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SDSC Offers ‘Real World’ Internships to Prepare Students for Big Tech Careers

Published June 17, 2024

A group of undergraduate interns and mentors on the front steps of SDSC.

Undergraduate interns and mentors from SDSC's RDS Division.  Image: Jake Drake, SDSC Communications.

By Kimberly Mann Bruch, SDSC Communications

The Research Data Services (RDS) Division at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego is onboarding undergraduate students for positions in their agile application development program. Students in this program work in a fast-paced environment that prepares them for positions in the “real world” at companies such as Google, AWS and Microsoft.

“We train the students to specialize in project management, product management, front-end development, or back-end development,” said Ryan Nakashima, who leads the RDS summer internship program along with Jenny Nguyen and Steven Yeu. “If a student is in a specialty and prefers to try another, we are supportive of that as our main goal is to expose students to these environments so that they are prepared for a job after graduation.”

While Nguyen serves as the program’s project manager, directing the students and teaching them agile methodology techniques, Yeu works with Nakashima on the more technical side of the program—ensuring that the student interns are equipped with the knowledge needed to make their assignments work properly.

One such assignment included updating an app called NeuroRes, which was first created in 2017 by SDSC RDS for the UC San Diego Department of Neurosciences. Nakashima said that Nguyen and Yeu worked with student interns to re-vamp NeuroRes—including a feature that allows resident physicians to connect with attending physicians via the app. “We were pleased with our students who worked on NeuroRes,” Nguyen said. “A few of them are now going on to work in industry, thanks to the skills developed during their time in our program.”

Coupled with their UC San Diego degrees, the students’ real-world experiences have made an enormous difference not only for them, but also for the organizations that use the group for app development. In addition to NeuroRes, previous students worked on another health science project called CAPCHD—short for Cardiac Atlas Project: Congenital Heart Disease—creating an app for heart disease researchers. “This one was especially interesting as it used AWS serverless microservices,” Yeu said. “We were pleased to share the experience of developing such a highly technical app with our student group.”

The RDS team is actively seeking projects to be developed by the upcoming cohort of students. For more information, please contact Jenny Nguyen.