Intern interprets big data and builds entrepreneurial skills

Hope Damato
July 27, 2021

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories highlighting College of Information Sciences and Technology students and their summer internships.)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While every undergraduate student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) must complete at least one internship before graduating, many students wait until they’ve had a few years in the classroom to explore opportunities that may be a good fit.

But for Shubham Mishra, a rising sophomore studying data sciences in the college, he believed that if he was hardworking and willing to find an internship, he could be hired even though he had only just completed his first year. Now, as a data analyst intern in the information technology department at Intelligent Direct, Inc., he’s getting a fast start on building experience for his future career.

“For this position at this particular company, I was competing with many other recent graduates, and I was the youngest interviewee,” he said. “I think I was chosen because of my innovative ideas to help this company grow even more.”

His primary responsibilities are to help build end-user interfaces and implement his analytics tools to quickly analyze large data and transform it into easy-to-read reports. He visualizes big data using software like Power BI, Tableau and Alteryx to help the company produce strategic insights and inform decision making.

“This experience is pressure packed since this is my first internship,” he said. “I have been learning a lot about data visualization tools and its implementation in a short period of time.”

Intelligent Direct’s CEO assigns Mishra a new project every two weeks, with a goal of completing it within two to three days so his reports can be further analyzed and sent to end-users for real-life scenarios.

“It’s amazing to see how my projects are sent and used by clients,” he said. “I was assigned a mobile application distribution project where I had to distribute the mobile app via iOS to hundreds of clients using my XCode experience.”

Data privacy and management classes motivated Mishra to think outside of the box and start using data analytic tools on campus, which has helped him at his internship. They also helped him define his goals and prepare for life after graduation.

“My dream is to become an entrepreneur and this internship is teaching me both business and data skills which will further help me achieve my goals,” he said. “Working with end-user interfaces and using marketing facilities, I believe that these qualities will help me in the future to open up a startup company related to information system technology.”

He additionally wants to develop leadership skills and learn more about machine learning from his co-workers.

“The demand for data scientists and analysts has immensely increased due to evolution of more and more big data,” he said. “With the help of powerful tools, interpreting data has become way easier.”

Mishra’s sister, Anumeha, who earned her degree from Penn State’s College of Engineering in 2020, introduced him to the data sciences program. After doing more research, the variety of internship and career opportunities available to IST students helped Mishra decide to enroll in the college as an international student from New Delhi, India.

And although he has only completed one year at Penn State, he’s enjoying his time in the College of IST because of the work done to connect students through events and advance in their major through various professional and experiential opportunities.

“Even as a freshman, we were getting hundreds of opportunities every single day,” he said. “The faculty and staff in IST are super helpful, and they really want you to become successful.”

Last Updated July 27, 2021