Engineering

Engineering and Science Internship at a Great Boston Startup

Brendan, a junior at Carlisle High School,  is a very well rounded student who enjoys learning, especially chemistry and biology. Also, as a skier and outdoor enthusiast he became very interested in conservation and sustainability. Combining these interests, we matched Brendan to the CEO of a company that was developing an innovative and sustainable way to manufacture mosaics, using a robotic manufacturing process.

 

Brendan worked in production and conducted small engineering projects. He designed methods to unload tile tubes more efficiently, designing a stopper, creating a prototype and then testing the design.

In his journal, Brendan wrote,

“I learned a lot of math and science in school, but never had the chance to apply these concepts to real life processes. I enjoy discussing ways to make tangible systems more efficient and sustainable. An added feature of my internship has been the experience of working in a start-up company environment. I am gaining a lot of experience by observing my co-workers in action and watching how decisions are made and problems tackled. I love how the CEO and founders are in the same room as the production workers and engineers.

I was able to sit with the co-founder responsible for marketing who discussed strategies for marketing their products. We talked for about an hour about their evolution and also discussed the difference between working for a big company and starting your own. Now I have come to understand the difficulty of taking the initial risk and am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and the hard work involved.”

The CEO wrote Brendan’s letter of recommendation:

“Brendan made an immediate impact with our engineering and production team. Despite being only a high school student, he was able to integrate well with engineers and offer insightful ideas. He quickly mastered the production processes and began working on ways to improve them. Brendan got his first taste of engineering by pinpointing problems, designing solutions, prototyping solutions and then fabricating those solutions. He designed methods to make our tile inspection station as automated and comfortable as possible. His insights allowed our full time production workers not only to work more comfortably and sustainably, but also to see new ways of approaching production improvements.

After being immersed in the startup environment Brendan has made it clear that he wishes to start his own company some day. He definitely has a passion for knowledge in many fields and I feel he is excited about combining technology with one of his broad interests, including, music, social sciences, sports, or conservation. I believe Brendan has the entrepreneurial and pioneering drive to make the strongest contribution to any college he applies to.”

Boston Computers & Entrepreneurship Internship

Will is a serial entrepreneur, currently as Co-founder at Recharge in San Francisco and formerly as founder of Cloudy, Eduset and more. As a high school junior at Concord-Carlisle High School, Will already had an impressive resume. He was hired by his school to create their website, worked in programming after school for a local company, and started his own on-line website where DJ’s create play lists for users. Will’s internship objective was to improve his understanding of web technology and media by interning at a web 2.0 company.

After extensive research we were able to establish an internship at a well known start-up matched exactly to Will’s interest in media and music.

“I have been working with the founder as well as their web guru to brainstorm and prototype software that would enhance their software offerings. For instance, I have made a functioning prototype of software that allows employees to quickly add new KeyFeeding sources to the platform. The goal of my work is to demonstrate an early functioning version of software that could be re-coded by engineering and added to the production version, allowing management to assess the value of the potential new feature before committing valuable engineering resources.”

When we visited during the summer, Will proudly showed us that they placed his name on the door of the office where he worked.

When asked what the best part of his internship was, Will wrote,

“The opportunity to work directly with the founder (pictured with Will in the photo) on a daily basis has been phenomenal, and far more access than I had expected. I have also had great experiences with many other employees, all who are willing to help me solve a problem or brainstorm ideas. I have had many discussions where I have actually felt as if I was having a say in the direction the company will take in various areas, something which I would have hardly dreamed of coming into the internship. Separately, I was also able to sit in a few days ago on their quarterly meeting, where they discussed the current situation and future direction of the company, an experience I found extremely valuable, as I look to someday start my own business.”

Will was actually hired to work there after school during his senior year. We are sure that he will enjoy these professional contacts for many years to come.

A Product Design Internship for a High School Inventor

Alex is a senior at Norwell High School and is a gifted young man with a passion for engineering, product design and consumer psychology. After meeting with Alex and observing his inventor’s journal, the Internship Connection designed a customized experience that would give Alex the opportunity to visit the top product development companies in New England. He was able to meet with CEO’s, engineers and product developers and receive a tour of their companies.

What did Alex Learn:

  • By utilizing the interview questions in the Internship Connection Program Journals, he interviewed the CEO’s to gain a comprehensive understanding of their engineering and design processes and products.
  • In addition, Alex learned about college programs that would best meet his interests. Each CEO was impressed with Alex’s interests and intellectual curiosity, and would like to hear from him in the future.

Alex writes,

“This internship has definitely impacted by goals for the future. I’ve learned so much about the difference between engineering, which solves a specific problem and industrial design, which seeks to look at the whole user experience. Now I realize that I should pursue a general engineering education in conjunction with liberal arts, as opposed to a specific product development path of study. I offer my most heartfelt thanks.”

A Programming Internship for a High School Junior from England

Andrew (arms folded above) is from an American family who is currently living in England. They reached out to us in order to establish an internship related to Computer Science/Programming. We Skyped with Andrew to get to know him and understand his interests, helped to establish summer housing for him in a college dormitory, and connected him to Privy, a venture capital backed startup company. Privy’s office is in Downtown Boston in the WeWork building, a short subway ride from Andrew’s dorm.

Because Andrew had a basic familiarity with Java, he came up to speed quickly and was able to take on a programming project. In his letter of recommendation, Privy’s CEO wrote:

We asked Andrew to build a particular software application relating to customers. Through this project, he was able to set up a development environment on his own machine, lean a new programming language(Ruby on Rails), integrate with two external vendor APIs and launch the application. We are now using his open source application on a weekly basis. Andrew is the kind of student I would highly recommend to any organization.

In his journal, Andrew wrote about the best part of his internship:

The best part of my internship was definitely writing the program to track data on our support conversations. I had to integrate my program with two different APIs (Intercom and Google Sheets) which was a big enough challenge on its own. Then I had to write all the logic required to take the data we get from Intercom, re-format it, and place it in a Sheets document in such a way that this program can theoretically run every week for as long as it needs to and still function properly, even with manual changes to the document by Privy employees.

I had a wonderful time learning about all of the little intricacies of the Privy code base and how they work together to make an efficient machine. This project was also a great opportunity to get to know the developer team better and to learn how collaboration between a team of programmers works in a business, given that most of my programming projects up to this point have been solo.

High School Engineering Intern to MIT Grad

 

It’s wonderful to hear great news about former interns.

Harry, from Hingham High School,  participated in an engineering internship with us as a junior. He was an outstanding student athlete with particular strengths in math and science. Interested in engineering and manufacturing operations, we matched Harry to a manufacturing internship.

Harry’s mentor was the company’s CEO, a graduate of MIT who wrote Harry’s letter of recommendation. We were thrilled to hear later that Harry was accepted to MIT!

I have been impressed with Harry’s engaging personality, intelligence and maturity throughout his internship. He quickly grasped the necessary concepts involved in our operation and excelled on every task that he was assigned to. His responsibilities included: attending all manufacturing meetings, learning ISO requirements and the operating procedure for all machines. Once I understood his advanced level of competence, I assigned Harry the task of developing procedural documents for maintaining each piece of equipment.

Harry became aware of vendor issues and wrote up a thoughtful report concerning quality control. I found his interest in engineering and quick grasp of manufacturing issues unusual for a high school student. With the intelligence and drive that Harry brought to our company as a high school intern, I can only imagine what he would have to offer to MIT and his chosen profession.

In addition, Dr. jabbawy contacted another CEO of a prestigious engineering consulting firm in downtown Boston, who was happy to arrange a visit. Harry spent several hours touring the offices and meeting all types of engineers. He learned about engineering as a profession, the various types of engineering fields and enjoyed lunch and camaraderie with professionals immersed in the field.

The following is a fascinating article Harry wrote when he was at MIT for Fast Company- Business and Innovation:

Why An MIT Student Chose An Obscure Internship Over Silicon Valley

A Gap Year Internship for Travis with the VP of Business Development at a Boston Startup

Travis was a recent graduate of Phillips Academy Andover who was looking forward to starting Brown University after completing a Gap Year. He was looking for a summer experience related to engineering, computers and investments.

We combined Travis’s interests by placing him at Privy, a startup that has developed a unique email list growth platform for retail marketers. The office is located in the exciting co-working space WeWork near South Station. Travis was mentored by both the CEO and the VP of Business Development.

Travis described a highlight of his experience there:

I was invited to sit in on an investors meeting with Ben, Privy’s CEO. I mostly sat back and learned from Ben’s presentation he was giving to the investor. At first, I didn’t have much to say regarding why this man should invest in this growing company. However after being asked a few questions about my own work, I realized that I too, was representing Privy in front of this potential investor, even as an intern. Ben had brought me along so I could learn but I was also part of the company.

This made me feel important and slightly responsible for how this meeting went. As I answered a couple questions, I made sure to put my work and Privy in a positive light to do my part, as little as it may have been, in selling Privy to this investor. I learned that I could contribute in more expansive ways, in addition to just being an intern.

In his letter of recommendation, Dan, the VP of Business Development, highly recommended Travis and described his work as impressive:

Travis’s interests in business and computer science helped him contribute greatly to a small entrepreneurial team and also engage our software engineers in an intellectually curious and helpful manner.

Travis helped write content and customer case studies, which he published on the Privy blog. He researched and generated sales prospect lists for the sales team and sent marketing and partnership emails. In both cases, the company saw actual results from the programs Travis worked on.

When asked what was the most important thing he learned, Travis emphasized a few points: learning how a start-up operates, the many things that need to happen to make a company run effectively and seeing all the different tools and why each one is needed in different ways to grow the company.

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