Internship Lineup: Kurtis Kill

Tell me about your internship! What are your responsibilities? What projects are you working on over the summer?

I am part of the team at EcoLab. I was there last year, but since I'm doing the five-year integrated program, I'm back here again for the summer. This summer I'm working on a project where we work with data obtained by some border optimization to distributors. We're looking to get that data to business analysts here at Ecolab. We are setting up that data to go to Elastic and Snowflake, which are two products that we use internally to look at business analytics. Last year, I was involved in more of the behind the scenes work. I really enjoyed that aspect. This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to come back and continue work for EcoLab.

What is the most important thing you have learned thus far?

I was able to get a realistic look into how software engineering and related jobs actually work. I was able to get a close-up experience with the details around them. Being involved with the team and working on a project is a bit different in the true workplace setting. It was great to be able to experience that early on.

How did your research and school work prepare you for this role?

I’m a computer science major, so I've done a fair bit of coding. My position did not necessarily have as much coding, but when we do code, it's usually not one language. It's either Python and some SQL, typically. Having a wide range of different tools obtained during classes and figuring out different languages was helpful to me on this current internship that I'm working on.

How did you become interested in computer science and your specific areas of interest?

I became interested in computer science when I was young. That interest sparked out of a fondness for computers and working with them and using them. Robotics is one area that I'm interested in. That use of hardware is very interesting to me. I'm also interested in things like cyber security. And, of course, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) because that's kind of a hot topic right now.

What are your future career goals? How has this position impacted your goals?

I hope to one day have a stable and flexible career. I'm hoping to end up with a full-time position coming in next summer after I've completed my masters program. So I'd like to think that this would help out with that. Eventually, I would like some sort of job in aerospace. Right now, I’m figuring out if that’s the right path for me.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing a similar internship in the future?

I would say to do your research and look around at all the options. This research should extend just looking at the website. You should see what people say about the company and working there.

Is there anything else that you would like to highlight?

I'm working with a small satellite team over the summer with my club. I think that's a great resource. I feel like it's not very common to know about that club. So that's one people interested in action should join in, get familiar with that. It’s a great resume builder and an interesting experience.