This year, Beyond Limits’ internship program has been unique, to say the least. While the pandemic certainly created some logistical and proximity challenges, we pressed on with the 2020 Beyonders Internship program regardless. We had an irresistible opportunity to bring on a bright and diverse group of both undergraduate and graduate students from across the world, contributing to a variety of roles and departments within Beyond Limits.
Over the course of this internship program, our Beyonders have made valuable progress on their projects, and we wanted to highlight their experiences and skill-sets.
Introducing the Beyonders 2020 Spotlight Series:
Name: Lasse Nordahl
School: University of California, Irvine
Degree/Major: Computer Science
Position: Software Engineering Intern
Why did you choose to spend your summer interning at Beyond Limits?
I interned at Beyond Limits last summer, and some of my favorite memories were building cool software and goofing around with other interns. I felt that the memories I made at Beyond Limits are some of the best. Even a year after my Beyond Limits experience, I’m still in contact with fellow interns, and I’ll never forget some of the moments we had just sitting in the Kiva. Even though this year is remote, we’re still interacting in the same ways, only now the Kiva is our Zoom calls.
How would you describe your internship experience?
I’d describe the internship as fast-paced, especially since the project I am working on is still in the relatively early engineering stages. Getting to work on a new project was my favorite experience from this summer. I feel it’s a unique and enticing goal to build and work on something that can pivot quickly or handle unknown requirements. It’s been an amazing experience to contribute to something so new. A lot of ground-up structuring and architecture were developed over the course of my internship. It’s been fun to see tickets get completed and eventually deployed to cloud services end to end. Overall, this has been a very positive experience since first joining the onboarding Zoom call in early June.
How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals? What was the most beneficial experience for you?
Getting to work on projects closer to Data Science had a tremendous impact on where I want to go with my career. I realized that there is a lot more interdisciplinary work than I previously thought existed. In the future, I’d like to work on both the Data Science and Software Engineering sides simultaneously. Going to requirements meetings and hearing the end to end goals of the project on a smaller team helped contribute a lot to that excitement.
Name: Samira Modaressi
School: University of Southern California
Degree/Major: Master of Business Administration
Position: Digital Marketing Graduate Intern
Tell us about a project you are working on during your internship?
This summer, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the entire Marketing department, aiding all of their efforts on various projects. My primary assignment has been managing our social media accounts. On a daily basis, I audit the social communities for AI, tech, energy, and more to generate social posts that drive awareness. Additionally, I handle community engagement and management to drive user engagement and brand credibility.
What were your thoughts surrounding COVID-19 and the Internship program?
Thinking back to April and May, there were so many unknowns. I was nervous I would not have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship, a staple part of the MBA experience. While some of the largest companies were rescinding their internship offers, I was wary when Beyond Limits assured me that the internship would be moving forward with a remote program. To my surprise, not only did the program happen, but it’s been more than I could even expect. While I am sure this is a different experience than I would have had in an office setting, the Beyond Limits team has done a fantastic job making me feel like an included contributor to the company.
What is the most exciting or unexpected thing you have experienced at Beyond Limits?
It’s remarkable how many employees across the organization care about getting to know the interns and imparting their knowledge. From our CEO to the newest member of the Software Engineering team, a lot of amazing and brilliant people have made the time to speak with me. In fact, each Beyonder was paired with a mentor within the company, and mine has been our COO! This is a true testament to how valued the Beyonders program is from the very top.
Name: Michael Hintlian
Degree/Major: PhD Industrial and Systems Engineering
Position: Data Science Intern
How have you been able to apply some of your learning from school to your internship?
In school, I work on building models to help understand the best treatment or intervention to give a patient that might have cancer. I am constantly using statistical and machine learning tools to gather insights about the way the world works by using data. At Beyond Limits, I have been encouraged to use the same approach.
At the risk of sounding cliché, it is the people. Everyone is brilliant, engaged in their work and the work of others, and eager to help. It makes it a great environment to learn and grow as an employee.
I have had the opportunity to take the lead on several projects and work with others to improve their projects. My team has also been very flexible with the type of projects I have been assigned. They’ve allowed me to work on projects that interest me and have actively sought out projects that they thought might intrigue me and brought them to my attention.
What advice do you have for other students considering an internship with Beyond Limits?
Name: Cole Christie
Position: MBA Product Strategy Intern
How would you describe your internship experience?
My internship experience has been great. I enjoy the people I am working with and am learning a lot. For my project, I am helping Beyond Limits assess current market opportunities. My co-intern (Rebecca) and I have learned a lot about product-market identification and how to use data to tell stories. Together we have come up with recommended use cases for the Beyond Limits approach and will have the opportunity to share those with the leadership team.
How have you been able to apply some of your learnings from school to your internship?
A running joke in business school is that you will learn more frameworks than you will be able to use, but this position is giving that joke a run for its money. This internship is structured in a way that utilizes those exact skills we build in school and has been a great way to engage with the material I have been learning. There has not been a day during this internship that I haven’t thought back to one of my strategy courses.
There are two reasons. 1- AI is something I am really interested in and wanted to learn more about. 2- I wanted to take the summer to develop some of the skills I have picked up in my MBA. This has been a perfect fit.
Spend some time in two areas. First, refine the value that this internship will bring. What value will you bring to Beyond Limits and what value does spending the summer with Beyond Limits bring to you? Be really clear about that and many other pieces will fall into place. The second piece is to do your homework and research ahead of time. Reach out to previous interns, read the company news, and be proactive about all of that. If you have done this, you will greatly improve your chances of being a part of this team.
Name: Yong Do Kim
School: Stanford University
Degree/Major: Ph.D./Energy Resources Engineering
My internship project has provided me the opportunity to get exposed to the areas that I was not familiar with before and to apply recent technologies in deep learning. This summer, I have been preparing a solution to optimize industrial applications, specifically with the stochastic seismic inversion process.
What were your thoughts surrounding COVID-19 and the internship program?
I appreciate that the Beyond Limits leadership team decided to have a virtual internship program when a lot of companies are actively rescinding offers due to COVID-19. I can see that Beyond Limits put tremendous effort into making this virtual internship successful by hosting many different types of virtual meetings for Beyonders.
A big draw for me is that Beyond Limits is well known for symbolic AI. Also, Beyond Limits is expanding its project scope. It is exciting to see that the company is continually growing in terms of project scope, revenue, and size. Those factors provide me with the confidence that Beyond Limits has an ideal environment for me. I knew that I would be trained to be a competitive data scientist, and I could use my knowledge and skills to tackle challenging projects.
Name: Kruthi Annigeri
Degree/Major: B.S./M.S. Chemical Engineering
Position: Chemical Engineer Intern
Thus far, my primary project has been developing a predictive viscosity model that can closely approximate lubricant mixtures’ properties, such as kinematic and dynamic viscosity. I have enjoyed using my chemical engineering background to contribute to Beyond Limits’ cognitive formulation solution, as I hadn’t previously thought about artificial intelligence as an application for chemical engineering. While I have worked in an agile development setting before, I am new to working on the product side and have enjoyed learning about technology through that lens.
I remember having friends and mentors tell me that working at a startup would be fast-paced and multifarious, but I only fully understood that when I began this internship. I have had the opportunity to step out of my chemical engineering background many times, and the work I am doing feels extremely important every day.
Even just among the interns, I have learned many new things about technology and software, and I have been able to share some of my on-campus research and knowledge about chemical engineering as well. Every person I encounter at this company has a wealth of knowledge that overlaps very little with my own. While my assigned mentor at Beyond Limits is an HR Business Partner, my manager has a computational mechanics/engineering background. It’s a stimulating environment that challenges me to think in new ways, more than I ever thought possible.
How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals?
Coming from a family of Software Engineers and having decided in high school that I did not want to pursue a career in software development, I have spent a good amount of college shying away from opportunities that scream “tech” while immersing myself more in physical science and laboratory research. However, at Beyond Limits, I have realized that data science, as a nascent and burgeoning field, is a subject I’m finding myself more drawn towards. I am already working toward earning my Master’s in Chemical Engineering, but if my program allows, I want to pursue more data science-related courses as well. Beyond Limits is a company with a unique environment; it’s a startup with projects that present a particular intersection of my chemical engineering background with Cognitive AI. This alone has made me want to work on more interdisciplinary projects.
Name: Tori Spiegel
Degree/Major: BS, Computer Science and Engineering
Position: Software Engineer Intern
Aside from being exposed to new languages and toolkits, this internship has given me the invaluable experience of working with highly skilled technical professionals and improving my communication skills. One of the most exciting things has been how much Beyond Limits cares about its interns. I have enjoyed our Lunch & Learns, which have allowed us to meet and pose questions to C-level Executives.
I’ve enjoyed the sense of community I’ve felt at Beyond Limits and my time here has shown me that I don’t want to just be another wheel in the cog at a big corporation. The most beneficial experience has been talking to my mentors about their past experiences and the lessons they’ve learned.
Going into this remote internship, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make the same interpersonal connections that would typically come about in an office environment. While it is unfortunate that we could not meet in the office, I still feel like I have been given a lot of opportunities to get to know the other interns and professionals at Beyond Limits through technical speaker functions and other social events. One of my favorite activities is game lunch, which I look forward to every week.
In my interviews with my current manager and Recruitment, they both shared how Beyond Limits employees have a great sense of pride in their work and can switch between projects to learn about a new technology peaking their interests. What made me want to spend my summer at Beyond Limits was the passion they had when talking about their work and the company. I also admired the flexibility Beyond Limits permits its employees because it would allow for more growth and help me make the most out of my time.
This internship is full of opportunities, and you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes and turn them into lessons learned. You’re encouraged to ask questions whenever you have them. The mentors are patient, understanding, and reassure you that there is no such thing as a “stupid” question. This encouragement to ask questions ensures you’ll get up to speed on the project faster.
Name: Omar Al-Tamimi
School: German Jordanian University, Jordan
Degree/Major: BS, Mechatronics Engineering
How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals? What has been the most beneficial experience for you?
During my interviews, I had stated that I would like to work on more classical approaches to problems that didn’t revolve around Deep Learning since I already have much experience on that topic. Beyond Limits has given me an opportunity to work on a project that allows me to think outside of the Deep Learning box and more about alternative approaches to certain problems.
After COVID-19 engulfed the world and started to spread quickly in the USA, I assumed that the internship program would be canceled, especially since I am from Jordan and would have to fly over, which was impossible due to the flight limitations. Suddenly I get a message stating that the internship was going remote, which came out of left field. It saddens me that I couldn’t meet with the other interns in person. It would have been exciting to visit the company’s office, to be enveloped within the full Beyond Limits experience. However, the HR team at Beyond Limits have been working hard (and succeeding) at providing us with a really good time during our internship.
Borrowing the words of Shia LaBeouf: “Just do it.” There will be no better experience than this. You will be able to gain a lot of experience, both in your own field and beyond, with tons of enjoyable moments alongside the rest of the Beyond Limits team.
Name: Ben Sorochuk
School: University of Washington
Degree/Major: BS, Chemical Engineering
Position: Process Engineer Intern
I’m fascinated by oil refining because of its complexity; you’ll never get bored. I specifically chose Beyond Limits because they play a unique, fascinating role in oil refining. I’m able to fulfill my interest in the refining industry while participating in the development of innovative AI solutions that can assist my fellow chemical engineers working in refineries.
How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals?
This experience has reinforced my interest in oil refining. It’s a very complex industry – there’s always more to learn with new challenges that keep things exciting. The internship has been a time of challenge, growth, and adaptability. I’ve learned a lot about how refineries work and have grown as a problem solver. Additionally, the challenge of working remotely has helped me recognize my preference for working with people in a more socially interactive office setting.
Knowing separation process fundamentals has been very beneficial, particularly for distillation. Oil refining demands comprehensive knowledge from many chemical engineering fundamentals, like heat transfer, thermodynamics, reactions, etc. Knowing these concepts is important for practicing good engineering judgment when optimizing a process or reacting to an issue.
Name: Natalie Salinas
School: California State University, Fullerton
Degree/Major: BA Business, Accounting Concentration
Position: Accounting Intern
My internship here at Beyond Limits has been nothing short of an amazing learning experience. I’ve been taught so many new skills that will prove to be useful in my future career. One of my main projects during this internship has been to migrate data to our new accounting software. This has involved several processes, such as formatting data into specific journal entry templates to allow for a smooth import. Additionally, I created manual journal entries into this new system to record bank transactions from prior months and ensured balances of different accounts matched the old system’s to ensure everything was recorded accurately.
What has been the most beneficial experience for you?
In school, I’ve always enjoyed the logical, analytical, and generally detailed aspects of accounting; however, I’ve never had the opportunity to work with real data before in order to truly know that this is the right career path for me. This internship experience has only further solidified my plans for a future career in accounting.
I would say not to feel intimidated, just go for it. The size of the company has allowed for a close-knit culture where everyone is there for each other. Even as an intern, you feel like you truly are a contributing member of the team. I would recommend an internship at Beyond Limits to anyone who is considering the opportunity.