Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: John David Lopez & Candelario Caldera, Paragrine Systems

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with John David Lopez and Candelario Caldera, interns at Paragrine Systems. As part of the second cohort of host companies, Paragrine Systems, builds air and ground mobility into single rugged and efficient vehicles. Both Lopez and Caldera are graduating students at UC San Diego studying mechanical engineering and electrical engineering respectively.

Read on for more from John and Candelario.

JDL: John David Lopez (pictured above)

CC: Candelario Caldera


Tell us about yourself.
 

JDL: My name is John David Lopez and I am currently a fifth year (third year transfer) Mechanical Engineering Major at UC San Diego. After graduating from Fallbrook High School, I began my college journey at Mira Costa College where I was then able to transfer to a four-year university in 2018. I am a San Diego native who loves the sun and plans to enjoy living here for as long as I can. When I am not studying, I am involved with Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) at UC San Diego where I have gladly spent my weekends working on collegiate level rocketry. My other hobbies include weightlifting, classic muscle cars, and Legos. Recently, I have had the opportunity to intern at Paragrine Systems, which is an awesome aerospace/defense company that I am incredibly thankful to work for.

CC: I am a third year Electrical Engineering student from UC San Diego. Interning at Paragrine Systems has been amazing. Seeing all the work that goes into the project was overwhelming at first; but I have come to find out that each task plays a key role in getting the bigger pictured finished. Prior to joining the team, I was not sure what turning an idea into a product would be like. It’s been super fun!

How has your experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

JDL: I have thoroughly enjoyed and have been grateful for the opportunity the Advancing San Diego Internship Program has given me. Interning at Paragrine Systems has allowed me to gain real world experience working alongside professional engineers. My supervisor, Scott Duffy, has been able to mentor me on the engineering requirements and decisions that go into designing an Air & Ground Utility Vehicle (AGUV). My main tasks include packaging the avionics systems on the AGUV, creating a system model for the components to interface, and reverse engineering parts to be utilized in the final design. The most meaningful aspect of my internship experience has been learning to accomplish goals and solve problems in a professional engineering environment.

CC: My internship experience is amazing. Interning at Paragrine Systems has been the best thing to happen to me in term of my professional pathway and career development. I think it is crucial to shadow; it gives you an inside look on how the job is and performed before you even take on a job. This internship has reinforced my motivation for becoming an engineer and has made me excited for what is to come!

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

JDL: Adapting to COVID-19 has definitely been a challenge—something I know that many students face. The pandemic has offered me new, interesting opportunities, as well as restricting things I have taken for granted in the past. My school specifically has allowed for asynchronous learning, which gives me the ability to structure my day differently. As a previous commuter student, it has been very nice to not have to arrive at school at 6 a.m. to then leave at 8 p.m. However, something that I have taken for granted has been the compartmentalization the university environment provided. In addition, I have also had to overcome the sense of isolation working from home. Frequent trips to the public park and group calls with close friends has been incredibly helpful, but I am sure we all look forward to the day when the world is back to normal.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry? 

JDL: I would tell high school students to never stop trying, even when faced with adversity, and to never give in to imposter syndrome. Being a transfer commuter student from a low-income background has definitely created some mental and logistical challenges, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as you persevere.

CC: Continue to be curious!

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

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Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Paragrine Systems

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Austin Blue, CEO at Paragrine Systems. As part of the second cohort of host companies, Paragrine Systems builds air and ground mobility into single rugged and efficient vehicles.

Read on for more from Paragrine Systems CEO Austin Blue.

Tell us about your company?  

Paragrine Systems is a developer and manufacturer of powered-parafoil utility vehicle platforms for commercial, humanitarian aid/disaster relief, and military applications.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

Paragrine was founded to explore and progress the great potential of powered parafoils to provide a new paradigm for low-cost aerial mobility across a broad range of applications on a global basis. Our current focus is on developing unique mobility solutions for Department of Defense applications, expanding on core technology foundations, and preparing for production at scale.

How was your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego?

San Diego has been a great place for entrepreneurship and building a business. We greatly appreciate and have benefited from the community and infrastructure provided by Advancing San Diego, our phenomenal local universities, a vibrant business community, Connect, and a great culture of innovation and technical advancement.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

We look forward to continuing to expand the envelope for what powered parafoils can accomplish doing work and meeting transportation and logistics needs in some of the world’s hardest to reach locations. Over the next several years we will progress from our R&D foundations into production at scale.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

We have been working remotely and continuing to do our best to conduct business development by video conference to execute on our current contracts. In some ways it has been nice not to travel so much this past year and that has enabled us to stay focused. We have high hopes for the future and a great 2021 ahead.

Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

Our interns have proven to be curious, capable, and engaged. We are grateful for their attention and contribution to our business and we hope that we have been able to help them learn more about what is involved in aerospace technology development from the ground on up. For all of us, it has been a much-appreciated opportunity during this challenging year to expand the team and learn new skills and work with new people. Our interns have been great and we have been grateful for the real value they have delivered.

In your opinion, what is special about San Diego’s science and technology community, and the talent that drives it?

San Diego has a wealth of diverse talents, interests, and leadership across so many industries and technologies. It is a leader in aerospace, bio-sciences, logistical innovation, energy sciences and much more. These are enhanced, nurtured and fed by great universities, a generous business community, a complimentary and beneficial connection to Mexico, and a strong connection to the Navy and Marines. There are so many favorable elements, in addition to the awesome climate, that all encourage and mutually reinforce each other to make this a great place to do business. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to live and work in this community.

 

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Kimberly Fajardo & Justin Skaggs, Aeromutable Corporation

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Kimberly Fajardo and Justin Skaggs, interns at Aeromutable Corporation. As part of the second cohort of host companies, Aeromutable Corporation develops low-profile and unintrusive technology capable of dynamically modifying the aerodynamic behavior of ground vehicles. Both Fajardo and Skaggs are graduating students at UC San Diego studying aerospace engineering and chemical engineering respectively.

Read on for more from Kimberly and Justin.

KF: Kimberly Fajardo

JS: Justin Skaggs


Tell us about yourself.
 

KF: My name is Kimberly Fajardo and my hometown is McFarland, California. Right after graduating from McFarland High School, I started attending UC San Diego, where I have been able to learn about cool topics like fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and propulsion. I am now in my final year of college and am looking forward to graduating in June 2021 with a major in aerospace engineering and a minor in mathematics. I chose engineering as my career path because I have always had an interest in STEM-related topics. In October 2020, I was offered an intern position at Aeromutable Corporation, and am currently working with them in improving the aerodynamics on semi-trucks and reducing their fuel consumption, which is awesome!

JS: I am currently attending UC San Diego and am a transfer student from Southwestern College. I was able to apply for the internship through an email I received through my school. I have been participating in research laboratories throughout my time at the university, and it was a great change of pace to get involved with an internship. It is a nice opportunity to be able to work for the internship along with schoolwork, since it keeps me busy and teaches me a lot about how to work in the professional world.

How has your experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

KF: Having the opportunity to be a part of the Advancing San Diego Internship Program with Aeromutable Corporation and directly with the CEOs, Sandy and David, has been such a unique experience. I have gained valuable skills that help make me a better professional. One of the projects that has been the most meaningful to me has been designing three different manifolds for the pneumatic system Aeromutable is working on. My designs began on paper and I eventually was able to create the 3D designs on SolidWorks, get them approved, and submitted for manufacturing. It was a challenging process, but mostly a rewarding experience to be able to make a design happen.

JS: It has been an amazing experience to work with Aeromutable. I have learned a variety of skills involving engineering around constraints, researching for possible solutions, and troubleshooting when a process is not working as expected. Reporting progress and results is also an essential skill and organizing your work so another person can pick up where you left off is important. The most important work I have done is working with a RaspberryPi, and it has taught me a lot about sensors and interfacing sensors with the digital world. I have gotten a lot of experience with coding and can certainly add this to my toolbox of skills.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

JS: Working from home comes with a specialized group of obstacles. The access to tools and a workspace is limited, creating a time lag between some of the tasks I want to accomplish. The ability to catch up with coworkers in an instant is a benefit however, since meetings and updates can be done from home on the computer.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry? 

KF: Advice I would give to high school students looking for a career in any field would be to not be afraid of putting themselves out there and to start gaining experience early on in their career.

JS: Try every opportunity you have and keep doing what puts a smile on your face. It’s an amazing feeling to be excited to work, and there are a lot of jobs out there that can provide that happiness!

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Aeromutable Corporation

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono, co-founder and COO at Aeromutable Corporation. As part of the second cohort of host companies, Aeromutable Corporation develops low-profile and unintrusive technology capable of dynamically modifying the aerodynamic behavior of ground vehicles.

Read on for more from Aeromutable Corporation co-founder Sandra Manosalvas-Kjono.

Tell us about your company?  

Aeromutable is bringing aerospace technology into the trucking industry. Our first product being developed in San Diego is an active fuel savings device that dynamically optimizes heavy vehicle performance based on its surroundings and provides three times the fuel savings of its nearest competitors, increasing the trucking industry’s profitability while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

Through their doctoral work at Stanford University, the co-founders of Aeromutable studied the effect of aerodynamic drag on heavy vehicle fuel consumption and identified the impact real time sensing devices have in the optimization of its performance. Aeromutable was founded to fulfill the mission of developing and commercializing technology that has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving the bottom line of the trucking industry. With the support of various institutions, which include the Stanford TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy through the Chain Reaction Innovations program, Aeromutable is working towards fulfilling its mission.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

Aeromutable is currently working to bring its first full-size prototype on-road for testing. In the subsequent 12 months, we will continue developing our MVP and will produce a fleet-ready device that we will employ on routes with a pilot partner trucking company. Our pilot program and close collaboration will provide the operational testing with our fleet partners and invaluable insights that will allow us to bring our technology to market.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

COVID-19 hit the manufacturing communities particularly hard given that they require in-person work that sometimes requires close contact situations. When COVID-19 hit, Aeromutable was transitioning from benchtop prototype testing to manufacturing our first full-sized prototype, which required specialized manufacturing and shop access. We were essentially perfectly aligned to go into manufacturing mode when manufacturing practically came to a halt. So, while our product has not pivoted, our manufacturing and partnership opportunity certainly has. This has been just one of the many challenges of being a startup during COVID.

Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

The interns provided to us through Advancing San Diego have been a great addition to the Aeromutable team. They have contributed to the development of multiple subsystems that will be a part of our prototype. They are applying the knowledge they have obtained from their engineering education at UC San Diego in real world problems. Through their internship, they are being exposed to a fast-paced environment of development where multiple engineering, logistical, economical, and practical constraints need to be considered. Their contributions have allowed Aeromutable to increase our pace on the development of our on-road and on-track prototype.

In your opinion, what is special about San Diego’s science and technology community, and the talent that drives it?

San Diego is uniquely situated near many top universities and multiple private and government research institutions, which helps create an environment of diverse and innovative engineers while maintaining a feeling of community that is hard to find. Furthermore, San Diego is perfectly located to provide access to some of the most important trucking routes, as well as being within close reach of larger, neighboring technology hubs like Los Angeles and a short plane ride to the Bay Area to further increase our opportunities for collaboration and growth.

 

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Noah Chavez, ALD Technical Solutions

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC is reintroducing this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with ALD Technical Solutions intern and UCSD student, Noah Chavez. A part of the second cohort of host companies, ALD Technical Solutions is a cost-effective innovative solution provider that repairs, retrofits, and upgrades offshore and onshore infrastructures using high quality and high performance composite materials. ALD specializes in developing and supplying high performance, high temperature, high chemical resistance, and underwater composite systems. Additionally, the company provides material selection, engineering design, project planning, contractor/ installer training and approval, written specifications, on-site quality control, quality assurance, and technical oversight. You can learn more about the company via its Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: ALD Technical Solutions.

Read on for more from Noah.

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a San Diego native and currently a senior at UC San Diego, majoring in Structural Engineering and anticipating graduating this summer. I also plan to begin my graduate degree in the fall at UC San Diego. ALD Technical Solutions has provided me with the opportunity to witness first-hand how theoretical topics can be applied to improve our surroundings. Thanks to the hard work of all the members at ALD Technical Solutions, we have been able to make a direct impact on our surroundings. I personally believe that the community surrounding us should be viewed as home, and this internship opportunity has allowed me to apply my knowledge in areas that will help me give back to the city I call home.

How has your experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

My internship has been valuable because of the positive impacts it has on our community. The overall well-being of our planet has long been neglected until recently. With new focus being put on our impact on the environment, ALD has found ways to not only improve our community, but to do so in an eco-friendly manner.

Some projects/assignments that have been most meaningful for me are retrofitting old and damaged structures, allowing for materials to be conserved, and retrofitting ACSR lines, which allows for the infrastructure in-place already to handle the demand green-energy-output puts on the power lines. These projects have been most meaningful to me because not only does it ensure the safety of my fellow neighbors, but it also puts our environment first.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

COVID-19 has limited the amount of accessibility I have to work on specific opportunities due to the fact that face-to-face meetings are necessary in our area of work. The limited opportunities provided makes it difficult to gain the required experience; however, Advancing San Diego has given me the opportunity to gain the proper experience, all from the comfort of my home.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry? 

It is easy to feel discouraged and as if your work is not paying off. I would always hate when my parents would tell me this, but my life experiences have only validated the truth behind the message: “Be patient, your time will come. “Just be patient, and slowly you will see the pieces fall into place.

 

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: ALD Technical Solutions

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Fall engineering internship experiences, EDC is reintroducing this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the second cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Dr. Davoud Zamani, Technical Director at ALD Technical Solutions. A part of the second cohort of host companies, ALD Technical Solutions  is a cost-effective innovative solution provider that repairs, retrofits, and upgrades offshore and onshore infrastructures using high quality and high performance composite materials. ALD specializes in developing and supplying high performance, high temperature, high chemical resistance, and underwater composite systems. Additionally, the company provides material selection, engineering design, project planning, contractor/ installer training and approval, written specifications, on-site quality control, quality assurance, and technical oversight.

Read on for more from ALD Technical Solutions co-founder Dr. Davoud Zamani.

Tell us about your company and a little bit about yourself?  

ALD Technical Solution is a women-owned Cleantech startup founded in 2018 in San Diego. Our mission is to leverage the potential of advanced composite materials by developing new innovative technologies in infrastructure, power transmission lines, and clean and renewables energies. My background is in material science and composite materials. I am a co-founder of this company and work alongside other business partners who focus on different sections ranging from mechanical engineering, customer, and business development. On a day-to-day basis, I am the Technical Director and oversee the technological developments, most specifically for composite material applications.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

My partner and I have many years of industrial background for advanced composite materials and saw there were a lot of room where we can use advanced composite materials. Advanced composite materials are typically used in aerospace applications but recently, developments have been made where applicable to other industries such as automotive, infrastructures, and renewable energy. ALD Technical Solutions focuses on developing new innovative applications of advanced composite materials. Within the infrastructure retrofit division, we develop advanced composite material technologies to upgrade and retrofit aged steel and concrete infrastructures. The other division is currently in development and focuses on the application of advanced composite materials in power transmission lines that can be used to increase the power capacity of power lines, which is needed due to significantly accelerating the increased penetration of renewable energies.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

Right now, we are conducting testing qualifications for a couple developments at UCLA Labs, which will help us determine ALD Technical Solution’s next steps. We see huge potential applications for the work that we are currently doing, especially foreseeing large developments within Southern California.

Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

I wanted to start by thanking the for giving us this opportunity to host two interns for our company. I really appreciate the EDC’s assistance as they were very supportive and developed a very good program. We have two interns: one of them is a mechanical engineering student and focuses on mostly solid work, AutoCAD, designs, simulations, and modeling’s, while the other focuses on simulations, modeling, and customer demonstrations for our composite wire wrap technologies. Both are eager to learn, smart, and hard working. We have meetings twice a week where I get updates and discuss the projects. It absolutely is a good learning opportunity for them since they were exposed to industry and composite material applications.

In your opinion, what is special about San Diego’s science and technology community, and the talent that drives it?

San Diego is a nice place to live. We had the opportunity to live in different locations in the United States and Europe and we chose to live here in San Diego. San Diego is a tech hub, and we have UC San Diego and other colleges and universities that bring in a lot of talent. San Diego is also paying special attention to renewable energy and clean energy developments. Additionally, we have a composite center within the Department of Defense compounds in Southern California. All these factors played a role in why we chose to establish our company in the region. Lastly, San Diego does not deal with the infamous traffic issues of Los Angeles but still offers the various amenities of living in Southern California.

 

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

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Meet the companies: Advancing San Diego, business interns

Through our Advancing San Diego initiative, EDC provides San Diego-based businesses with paid interns in high-demand fields. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges were especially salient.

With the help of our staffing partner Manpower, in 2020, EDC provided 38 San Diego companies and nonprofits with remote interns in the fields of software and engineering.

Now, we’re excited to announce 15 more companies and nonprofits who have been selected to host business interns starting this spring. Interns are sourced from programs designated as Preferred Providers of business talent, with internships running from March to July 2021.

Please join us in welcoming our next cohort of Advancing San Diego intern hosts:

  1. AndAlways is an E-commerce company that focuses on personalized wall art with all products printed and fulfilled in house.
  2. Benchmark Labs provides environmental forecasts for the Agricultural and Energy sectors by using IoT sensor data, publicly available weather information, and our proprietary machine learning-based technology (patent pending).
  3. Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos (BGCSM) promotes the wellness, health, and success of school-aged youth in the San Marcos community. Driven by its mission to inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential, BGCSM offers targeted academic, collaborative, and recreational activities that encourage young learners to become the community’s next generation of responsive, purposeful leaders.
  4. Chicano Federation of San Diego County was founded by a tireless group of advocates dedicated to seeing advances in civil rights and civic participation. Today, those strong roots empower the Chicano Federation to serve diverse populations throughout San Diego County with programs that help children and families access vital and often life-changing services.
  5. Eton Bioscience, Inc. is a Biotech service company providing DNA sequencing, DNA molecule synthesis, and DNA purification services to local Biotech companies, universities, and research institutes. Operations began for Eton in 2003 and they have since expanded to four locations nationwide, with San Diego as its headquarters.
  6. GigaIO Networks is a Carlsbad startup in the software-defined infrastructure space. The company has invented technology to transform the static architectures of data centers into flexible pools of resources than can be reconfigured on the fly.
  7. LEARN academy is redefining workforce development by creating career pathways for anyone to enter and excel in the Tech industry. LEARN is a safe, inclusive, and brave space that fosters a community of compassionate and collaborative learners.
  8. Meri Consulting Services is a consulting firm founded to help tech startups and sales professionals book more sales meetings and increase revenue.
  9. Misadventure & Co. is a Vista-based craft distillery. Misadventure is the first distillery in the world to produce a carbon negative spirit. Its vodka is made by upcycling baked goods that are approaching their expiration date, ultimately saving them from ending in the landfills.
  10. Omni2Max, Inc. provides services to the Department of Defense and other high-profile customers in the areas of Cybersecurity, comprehensive program management, Information Technology, Engineering, military systems/range operations, logistics; and acquisition and contracting services.
  11. Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) is transforming pediatric healthcare through Rapid Precision Medicine™ to improve the lives of children and families fighting rare disease. RCIGM optimizes ultra-rapid genetic testing to identify or rule out most genetic diseases in one swift step and empower the medical team at the patient’s bedside to provide personalized, life-changing treatment for the youngest, sickest patients.
  12. reVessel advances safe, sophisticated, and sustainable foodware designs for conscious people on the go, empowering them with tools to conveniently pack and preserve food anywhere. The company’s high-performance products support healthier, efficient, and conscientious daily habits aimed to improve global health and solve environmental issues.
  13. San Diego Loyal Soccer Club is a professional soccer franchise playing in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship, sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation. The franchise was announced in June 2019, and began its inaugural season on March 7, 2020 at USD’s Torero Stadium.
  14. Trabus Technologies provides professional support services to the U.S. government and specializes in the development of technical solutions across three major portfolios: wireless Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity.
  15. Voltera lives at the intersection of people and new technologies, providing labor market intelligence, workforce optimization, and new technology development, incubation, and commercialization services to the commercial, federal, and state/local markets.

Hosting interns is an investment in the next generation of talent in San Diego. Through the Advancing San Diego internship program, local students gain valuable work experience while supporting our local small businesses. Students are paid $20 an hour and receive access to $500 in flexible funds to support their success in the workplace.

For our next round of internships, we will be recruiting small manufacturers who are interested in hosting students from machining and engineering technician programs. Applications to host interns in these fields will open in April 2021.

If your company is interested in hosting students in the next round, sign up here receive program announcements.

Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Kailyn King, ZUM Radio

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched this Spring in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students close out their Summer internship experiences—and as we recruit a new cohort of companies and interns—EDC has launched this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the first cohort of the program and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with ZUM Radio intern and California State University (CSU) San Marcos student Kailyn King. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, ZUM Radio is a San Diego-based software company that manufactures radio-frequency transceivers for the amateur radio community. King is a computer science transfer student that began her studies at Oceanside’s MiraCosta College and is now in her first year at CSU San Marcos.

Read on for more from Kaylin.

How has your experience in the ASD Internship Program been, and what projects have been the most meaningful?

Applying for an internship through ASD and being connected with ZUM Radio proved to be a seamless transition from my coursework in community college to industry-based work. My supervisor Jim McLaughlin was excellent in relating the skills I had to new applications and opportunities for growth. My tasks included contributions to an open-source Android mobile application, revising a C program for a Raspberry Pi USB device, and writing guides on how to set up handheld transceivers for communicating on-air. Through this, I gained invaluable practical experience working for a project manager under a specific timelines. Above the technical knowledge, I learned the most about how to effectively communicate through email and daily Scrum meetings. Some of my biggest takeaways from this internships were practicing the management of expectations and keeping my colleagues informed about my progress on each project.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

Although I am no stranger to spending a lot of time in front of a computer, this new modality of fully-online learning has challenged my ability to dedicate time and energy throughout multiple classes. It is sometimes hard for me to focus as I typically stay at home for remote work and school. I now do my best to diversify my environment by studying in different locations, walking my dog through new routes, and running outside a couple times a week. We are all constantly subjected to the stresses of the pandemic, so it is important to have patience with ourselves as we work to the best of our abilities under these unusual conditions.

What advice would you give to students looking for a successful career in the local software industry?

Recognize that good company is all around you. Communicate often and be open with your colleagues, mentors, and potential employers. Your background, perspective, passion, and hard work will be recognized as you continue to reach out towards new and challenging opportunities.

We’re now accepting applications for small companies in need of business interns! Learn more about ASD and our internship program

Apply here by Dec. 18

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Meet our Preferred Providers of Business Talent and Apply for an Intern

As the year comes to a close, Advancing San Diego partners remain committed to connecting San Diego students to local companies into 2021. We’re excited now to announce our Preferred Providers of business talent, and to open our application round for small companies in need of business interns.

First up: Meet the Preferred Providers of business talent

EDC, San Diego Workforce Partnership, and Advancing San Diego partners are excited to announce the following schools as Preferred Providers of business talent. Through a competitive application process, these Preferred Providers are colleges, universities, and certificate programs recognized by local employers for training the next generation of business professionals in San Diego.

Preferred Providers of business talent:

  • CSU San Marcos
  • MiraCosta College
  • National University
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego State University
  • UC San Diego Extension
  • University of San Diego

The Preferred Provider network serves as a resource to better connect employers to locally-serving education programs. Earlier this year, we announced the cohorts of Preferred Providers of software and engineering talent. View the full network of programs on EDC’s Preferred Provider map. Learn more about their respective programs

And finally, Do you need business interns?

We’ll pay them for you.

Through the Advancing San Diego Internship Program, small local companies can host remote business interns at no cost to them. All interns will be sourced from Preferred Provider programs mentioned above and will be paid $20/hour. If you are a small company (<100 employees) interested in hosting business interns in the spring and meet the eligibility criteria, please apply now! Twelve companies will be selected to host interns starting March 2021. Applications will close December 18, 2020.

Hear first-hand testimonials from some of the 34 small businesses who have already hosted interns in our blog series here.

Apply to host interns by December 18!

FAQ

Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Emma Plum, Traits AI

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched this Spring in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students close out their Summer internship experiences, EDC has launched this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the first cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Traits AI, Inc. intern and Mesa College student Emma Plum. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, Traits AI is a San Diego-based software company that creates animated artificial intelligence (AI) avatars that you can talk to, like you talk to Siri or Alexa. The company develops Alexa Skills, Google Assistant Actions, and chatbots for clients to help them better serve their customers; but its particular area of focus is on AI avatars that put a face to the voice using an animated avatar that looks like and sounds like the person they represent to help them extend their reach.

People are busy, especially those in in-demand professions like law, healthcare, consulting, and more. In these fields, there’s often only one point-person, but thousands of people who want a little bit of their time. While we cannot duplicate or replace those professionals, Traits AI can extend their reach by automating some of the repetitive parts of what they do on a daily basis. This frees them up to spend more time on things that require their unique skill set and expertise.

Read on for more from Emma.

How has your experience in the ASD Internship Program been, and what projects have been the most meaningful?

I enjoyed my time in the internship at Traits AI. My supervisor Brandon was very understanding and flexible with work schedules. My primary projects were working on Facebook Messenger bots/marketing campaigns and email marketing/automation. These helped my understanding of design in marketing greatly, as well as improved my time management skills.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

Online learning and the transfer to the online structure has been particularly challenging during this time. Online school is an entirely different beast. Scheduling seems more flexible but between keeping up with everything at home (work, school, clubs, social life), Zoom fatigue hits hard and you have to keep a strict schedule to keep up.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry?

Be assertive! You don’t know what you don’t know, so reach out to the people who do. Talk to a high school counselor or someone knowledgeable about job opportunities, interview skills, resume reviews, and industry knowledge. Networking can be a gamechanger; go out and email or connect on LinkedIn/social media with industry professionals as you look for advice or job openings. Chase after job opportunities, even the ones you think you won’t get because you never know where you’ll get your foot in the door. Even if you don’t get the job after the interview, that’s a great practice. And don’t be afraid to leave a job if the work environment is toxic.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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