Name:Sai Venkatesh Kurella
Internship, Co-op or Research Site:Collins Aerospace
Position Title:Software Engineering Intern
Current Class Level:Master’s Student
Work Term:Summer 2020
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
I had the pleasure of working for Collins Aerospace as a Software Engineering Intern for Summer 2020. During my internship, I was assigned to a team that works on building a new web application for Aircraft Cabin Services Management, tracking and value-added services. As an intern, it is really a great opportunity to be an integral part of the team. As the internship experience was remote due to the pandemic, it was a whole new dynamic to get started, communicate with the team and deliver the tasks. I was coordinating with my Team Lead, Scrum Master, Manager all through. After my orientation, I was assigned a few tasks/user stories. I was responsible for development and delivery of software modules for desktop, mobile, tablet views. We had daily stand-up calls, weekly status meetings, retrospection meetings with teams in other countries to make sure everything is in place and discuss the strategies, seek feedback, changes. Also, I was involved in regular customer demonstrations, received and implemented customer directed changes, worked and collaborated across multi-national development teams. Apart from these, there were also fun activities, events to get to know more about the projects, technologies, and interact with fellow interns. This internship taught me new techniques and approaches.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
I applied for the position through a careers website. A couple of weeks after applying for the position, a recruiter from the company reached out to me to set up a phone interview. After the phone interview, another interview was scheduled with Lead Developers and a Manager. There were two more interviews which included questions about programming and system design. After a week, a video conference was scheduled discussing further details. Within a week, I heard back from the recruiter through an email with an offer letter containing the details of the internship.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
I was always amazed by the way Aircrafts work and I am glad that I could associate with an organization that works for Aircrafts. Given the current situations due to the pandemic, we have been working remotely and constantly connected via calls, video conferences. I really enjoyed learning, working on the latest technologies, learning about the avionics domain, communicating with team-members whom I have never met before in-person yet, working together as a team, and delivering the tasks. Communicating with the team has been very important in this setup to make sure everyone is on the same page. There were also weekly fun activities as well like Kahoot, Scribble games, Cohort programs, Quizzes, interactions with Senior Management, Talent shows, etc. which were really refreshing and insightful.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
Starting as a remote intern and having never met any of the team members before, I believe gaining the trust of the team, bonding, communicating with the team has been crucial due to the remote work setup. I had all the weight for making critical decisions for developing the application, so I had a liberty in how I chose to implement it as per the standards. As I see the application evolving and performing as expected, I get a sense for just how important my work really is. Accommodating the evolving requirements, learning and implementing new technologies was challenging and rewarding.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
My advice would be to keep a close watch on UMBCworks and other job portals that would help you find an internship or job opportunity. The Career Center is an incredibly helpful resource to improve your resume and strengthen your interview skills.
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