I was already interested in project/product management on the development side of things, and this reinforced that if possible I want to focus my efforts on ideas/products that advance us socially, environmentally, or medically.
How did you find the internship/co-op? What was the interview process like? I actually did not search for this internship at all. A recruiter emailed me asking me to apply to a hardware engineering intern position on the Dell Technologies website! I emailed back, curious how she found my information and why she wanted me for this specific position as I'm a bioengineering major. She proceeded to list qualities and experiences from my resume that prompted multiple managers to request an interview. It was such an affirming experience that I decided to interview with all 3 managers interested, and then Dell informed me all 3 wanted me and I had to pick! That was a really tough decision because they were all amazing teams, but after the interview, in which they mostly discussed their work and how it relates to Dell, followed by a discussion of my experiences both on and off my resume, I knew that I was interested sustainability and subsequently chose that team.
What have been the most interesting aspects of your internship? Although my internship was remote, the virtual experience created by the company and my specific team still made me feel like I was right there at Dell. We had small group sessions with virtually every executive within Dell, including Michael Dell himself! Getting to talk with people from quite literally every possible specialty you can imagine is pretty amazing, especially when you're still trying to figure out your specific career path.
What campus activities or courses do you think helped you, or would have helped you, with this internship? My participation in the QUEST Business Honors Program definitely aided me the most in this internship. Performing root cause analysis, process improvement, interfacing with cross-functional teams; I learned that all in QUEST and I definitely would've struggled without that background.
Was there diversity among your colleagues within the department and throughout your internship/co-op experience? The internship cohort was fairly diverse, although it was predominantly Texas residents as Dell is Headquartered there. Within leadership, I would say there's a fair amount of diversity for a big tech company, but it is still a big tech company so the gender and race disparities still persist.
How have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this internship experience? My career goals have only slightly shifted as a result of this experience. I was already interested in project/product management on the development side of things, and this reinforced that if possible I want to focus my efforts on ideas/products that advance us socially, environmentally, or medically. Before this internship, I knew I liked coming up with ideas and bioengineering. After, I know how I want to put these things together.
What advice would you give other UMD engineering students seeking an internship or co-op position? Network! Getting in contact with people in positions you aspire to have, recruiters looking for people for that position, and even former employees of companies of interest are all great ways to get your foot in the door!