rewarding.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.