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Poorvi's summer internship at AT&T.

Becoming More than a Data Engineer

I remember entering building “A” at AT&T the same way I remember my first day of college: excited, eager and anxious.

I remembered something that the career advisors at the iSchool told me: one of the key experiences during your time as a graduate student is doing an internship. Gaining work experience is key for improving your employability, especially as an international student.

Solidifying a Data Science Career

From the very first day with the AT&T, everyone welcomed me as a member of the team and genuinely expected me to contribute. Interning at AT&T made me realize that the work interns do is not trivial, but it is integral to the company.

Working on processing hourly log files containing data metrics and then visualizing the traffic ingestion and key performance indicators (KPIs) has helped me better understand the far-fetched reach of Big Data in today’s world to create data-driven decisions. This has reinforced my goals on becoming a data analyst.

From Intern to Mentor

At my internship at AT&T, I learned it’s not just about working in an office. It’s about making contributions to give back to society.

A highlight of my internship was getting a chance to create an Augmented reality/ Virtual Reality (AR/VR) application. I also got a chance to mentor high school girls from a nearby public school on the opportunities present for women in the STEM field.

With just a semester remaining at Syracuse University, I want to make the most of it. As an academic coach and a tutor for python at CLASS at Syracuse University, I can share my experiences working as a data engineer with the undergraduate students of iSchool.

I also plan taking courses that would help me in enhancing my existing skills and learn new technologies that are being used by various organizations working on Big Data.

Advice for Future Interns

My internship has given me a better understanding of my skill set and where my career may take me.

On the very first day at my internship, I felt unclear about my career and what was expected of me. I wasn’t sure about my strengths. If you feel like this at the start of your internship, don’t worry! You are not alone in feeling lost at the start of your internship. Almost every intern feels the same.

Something that I would like to share with everyone is do not get overwhelmed and sit quiet. Remember to work hard and ask questions. Don’t waste a lot of time if you are stuck somewhere; ask for help. Hopefully you will come away from your internship with as much as I did.

I would advise everyone to take the opportunity and do an internship! I gained a better understanding of how to be a data engineer in a professional setting.

As this journey ends, I want to thank anyone who has been reading my blog posts. And I would like to thank everyone at iSchool and AT&T who have helped me out. This has truly been a great learning experience. I am forever grateful to those who gave me a hand.

Poorvi Varma

Poorvi Varma

I am a graduate student pursuing a master’s in Information Management and a C.A.S. in Data Science from the Syracuse University iSchool. I also have a prior work experience of 3.5 years as a Senior Systems Engineer.

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