What a strange and exciting summer. A few months ago, I never thought I would be writing this right now still sitting in my home quarantine. But I suppose I’ve grown accustomed to this new reality—and hey, it definitely hasn’t been all bad.


The last few months, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work remotely for Apple as a machine learning intern. Never in a million years did I think I’d be so lucky to be able to do this, nor did I have any idea coming into college that this is what my career path would look like. Machine learning was always this crazy far-out-there field to me that I probably wouldn’t touch for years, if ever. When I first started at USC, I decided on Industrial and Systems Engineering for my major for two main reasons: first, I liked statistics in high school; second, and primarily, it was such a broad major that I could put off for at least another few years deciding where I wanted to go with my career.


So, to jump right into an advanced field like machine learning with my first-ever internship was absolutely awesome. With this alongside my experiences at USC informing my decision, I now know firmly that I want to go into data science for my career. I learned so much in just a few short months at this internship—more than I ever thought I would, perhaps even more than I could in school—and every step of the way fascinated me. Not only that, but the program directors did an amazing job of making us feel involved and integrated despite the virtual environment. I can’t speak highly enough about it!


As for the future, data science and machine learning are such fast-paced, widespread, and relevant fields that even having narrowed myself down to these fields I feel that the possibilities are endless. With that said, I can’t wait to see where else it all takes me! For now, it’s back to Zoom class.

Derek Jones

Derek Jones

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @dmannjones On campus I have conducted environmental engineering research on water distillation methods, and you can currently find me serving as Vice President of my social fraternity and playing on the club volleyball team.