It’s National Intern Day, which means it’s time to talk about Actian’s Summer Internship Program! Since launching this 12-week program in 2020, Actian’s internships have been centralized around intern capstone projects, engaging virtual events, all while being fully remote – this year however, they were able to add the exciting addition of a hybrid-remote Intern Orientation.
My name is Gabrielle Kray, and I am halfway through my internship as Actian’s Employee Experience Intern. I have learned so much about the People field these past 7-weeks and have felt appreciated for what I have brought to the table every step of the way. Being a global organization, it has also been an exciting time of meeting and working with people cross-functionally. . I am looking forward to learning more as I continue my internship but let’s talk about what has been going on so far!
The first thing to note about Actian’s internship program is that every internship has a capstone project. This project is meant to be the interns’ focus, where over the course of the twelve weeks they will be able to plan, organize, and complete it with the guidance of their manager and buddy. As Actian is a remote first organization, this helps ensure that interns do not fall into the pitfalls of other internships – where interns are brought on as less expensive, temporary worker, with unfocused objectives or relegated meaningless tasks. This helps ensure that it is a learning experience that benefits the interns, as well as the organization.
The project I am working on this summer is to migrate Actian’s New Hire Orientation to an asynchronous format, that a new hire can go through at their own pace. Benefits to this would be that the program will be digestible, engaging, and it provides us an opportunity to be more thorough. What’s more, it will provide course materials they can return to in case they need reference information. In addition to the asynchronous orientation, there will also be a monthly synchronous gathering of new hires to answer all their questions, provide an opportunity for networking, and offer engagement with our leadership. Altogether, this orientation will be a proper welcome to our company!
So far, I have planned out how the orientation will flow, generated ideas on how to create an engaging program, and got to work creating the materials we will be presenting. Soon, with the help of the Employee Experience Team, I will be recording content and uploading it to the course to our internal platform Actian Academy! I have faced challenges, like worrying I would not reach my completion goals, or not always feeling like I knew all the content I like I should, but in the end, everything was a learning curve, and my team had my back. It is really satisfying to see how the first half of my internship, which was spent learning the ins and outs of new hire orientation and creating a game plan with my team, is starting to come to life!
The second feature to note about our internship is that it has been fully remote (outside of the optional in-person attendance of Intern Orientation). Actian has provided all the essentials for completing our projects, along with structured learning plans, and we don’t even have to worry about commuting! As with most remote first companies, we communicate through chat, email, and video calls. We also have employee events and weekly intern events to give us space to connect.
Speaking of weekly intern events, we recently had an exciting one. Rae Coffman-Bueb and Sara Lou, who direct the intern program, sent each of us a small kit that included tea candles, a small lighter, and all the necessary ingredients for s’mores! The event was called “Tiny Camp Fire” where we lit three little tea lights in a triangle and roasted ‘mallows while telling spooky stories. I certainly got the chills!
This year, we had an aspect to the internship program that hadn’t been an option until now – the ability to attend Intern Orientation in-person at the Round Rock, Texas office! Those that wanted to were flown in from all over the country, where we got to not only attend the hybrid orientation, but also get in some team building time too! My fondest memory was when we all bussed down to the Congress Avenue Bridge and watched thousands of bats flood the sky during their migration. We then made our way down to the round rock for which the city of Round Rock was named and took this iconic picture:
It was such a blast, and I hope that in future years the in-person orientations will continue!
As this is International Intern Day, I would like to introduce our group of Actian’s 2022 interns. They are a phenomenal bunch!
Ashwin Ramakrishna (he/they)
Revenue Operations Analyst Intern
Ashwin Ramakrishna is from Saratoga, California. He attends UC Davis and is an incoming Junior in Economics. In Actian, they are currently working to automate the sales recommendation engine process to make analysis in lead processing more efficient. He learned about the internship through his family friend who is an Actian Employee and thought it would be an incredible learning opportunity. In their free time, Ashwin teaches himself piano, and enjoys going to concerts.
Henry McKinney (he/him)
Cloud Operations Analyst Intern
Henry McKinney is Actian’s Cloud Operations Analyst Intern. He is currently studying at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Math, Finance, and Analytics. He first found Actian through LinkedIn, met his manager, and decided it would be a wonderful place to work, especially with the opportunity to work in the cloud space.
Henry is currently assisting the project manager on the cloud operations team. Using JIRA, he is helping reorganize tasks, as well as implementing a new project type that has additional features such as timeline view and priority. He values getting this bird’s eye view of an IT operations team and understanding of an Agile mindset. He is learning how to make operations efficient and scalable by working with developers and project managers in the cloud space.
During his free time, he loves to read non-fiction, train for hockey, and learn about new tech.
Nikita Gaurihar (she/her)
Nikita Gaurihar is an Engineering Intern at Actian. She is currently pursuing a Master of Information Systems at the Northeastern University in Boston; however, she already has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from India where she is from! She moved from India to the United States to gain more opportunities in roles that focus on data engineering, analytics, and Machine Learning.
During this internship, she is working on a project to design and develop a data pipeline solution to create a Data Vault Schema for Actian. She values the experience she is gaining by working with data, as it will bring her closer to her goal of becoming a Data Scientist!
When she is relaxing after work, she enjoys playing badminton with her husband & friends, or taking a stroll on the beach.
Linson Miranda (he/him)
Business Intelligence and Analytics Intern
Linson is pursuing his Master’s in Business Analytics at the University of Texas at Dallas. A techie at heart, he knew he wanted to work at an organization where he would have the opportunity to grow significantly as a summer intern and create an impact on the company’s future. And Actian was the perfect fit!
This summer, Linson is working as a Business Intelligence and Analytics Intern with the Customer Enablement & Revenue Operations team. Keeping in line with Actian’s aim to grow its market footprint, his capstone project revolves around building a customer 360 demo using the Actian Data Platform, their flagship product.
When he is not busy analyzing customer data or reading, Linson loves playing the guitar and binge-watching sit-coms!
Joshua Reyes (he/him)
Josh is a Finance Major studying at the University of San Francisco. His aim this year was to gain experience in his field, and when he found this internship, he appreciated that it was specifically focused on financial analysis, which is his main interest! His internship capstone project is to create a financial forecasting model to predict future costs from cloud service vendors that Actian works with.
So far, Josh has valued experiencing the work environment and finds it interesting seeing the implementation of the skills he learned in college. When he wants to have a fun time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, watching sports, and going to the gym!
Riya Singla (she/her)
Riya is majoring in Computer Science at UT Austin. When she applied for Actian, she was originally interested in the Software Engineering internship, but when she received a recommendation to try out DevOps, she decided to go for it! As her main project this summer, Riya is writing a script to automatically deploy Terraform templates every time a git repository updates. During her experience as DevOps, she learned new perspective on software engineering, understanding that code in the writing process needs to be checked for a strong framework before it reaches a production environment. She hopes to return to the world of software engineering with this new perspective to enrich her work.
Maddie Heath (she/her)
Maddie Heath is from Carmel, Indiana, and a rising Junior at IU Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business. She first found the Actian Internship online and was excited at the opportunity to work within the technology industry! While her primary responsibilities are managing Actian’s blog and tagging content via UberFlip, she manages many different projects and continually offers support to the marketing team. Despite her allergies, Maddie is a cat person, and has two cats. She spends her time fundraising for charity through designing art and clothes and spending time with her family.
Andi Wagner (she/they)
Software Engineering Intern
Andi is based in Round Rock, Texas, close to the Actian office! They are currently a senior at the University of Dallas, majoring in Computer Science. When she came across this internship, they thought it would be a great learning and networking opportunity. What more, she found that based on the reviews online, employees loved the company, so she chose to apply!
Their main project this summer is to implement an Apache Camel extension into DataConnect, which will allow for the implementation of Camel routes seamlessly through the product. After work, Andi enjoys spending time with her dog, Loki, exploring, eating, and playing video games.
Matthew Jackson (he/him)
Zen Engineering Intern
Matt is from Round Rock, Texas, right by the Actian office! He is an incoming freshman for the Colorado School of Mines and will be studying Computer Science. He is an engineering intern, working with the team that manages Zen, Actian’s database management system. He started off his internship focusing on the migration from CMWiki to Confluence, by writing a program to scrape data from CMWiki, process it, and upload it all to Confluence. Once he completed this project, he started his next one, setting up an app that will serve as an example of how customers can use BRestful API in Btrieve 2. This will improve the implementation of the product for users. Outside of work, Matt really enjoys music. One of his favorite pastimes is busking on the street with his Jazz Band.
Gabrielle Kray (she/her)
Employee Experience Intern
Gabrielle is from Sunnyvale, California. She is an incoming freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. This summer she joined the Employee Experience team as an intern, finding it the perfect opportunity to explore the field of HR. Her focus during her internship is to build an asynchronous new hire orientation that is digestible, engaging, and thorough. She found that this project gave her perspective on the needs and experiences of a new hire. After work, Gabrielle loves spending time with her family and friends, and taking short hikes in nature.
Written by Gabrielle Kray