By CS Major and PINC mentor: Aanchal Narad
PINC held a ‘Professional Development Seminar’ on the evening of Oct 27, 2017. It was aimed for PINC students to get the right motivation in terms of preparation, to get ready for industry level jobs. The seminar was strategically divided into three sessions- The Poster Session, Students Panel Session and lastly, tips from an experienced professional.
PINC students who are in the third semester of the program are taking CSc 698 Research Project Class this semester with Professor Anagha Kulkarni. In this class they have been working on interesting projects that involve biology concepts, along with utilizing their knowledge of computation that they have been learning in the past CSC 306 and CSC 307 PINC classes. These students affixed their posters on the walls and demonstrated the progress of their projects to the their audience. Overall, poster session helped the presenters to refine their presentation skills and their ideas on their projects while speaking and by getting feedback from the audience. It also helped students who are in the early stages of PINC program to be inspired by the kind of computational projects they will be able to do with the classes that they are currently taking.
Student summer experience panel
This panel consisted of three PINC students who gained experience over the summer working as interns.
The first student Gerardo Aquilar, worked at Genentech as a Data Analyst Intern over the summer. He discussed his process and time of application and how he got the internship. He said, “It’s because of PINC that I was able to get an internship at Genentech.” During the interview process, his interviewer was impressed when Gerardo mentioned that he knows programming in Python. The job actually required R programming, but the interviewer could see that Gerardo had the ability to learn R. Gerardo learned R by himself during his three months of internship. A student asked, “How did this internship benefit him?” To which he said that he now has data analytics experience which at first was alien to him. He was also offered a full time job at Genentech, which inspired many students to follow his route and take advantage of being in PINC program.
The next panelist Gabriella Tenorio, shared her experience of working as a research intern at SFSU as part of an REU program (Research Experience for Undergraduates). She shared how she heard about the opportunity and what the application procedure includes. She highlighted some important points about the application deadline, that students took note of. Her job as a research intern in bioinformatics included to look into HIV sequences, create simulations and much more. In the end, she presented her research to the entire department and tested out simulation work. She concluded by saying that she learned a lot in nine weeks of research and one week of lab, and that students should check out SF State’s REU application and apply if they are interested.
The third student on the panel was by Nicole Rodrigues, who spent her summer at MIT. She discussed the requirements and eligibility criteria to get in the program. She was fascinated by the variety of research done by professors at MIT. During the summer, she had freedom to approach the professors and know about their work, so she gained a better idea of what interests her the most. Overall, it was a great experience to network and get familiar with the diverse research going on at prestigious colleges such as MIT.
The last student on the panel was Cheng Li, a graduate student in Computer Science at SF State. He was a Wind River Software Engineer Intern this past summer. He built Continuous Integration Infrastructure with Linux team. He emphasized to use certain keywords when making profile on platforms such as LinkedIn and Handshake. He shared his interview process and how important these projects are that students are taking in PINC. These are the kinds of projects that companies out there are looking for new graduates to have experience in. He next talked about the career fair and other networking opportunities.
Tips for your resume
The last session was held by Linda Chen, a well experienced professional from the Biology Department at SF State. She has experience in helping Biology students get a job in industry. She shared her insights on the websites where students have had success in searching for jobs. She gave very meaningful tips and tricks on improving your resume. She mentioned how important these skills are that students are learning in PINC. The programming and computational knowledge has an increased demand in the the industry and it helps students stand out from other applicants applying for the same job. She encouraged students to keep up their hard work in PINC because it will pay off in the end. They are on the right track!
The PINC students thought the event was useful
For example, one student wrote: “It was great hearing from students and how the CS skills has helped them get internships and jobs. Also hearing all the resume info and hearing ways to network and find ways to do with skills are all very valuable. PD is great and meeting/collaboration across cohorts is very beneficial. Thank you.”