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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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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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Paul Krupski, Perspectium

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 small businesses 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 Paul Krupski, ASD software intern at Perspectium. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, San Diego-based, minority-owned SaaS company Perspectium was founded in 2013 by David Loo, the founding developer of ServiceNow. The company now also has offices in San Jose, New York, and London.

Paul, start by telling us a little about yourself.

I transferred from Oceanside-based MiraCosta Community College to Brown University where I’ll be finishing my degree in computer science with a focus in artificial intelligence and a minor in finance. In the professional world, I hope to work in the fintech sector applying the latest technologies to the financial industry. Interning at Perspectium gave me a firsthand look at how third party tech companies can offer SaaS to companies of all industries, saving them time and money by handling their informational needs. I hope to take what I’ve learned through this internship and use it towards my future of applying computer science to finance.

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

I have had a very positive experience while participating in the ASD Internship Program. The most meaningful projects that I completed while working at Perspectium were instances where I would be directly interacting with several data bases to send and receive information from a web application.

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

COVID-19 has affected my routine as a student by causing my semester at Brown to be completely online. Although this has been a challenge, I’ve been fortunate in that it has not hindered my ability to plan my academic goals and advance forward to my future career.

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

Be an active learner both in computer science and professional etiquette. Be sure to research and practice for the interviewing process.

Get in touch with Perspectium:

Learn more about the Advancing San Diego Internship Program

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Anna Kelley, Tourmaline Wireless

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 rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that make up the first cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Anna Kelley, ASD intern at Tourmaline Wireless. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, Tourmaline Wireless is building the future of decentralized wireless telecommunications. The Oceanside-based company provides resilient, off-grid solutions based on mesh networks, 4G LTE, and Iridium satellite.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi my name is Anna, and I was a second-year student at San Diego Mesa College when I came across the ASD internship opportunity. I recently transferred to New York University to pursue a Computer and Electrical Engineering degree.

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

The hands-on experience that I obtained while interning at Tourmaline Wireless exceeded all of my expectations. During this internship, I had an opportunity to get hands-on experience with different programming languages and to work on debugging and troubleshooting software defects. Since it was my first internship in the engineering field, I was worried that I was lacking in technical skills. However, my internship supervisor Paul Victorine was so supportive and he made it so easy for me to participate in all the activities during this internship. It was such an amazing learning experience for me and I will continue educating myself in these areas to grow my confidence.

See Paul’s ASD interview here

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

The most challenging part about being a student during COVID-19 was a transition to online learning because not every class can be fully online. For example, my chemistry lab was replaced with five minutes of YouTube videos and it was not the same experience anymore.

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

I would recommend participating in different clubs, programs, and getting an internship as soon as possible. This year I participated in several programs with NASA (L’Space Academy and NCAS, all remote) and it was not only fun, but also a great experience that I can put on my resume.

Visit Tourmaline Wireless on web and Instagram.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.