Hope everyone’s summers are going well! Mine has been awesome so far. Research is progressing, I’m getting prepared for next year’s classes, and I’m taking the extra time I have to continue to explore LA and take up surfing!
As for the research, I’m currently in the process of making this:
It’s a mechanical woodpecker simulator which, as I’ve mentioned before, will be used in conjunction with a professor up in Washington to impact and test the neural plasticity of real brain cells! I’m super excited about the prospects of our results, and hopefully soon we’ll be well on our way to designing better helmets for military and commercial applications!
Outside of research I’ve gotten into surfing with one of my roommates. It’s been really hot down here recently, so I’ve been more than happy to pick up a new hobby that keeps me cool on these super hot days.
I also got to spend a couple days at home before going to Tahoe for the 4th last week! It was an awesome time. We hiked, went boating, and hung out on the beaches of the lake for a couple days before returning to LA. It was an amazing few days but it’s good to be back in SoCal with the roommates for some more great summer experiences!
Below are some photos of the summer shenanigans!
friends up in Tahoe!
Hanging out with my roommates in a kiddie pool in our backyard
Hi everyone! I can’t believe we are already halfway through with summer! My internship at Boeing seems to be flying by. One of the highlights of my summer so far was my 4th of July weekend trip to visit my old roommate in San Francisco!
I haven’t been to San Francisco since I was 10 and all I really remember from that trip was going to Alcatraz. So my roommate and I mainly spent our time sightseeing in the city. This included Alamo Square, Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate bridge, which we biked across! We spent 4th of July watching the fireworks over bay at Aquatic Park, which was so cool! Unfortunately my plane back to LA was delayed, but my roommate and I made the most of my extra night in San Francisco by watching Despicable Me 2! So cute. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.
Hope everyone’s summer is off to a fantastic start. After a wild start that spanned three time zones in 3 days, things are finally settling down for me as I have adjusted to life as a research intern at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL. Like several other VSA’s, my summer started off in Korea to cap off our awesome iPodia class. I’ll never forget the times we had there and all of the amazing new friends I made. It was truly an irreplaceable experience. Just interacting with and conversing with students from Israel, Germany, Korea, and China about topics ranging from political conflicts in each respective countries to sports is something that I may never experience again.
USC and Technion looking fly in traditional Korean marriage garb
DMZ was an incredible experience.
USC and Aachen enjoying some sightseeing at a temple in Seoul
After a whirlwind of two weeks in Korea, I returned to LA for a night to pack up my things and prepare to fly home the next day. After flying home I drove up to Lemont, Illinois and moved onto Argonne National Laboratory‘s campus, eager to begin my internship.
At Argonne, I’m working under Dr. Richard Vilim and Dr. Park, both involved in research relating to nuclear energy modeling and simulation. My project consists of trying to adapt a robotics simulation software to try and simulate a safety and monitoring tool known as Under Sodium Viewing (USV). Basically, there exists a prominent type of nuclear reactor known as a liquid metal fast reactor, which uses liquid metal (almost always sodium), to serve as a coolant for the reactor. However, because the reactor core is submerged in an opaque liquid metal, it becomes impossible to monitor what is going on inside. In comes Under Sodium Viewing, which utilizes ultrasonic scanning to monitor the system through the liquid metal and search for safety concerns such as cracks in the core casing and what not. The idea for USV has been around for roughly 30 years; however, it has recently resurfaced as technology has become available to implement this concept and nuclear reactor safety becomes an even more important issue.
What I love about Argonne is the environment and just love of learning for the sake of learning. When given my project, my supervisor literally said, “I have no idea if this is possible, but I want you to see if it is.” So. Cool. Each week offers a multitude of interesting seminars for us to attend that extend beyond just the Nuclear Engineering division. Argonne is basically a playground for scientists and people interesting in making new discoveries in their field of work.
Besides just my internship, though, I’ve been busy with several other things. With quite possibly the busiest and most important semester of college quickly approaching, I’ve begun my search and preparation for graduate engineering programs. I’ll have the GRE coming up soon enough and need to prepare my Statement of Purpose for my application. While the prospect of having to apply to school’s again is daunting enough, I’m hoping that getting an early start will make the next semester more relaxing.
Beyond just school and internship responsibilities, though, I’ve still managed to find plenty of time for recreation this summer. The local movie theater has free movies for Argonne employees on Wednesday nights, and I’ve started playing rugby for a local men’s team!
Playing flyhalf for the Chicago Rhino’s in a 7′s tournament this past weekend!
Rugby: Engineers do it best
With all that’s already happened, it feels like my summer should be close to ending! Thankfully, though, I still have many more days until I begin my final year at USC!
Hope you enjoyed my first summer blog post and feel free to follow me on twitter at @ZTakeo for more updates on a Viterbi Student’s summer life!
Hey everybody! Hope y’all have had a good summer so far. Mine has certainly been relaxing. While I wasn’t able to get an internship this summer, I’ve been spending my summer catching up with high school friends, spending time with my parents, and preparing for my summer school class that starts in the beginning of July.
In the beginning of the summer, I went with my parents on our yearly family vacation to the beach. We’ve been going to Destin, Florida for the past 12 summers now, and it’s one of my favorite places to go to relax and get away from the busy, sometimes stressful, life of an engineer.
My favorite thing about Destin is the water. They call it the Emerald Coast for a reason! Every time I see this beach it takes my breath away. I could watch the waves crash into the shore and the afternoon storms roll in for hours.
The view from my condo
Since we’ve been going to Destin for the last 12 years, my parents and I have created quite the list of favorite restaurants to visit during the week. My all time favorite restaurant is the Back Porch. The smoked tuna dip here is the first thing I eat every time I arrive in the city.
My first stop in Destin every trip
Another one of my family’s favorite restaurants is called the Donut Hole, which makes incredible cappuccino chocolate chip muffins. I bought half a dozen of them to have for breakfast every day of the week.
I love the muffins at the Donut Hole
Although it was windy for the second half of our trip, we went down to the beach every day. I read Ender’s Game and managed to not burn!
Another day in paradise
All in all, I’d say it was another successful family vacation, and I can’t wait to go back next year.
Being in the Skåne part of Sweden this summer because of an internship, I was lucky enough to witness one of Sweden’s biggest holidays: Midsummer. Midsummer takes place towards the end of June on the longest day of the year in which the sun can sometimes set around as late as eleven pm. The Friday before this day, to be exact June 21st for this year, is Midsummer’s Eve—a Friday full of festivals, dancing and food.
Each of the small surrounding towns holds a gathering in which children wear crowns made of flowers of all colors and dance around a pole decorated with leaves and prästkrages. Some ladies wear the traditional costume of a long skirt, button down shirt and vest with black leather shoes. Historically, the clothing defined whether a woman was a maiden or not.
With traditional Swedish Midsummer music playing in the background, booths are set up for people to play games or buy trinkets as couples dance in the center. Lots of cakes, pastries and muffins of chocolate, rhubarb, lingonberry or vanilla are served. But, the most popular one is a special Midsummer dessert made from strawberries which is simply superb for both the stomach and the eyes.
Families gather together on this day to eat and celebrate the summer, for in Sweden, where most of the year is composed of the dark long cold days of winter, a summery strawberry filled day is much needed. And at night when the day comes to an end, legend has that girls are to hand pick seven wildflowers and place them under their pillows. So when they sleep, they will dream of their future husbands.
It’s summertime, but the weather here in Seattle has me fooled some days! I’m four weeks into my internship at Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, WA, and even though there is, unforgivably, rain in June, I’m loving every moment of it.
I’m living in a really sweet apartment in the University District in Seattle (named for University of Washington). It puts me just outside of the city’s downtown, so there are plenty of awesome things to do! My entire building is filled with Microsoft interns, so it’s been neat hanging out with everyone after the work day is over.
The common area in my apartment… not too shabby!
The first view of where I’m living this summer… Fancy!
What it looks like today, nice and sunny!
Seattle is a ton of fun, with plenty of sites to see. Just in one day, I walked through downtown to the famous Pike’s Place market, walked along the Puget Sound, and visited the Space Needle. Tons of hiking, camping, rafting and rafting trips have been going on that I haven’t even gotten around to! As mentioned before though, it’s not quite the same as summer back down in So Cal. Rain, overcast weather, and no nice sandy beaches (that I’ve heard of… maybe I’ll find one one of these days). I’m making due, though! And hitting the beach will be first on my agenda come the end of my internship.
Me with my brother on top of the Space Needle!
And that’s just the stuff outside my internship, which is awesome in of itself. I’m working for the team that writes the program that detects and removes malware as a developer, and it’s been a blast. Because this program gets packaged in many Microsoft Security products, such as Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials, we have millions and millions of customers who depend on our program to keep their systems safe and usable. And because I’ve been exploring the field of security through both my research and the classes I’ve been taking, this is right up my alley! I could not be happier with my work.
Also, Microsoft has recruiters that work with individual campuses, and they keep in touch with interns throughout the summer. USC’s just recently held a USC-only bowling event for Microsoft employees, and so that was awesome catching up with friends that I normally see back in LA (and even meeting a few new ones)!
Well, that’s all I got for now. I’m sure there’s plenty of more fun to be had before the end of the summer (probably a little rain too), so see you next time. Soak up some rays for me!
Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a fantastic summer! Mine is off to a great start.
I spent the first two weeks of my summer in South Korea with my iPodia class. Cassandra, Steve, Vlad, Gavin, Zach, and Lyssa were also there! I had an unforgettable experience in South Korea. The city we were staying in was beautiful Daejeon- home of KAIST campus. It was wonderful to reconnect with the KAIST students who visited us back in February- and just as great to meet our other classmates from China, Israel, and Germany in person!
Here were some of the highlights from our stay:
-Visiting the Jeonju Traditional and Cultural Center, where we made Bibim-bop, an authentic Korean dish, learned about Korean theater and percussion, and even learned how to host a traditional tea party.
-Attending the USC Global Conference, where we saw a few familiar faces- Viterbi Dean Yortsos and USC President Max Nikias.
-Getting an up close look at a Hyundai production facility
-Going to the World IT Show
-And who could forget, presenting our final projects with our international teammates!
The trip was part of a class, so we did have a lot of work to do while we were there- but that didn’t stop of from having fun. Being in a new and unknown city for a couple of weeks was the perfect way for me to mentally transition into summer after such a busy semester. Plus, I made tons of great new friends!
When I got home from South Korea, I spent a few days having fun with some high school friends. Highlights of the week: Going to a live taping of “The Voice” (and if you’ve ever met me, you know I’m a diehard Maroon 5/Adam Levine fan) and going to an Angels vs. Cubs baseball game! If you were wondering, the Cubs won.
Since then, I’ve started my internship at Boeing. I love it so far! I’ve been given really great assignments and I’ve been able to draw on what I’ve learned in multiple classes back at USC- but I’ll save all of this for another blog!
In my true blogging style I am going to start off this post with the random picture of the day. I know it is Friday and Throwback Thursday was yesterday but this pictures comes to us straight out of 1998 or so when my Dad took us skiing. A belated Happy Fathers Day to him and all the fathers out there.
I can’t believe that my internship is almost half way over already. I am finishing up my 5th week of the 12 week program today. In my last blog post of the semester I wrapped up everything that had happened during Junior year and let you know that I was headed to the wonderful “Cream City”, “Beertown”, “The City of Festivals” ….. did none of those ring a bell? Well I am in the great little city of Milwaukee Wisconsin this summer, home of the typewriter, one of the best cities for independent filmmakers, and the 22nd largest city in America.
Now that you know a little bit about where I am this summer, let me explain to you how I got here. I finished my finals on March 14th and then flew back home to Boston to see my family for a few days. While at home I met with friends and caught up with my local dentist, doctor, and got my driver’s license renewed. All just in enough time to see my sister graduate from Worcester State College. Right after her graduation I left with my brother to make the road-trip out to Milwaukee.
Since there is a lot of travel in the internship I needed a car for the summer and because the trip to Milwaukee was a 16 hour drive, I decided to embark on it with my brother. The intention was to get to Milwaukee by Sunday March 19th in just enough time to get unpacked and start my internship on March 20th. The interesting things about road-trips is that they generally never go as expected. Our case was no different. Usually you hear about overheating cars, popped tires, or a broken air conditioner however when my brother and I crossed into Pennsylvania we ran into some deer problems quite literally. The damage to the car was two broken headlights, a dented hood, a passenger side door that could barely open and some shattered glass. We were all okay but could no longer drive at night due to the broken headlights. We rested for a night at a hotel but needed to get up early in the morning in order to make it to Milwaukee in time for my brother’s plane flight home. Thankfully our car’s motor was still in great shape and we had a one hour time difference on our side to make me breathe a bit easier. We ended up getting to Milwaukee just in time for my brother’s plane flight and I successfully made it to the first day of my internship with a crazy story to tell. (Update: our trusty car has since been fixed and is fairing quite well in Milwaukee)
My sister and I at her graduation. So proud of her!
Did I mention that we live right next to the “beach”? Actually Lake Michigan.
My desk at work, rocking the dual screen set up with a bunch of GE diagnostic monitoring equipment.
I have found that this shirt just about sums it up.
My internship at GE Healthcare thus far has been all that I have ever wanted and more. As I had said in my previous post I am interning as part of a Commercial Leadership Program. It is a specific sales and marketing internship within GE Healthcare. I know, right now you are thinking “I thought I was reading blogs of engineers.” Well you absolutely are. My major is Biomedical Engineering. For the past two summers I have had very technical internships that have put my engineering skills to work, however I have always had an interest in business, innovation, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I thought, what better way to gain exposure to these concepts outside of the classroom than to have an internship in them. I know I like healthcare and ultimately would like to work for a healthcare company but doing marketing and sales for a healthcare company opened up a whole new path for me.
Now as for what has me so happy with my internship thus far! My project this summer is great. I am working on the launch of an internal tool called Salesforce.com, some of you might have heard of this before. It is a complete Customer Relationship Management solution. Initially I was in charge of a portion of the program which deals with Install Base, what the product portfolio of a current account looks like (can either be company product or competitor product). This IB data can be used to help a sales specialist identity a strategy to break into, expand, or occupy a current account. After working on the project I was fascinated with how the launch was going to work and what makes for a successfully deployment. Therefore I took on some more tasks which included building macros in excel in order to easily manipulate data for salesforce.com upload, creating a communication plan for the deployment of salesforce.com to the field, coordinate training, and deliver training to the product sales specialists and marketing teams.
In addition to my project work, I have been having a blast getting involved with the intern program by taking a team leadership position as a Co-Editor of the CLPi Newsletter. We also are given a lot of opportunities to learn throughout the summer and have training modules set up by the full time CLPs such as:
Also we will have a Sales Simulation contest come the end of July and also a Colab Team Project in which we have to conduct a customer profile. I am happy to have all these opportunities to submerge myself in the sales and marketing side of healthcare. I am really liking everything I have been doing so far.
The interns in the program are pretty awesome as well. There are 16 of us in total, 2 of whom are remote. We all mostly live in the same apartment complex and get along great. We have been doing a lot of fun things outside of work so far like going to a Milwaukee Brewers game, attending the Milwaukee Domes for a horticulture experience, grabbing great food in the historic Third Ward, going to the beach, and golfing. We are planning on doing a lot of other great things as the summer goes on such as a pedal tavern, sky diving, going boating on Lake Michigan, and even planning a day trip down to Chicago. I am also a foodie at heart and two great things about Milwaukee is that there are a lot of awesome places to eat and almost every restaurant has a Fish Fry Friday menu as well as a Brunch menu on Sunday. I would highly recommend trying out some of the unique items on these hidden menus.
Jessica and I at the tailgate for the Brewers game.
The entrance to Miller Park. It cleared up nicely for the game.
Vicki, Carolyn, and myself out at dinner.
Myself and some of the main CLP interns this summer.
Along with all of these great things that we are doing I have some plans of my own during the summer. From July 3rd to the 6th, Taylor is going to come and visit. We are going to have a great time in Milwaukee and Chicago and might even get to attend some of Summerfest. We also purchased tickets to see the hilarious musical Book of Mormons in Chicago. Also at the end of July I will be going to Miami, OH in order to be a Peer Mentor for Phi Delta Theta. It will be a lot of fun to see unique perspectives from different chapters and help them to work through their questions and problems. Lastly I will be attending Lollapalooza, for the second time in a row, in Chicago from August 2nd to August 4th and plan on seeing a lot of my USC friends there.
Hats off to a great summer! Can’t wait to see what the rest has in store.
Now Playing: Wake Me Up by Avicii (Ft. Aloe Blacc) with Bearly Legal (the new album) by White Panda on deck.
I just looked at the calendar, and apprently I have been living in Dresden, Germany for the past 5 weeks. In April, I accepted an internship offer to work at GLOBALFOUNDRIES (formerly AMD), as a PFA (physical failure analysis) engineering intern. Given that the last two summers I worked internships at Qualcomm, I thought it would be fun to see the other side of things (GLOBALFOUNDRIES is a fab that makes wafers for Qualcomm and many of its other customers that go into their products), and I also thought it might be fun to spend three months in Europe:)
Love the architecture on the Alstadt (old part)!
Just being me! There is always time to be spontaneous and fabulous during an evening stroll before dinner
So far, I am incredibly satisfied with my experience. The first week was definitely demanding, as I had to take care of all the housekeeping details associated with my stay here. Namely, I had to register as an official resident of the city of Dresden at a central office, obtain a tax ID number from a tax office, set up a bank account, and move into my apartment. The Monday I was supposed to start work was actually a German holiday, and therefore the “housemaster” at my dorm was not available to give me the keys until Tuesday (and move ins can only happen on weekdays). So I actually spent my first three days in Germany in Radebeul, a nearby town, at the Radisson Hotel. Luckily, my now-friend Danielle, who also works for the company, reached out to me earlier in the process and offered her help in getting me set up. It was amazing having her! Not only was it awesome of her to drive me to all these offices and speak in German to get things done more quickly, but she also picked me up from the aiport, helped me move in, and welcomed me into her home to meet her family. Her son Aaron is adorable, and I have so much fun playing with him. Danielle’s house is really close to the hotel, so it was nice to hang out with her and her family that first weekend. She is a fantastic friend, and we are actually going to Prague together in July! More on that in my next blog.
Aaron and his grandpa playing in their garden!
family bbq with danielle! her pseudo in laws are the best!
As far the actual work I’m doing goes, I have been put in charge of a 5 million dollar CMP machine designed by the Fraunhofer Institute specifically for GLOBALFOUNDRIES. It was just brought out of storage, and I am doing experiments with it, and testing its functionality for three specific physical failure analysis purposes: front side polishing of wafers, backside polishing of wafers, and opening packages. In the large PFA process flow, these would be initial steps to be completed before the wafer samples can be analyzed under light or SEM microscopes, more advanced lasers etc. to examine for defects, such as leakage currents or other issues. My mentors and managers have been really helpful in answering my questions about the larger business behind what we do, and helping me see steps in the PFA process that I am not directly involved in through my work. They have also been teaching me how to do analysis on various metal and oxide layers using the SEM and Obersch laser systems. So on the working front, I am definitely having a good time and feeling intellectually stimulated. I’ve known for quite some time that within EE, semiconductors are my calling. If/when I succeed as a professional electrical engineer or patent attorney, I just want my business cards to say “Semiconductor Queen.” I know, I am getting a little bit ahead of myself. What else is new?
Other than work, I have been having a lot of fun with friends, screenwriting in preparation for the upcoming semester (I am in 4 screenwriting classes, and need to get prepared!), watching a lot of TV (required viewing for one of my screenwriting classes. excited to start arrested development soon!), and gearing up for LSAT round 2. I took the test last October, but I took it a little too slowly:) So I renewed my online course, and plan to attack the test with even more success this time around. It’s been a little hard to make time for my class with everything else going on, but now that sensory overload has toned down a bit, I can finally focus on studying again. It migh be a little bit important:)
My roommate Johannes! Before we went out to the Brn festival
BRN festival craziness! Literally thousands of people in the streets. We found this more low key spot by one of the stages, off of the main street
Aside from Danielle, my best friends here are definitely two of my roommates, Jens and Johannes. The apartment we share is so adorable, and they are two of the cleanest boys I have ever lived with (in an apartment of six that shares a kitchen, we are on one side of the kitchen, with another three rooms on the other side)! They both do their dishes, and ocassionally bleach our tub! Johannes has an affinity for soft toilet paper, and always buys the best kind! TMI? The point is I love them both. They have both been so nice about adopting me into their respective friends circles (both are students at TU Dresden) and letting me go out with them on weekends to various clubs and social gatherings. This past weekend was the Bunte Republik Neustadt festival, which you can read about on wiki. I had a blast! Additionally, my homegirl Sara from USC has been studying abroad in Dresden all semester! It has been so much fun having her here as well, and we like to go on adventures together, have dinner, or get a workout in. When Makana gets to Germany, we are also doing a trip to Berlin together! You have to love the Trojan family:) Game running strong, even in Europe.
Sara and I went to an “American” Sports Bar for dinner one night. It was pretty good. But they serve mayo with fries!
A game of pool before watching the champions league final (go Bayern Munich!). Hernan and Jan are friends of my roommates Jens. They are the best! Well except at pool:P
Howdy! Summer is already well underway but it still feels like it’s just starting. Upon finishing my last final, I left the same day for a long plane ride back to Dallas and began preparing for my two interviews the following day. Shortly after boarding, however, the flight attendant came on over the intercom to let us know that DFW airport in Dallas was on lockdown due to multiple tornadoes touching down and that we would be stuck in the terminal for at least two hours. Well, I tried to get a little bit of shut-eye on the plane after checking on my parents and finally made it back home around 4:30am.
Promptly 5 and a half hours later, I sat in the first of my two interviews in the CEO’s office of Fluid Consulting, an IT consulting firm, discussing how we can design a mutually beneficial internship. A common problem when looking for an internship right after freshman year is finding a position where you can really help a company with a limited skill set (comparative to Juniors and Seniors of course) while still getting an experience that will help you decide where you want to be. What I found this year was that the best way to get around the limitation is to bring it up and show that I was dedicated to being just as much of an asset as the internship would be to me!
After that first interview, I headed off straight to my second one before crashing for a nice long nap to start off the summer! Just a few days later, I headed off with my mom, dad, and brother for Zurich, Switzerland for ten days of exploring the Bavarian cities and countryside. The trip was incredible:
We toured the new Mecedes-Benz museum
Jay Gatsby anyone?
Spent the night in a castle
Not quite Hogwarts, but still really cool!
Spent an evening in Hofbräuhaus
An authentic Bavarian biergarten
And saw the winter Olympic park from 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Those slopes are steep!
After Germany, I began work at Fluid Consulting, and it’s been a roller coaster. My work has ranged all over the business. I’ve helped write quotes and handle the financial side of the business, taking logistics from first contact with a client all the way to ensuring the payment is handled and the relationship is established for future contracts with the client. On the other hand, I’ve written codes for automatically gathering information from internal servers for data analysis and I’ve gone out to client sites to help set up workstations and fix printers and even wall sockets. All in all, in just the short time that I’ve already worked this summer, I’ve been able to see a wide range of the IT consulting field and am beginning to find what it is that I like and don’t.
When I was applying for internships, it was tough going as a freshman and to make me feel better, I was often told that a freshman year internship is more about making a little bit of money but isn’t too helpful career-wise. While I agree that it isn’t absolutely necessary and summer school or other projects can serve a similar purpose, I think that every internship you can find will be just as helpful as a class! I’ve learned so much and gotten to see how computer science/engineering and business mix in the real world and I believe that the experience has and will continue to help me find my focus in school and beyond.