Actian Life

Introducing Our Interns!

Actian Corporation

July 29, 2020

Actian Interns

Each month, we will be featuring a different employee in our Employee Spotlight series. This series was born with the belief that your life experiences make you the unique person you are today and influence what you bring to the amazing culture here at Actian. We have chosen to feature those incredible individuals with a blog post dedicated to them.

Beginning on June 15th, Actian introduced 8 new interns ranging from teams in Engineering, Finance, DevOps, and Human Resources. We hope to make an environment where our interns can learn, explore their area of interest, and bring new innovations to the table. Welcome to the Actian family, interns!

JT Kirages

Software engineer intern

JT is a rising Sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Computer Science and minoring in technology and management. His interest in computer science first began by attending an eight-week course where he was introduced to Java and game design. Little did he know that this program would mark the beginning of his exploration into the tech world. After taking a few more classes in high school, JT became fascinated with the problem-solving aspect of Computer Science and having the ability to find his own creative solution to a technical problem.

During his time at Actian, JT hopes to improve his web design skills and learn how companies work on large projects together – a vital step that plays a huge role in reaching business goals. Although still exploring his options, JT envisions his future self either as a software engineer or managing the business side of a tech company.

In his free time, you can usually catch JT in a game of ultimate frisbee, playing one of the four instruments he knows (guitar, violin, ukulele, and piano!), or getting ready to head to a 6 am practice for his school’s rowing team. Something you might not know about JT is that he is a huge history buff. Growing up, he would watch all the history crash course videos with John Green. Some of his favorite childhood memories involved traveling to different national parks with his family. He has visited Utah, Colorado, and has even taken a road trip to Tennessee to visit different civil war monuments.


Victoria Dunkle

DevOps intern

Victoria is currently finishing up her last year at Southwestern University majoring in Computer Science. A few years back, Victoria was a single mother to three children while working full time at a daycare. Today, she is set to graduate with her degree in December, continues to explore different careers within engineering, and recently got married during this internship! Inspired by her father who works in computer engineering, when considering what career path to pursue, she thought, “well I am pretty much just like my dad, so let me try this out too”. Coming into Actian, she had no idea what the world of DevOps would entail. However, after her fourth week here, Victoria feels as if she has finally found her niche. In the future, she would now love a full-time career in DevOps.

Victoria’s favorite part of the internship so far is being able to learn from her peers while still having a level of autonomy in her work. She loves being able to start from the beginning stages of a project, receive guidance from her team, and then obtain a chance to do things on her own.  Not only has she seen self-growth through this process, but she has found it very valuable to see a project evolve from start to finish.

When she is not working on creating or configuring a VM, she can be found playing with her three children or learning to cook a new recipe in the kitchen (she recently learned how to make some bomb tacos!). If there is one quote that resonates with her the most, it would be love never fails, which fits perfectly with her kind, fun, and caring personality.

Sam Nichols

Software Engineer Intern

Sam is an incoming senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently pursuing a double major in electrical engineering and computer science. From a young age, Sam had always been intrigued by technology. After taking a couple of computer science classes in high school, he realized that he was really enjoying what he was learning. Although he has never worked with cloud computing or data storage prior to this internship, Sam felt compelled to apply to Actian because he was excited to be in a space that could challenge him and give him an opportunity to grow.

His favorite part of the internship so far has been the welcoming environment that Actian cultivates – despite the internship being fully remote. From day one, he recalls someone reaching out to him shortly after being introduced to the company, greeting him, and letting him know he could reach out if he had any questions. Working on the cutting-edge technology offered by Actian Avalanche, Sam looks forward to visualizing data in a meaningful way.

During his days off, you can usually find Sam playing ultimate frisbee, collecting unique Arizona tea cans (which is affordable because they are only a dollar!), or competing nationally on his school’s Rocket League team.

Sam can recall his first job offer at 16. No, it wasn’t walking his neighbors’ dog, working as a cashier, or being a camp counselor. Sam’s first job was interning at IBM as a research associate! Although he was one of the youngest people there, it was a great experience because everyone was very supportive of him.  This is why his advice to any new intern would be to spend the first week of your internship reaching out to as many people as you can. Not only will this make you feel comfortable in a new environment, but now you can direct any questions you have to the appropriate subject matter expert.

Rohan Battula

Software Engineer Intern

Rohan is an incoming Sophomore at UCLA majoring in Computer Science.  At ten years old Rohan received a gift that would change his life forever – a Lego Robotics Kit. Through this kit, he was able to program his first robot. Flash forward to a few years later, Rohan would become the mechanical and electrical lead for his high school’s robotics team which ultimately impacted what he wanted to study in college.

Rohan chose to intern at Actian because he was very interested about Actian’s data warehouse – having lots of appeal to him since it is the fastest solution in the market. Wanting to learn about the technologies behind this, he decided to apply for the internship, landing himself a spot on the performance engineering team.

His favorite part of the internship to date has been receiving hands-on experience. Not only does he enjoy the opportunity to dive deep into his work, but also appreciates working with low level optimization programming – which is a different way of thinking than he is used to. Rohan would love to continue the software engineering route in the future and eventually aspire to lead and manage a team.

In his free time, you can usually find Rohan driving lengthy hours for food, biking, or browsing online places for the latest streetwear fashion. Rohan’s advice to any new interns would be to not become discouraged when you reach a roadblock in your work. Instead, you should be proactive – reach out to your teammates and ask lots of questions!

Jonny Ng

Finance Intern

Jonny is a rising junior at the University of Michigan studying Business Administration. His first insight into business began by helping run his family’s donut shop (Shoutout, Donut Delight Express ). In fact, Jonny first heard about this internship through one of his parent’s loyal customers who happened to work at Actian! Although Jonny was mostly looking for experience in corporate financing, what truly caught his attention was the mentorship aspect of the internship. He wanted to be in a space where someone could break down financial concepts while exploring the day to day operations of a finance team. Additionally, being in finance, allows you to work cross-functionally which is something he appreciates.

Jonny’s favorite part of the internship so far has been meeting everyone through the company’s virtual happy hours and coffee chats. Through these events, he enjoys seeing everyone’s different personalities and interacting with people he usually wouldn’t see on a regular basis.

Outside of work, you can find Jonny practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reading, or being outdoors- either hiking or shooting some hoops. One life motto that resonates with him is, “not to take life too seriously”. He believes that you should work towards your goals but also have fun throughout the process. In the future, whatever career choice Jonny decides to pursue, there is one thing he undoubtedly would like to accomplish – retire his parents.

Jocelyn Liang

Marketing Data Analyst Intern

Jocelyn is a graduate student at Santa Clara University pursuing a Master of Science in Business Analytics. Born and raised in China, she came to America to pursue her master’s degree at 22 years old. She obtained her first master’s degree in accounting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However, after working in the field, she decided that she wanted to change her career path to a role where she could impact the future. This is when she decided to go back to school to pursue a degree as a data analyst. Being fascinated with data, Jocelyn is intrigued by how data analysts can implement their skills to predict what will happen in the future and produce data driven decisions.

During this internship, Jocelyn hopes to learn practical data analytic skills. Although she has worked on marketing analytic projects in college, often, the data used isn’t real-time and is relatively clean. She is excited to get her hands dirty and analyze some real, raw data that can make a difference for the company. Her favorite part of the internship so far is working with people from different departments as it provides her with a sneak peek on how other branches of the company operate.

One of Jocelyn’s favorite movies is The Lion King. She still remembers the first time her parents bought her the DVD – mostly because it was on repeat for what seemed like her entire childhood.  During her spare time, you can usually find Jocelyn playing with her cat Simba — an adorable short hair mix, who recently turned one year old.

Anna Bai

Software Engineer Intern

Anna is an incoming Sophomore at Rice University studying Computer Science. Coming from a family of engineers, Anna became interested in STEM early on in her life. During her four years of high school, she was involved with her school’s robotics team. Specifically, she worked in outreach, where she would organize STEM events for her local elementary schools. Anna soon realized however, that although her high school was very fortunate to have a strong encouragement of STEM education, other high schools in Texas were lacking this. To help resolve this issue, Anna co-founded a STEM advocacy organization. Through this, Anna was able to hold conferences in Austin and talk to legislatures about what could be done to expand STEM education across Texas.

Anna decided to apply to Actian because she wanted to challenge herself in other areas of Computer Science, such as back-end development. Throughout her interview process, what attracted Anna the most to this program was the constant emphasis that interns are here to learn. Anna explains how, “as a freshman, trying to find your first internship can be kind of intimidating, so knowing that I wasn’t expected to know everything made me feel much more comfortable”. Anna looks forward to learning from her experienced peers, working in teams, and presenting her final project to the company.

So far, Anna’s favorite part of the internship has been all the intern events. Whether it is a virtual lip sync battle or tiny campfire, they are all super engaging and a nice break from work. One of Anna’s favorite hobbies outside of work is calligraphy, specifically brush pen and watercolor lettering. Not only is it a nice therapeutic activity, but now she can say goodbye to boring lecture notes!

Amy Vides

HR Programs Intern

Now, transitioning to a rather interesting third person point of view…

Amy is an incoming junior at the University of California, Riverside studying Economics/Administrative studies. Born and raised in the bay area, Amy was always in awe by the growing number of tech companies around her. Though, she had always been more attracted to the business side of a company. Amy chose to study economics to learn more about the decision-making process of individuals, firms, and the economy.

Amy was sitting in an introductory business class when she first heard the phrase, “Human Resources Management”. Curious to learn more, Amy was excited to discover that Actian was hiring for an intern for the People Team – a unique role within people programs that offered hands on opportunity to impact Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Employer Branding, and Professional Development. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine her passion for working with people and her love for technology. Her favorite part of the internship to date has been getting to know everyone on her team and learning about the different facets of HR. Amy is excited to continue to learn how creativity, collaboration, and communication help contribute to the success of a company.

When Amy is not working, you can usually find her getting lost on hiking trails, searching for the best lattes in town, or trying to perfect a new dessert recipe. Amy also enjoys volunteering and giving back to her community. One of her most memorable summers was teaching web development to middle school girls in her area. It was such a rewarding experience that taught her how to develop a curriculum, accommodate to different learning styles, and listen to the needs of her students.

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About Actian Corporation

Actian is helping businesses build a bridge to a data-defined future. We’re doing this by delivering scalable cloud technologies while protecting customers’ investments in existing platforms. Our patented technology has enabled us to maintain a 10-20X performance edge against competitors large and small in the mission-critical data management market. The most data-intensive enterprises in financial services, retail, telecommunications, media, healthcare and manufacturing trust Actian to solve their toughest data challenges.