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Lam’s Internships: Thinking Big, At Home

September 14, 2020

Interns joined Lam’s global team this summer, working alongside a community that encourages big ideas and challenges limits. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lam created a virtual intern program, prioritizing the health and safety of our interns while also offering an opportunity to gain valuable, real-world experience. Learn what it was like to intern at Lam during the summer of 2020 through the lens of one of our interns, Princess Lyons.

When businesses began to shut down in March, I remember thinking, “how exactly is the world going to keep turning?” In the middle of my first semester as a Ph.D. student and undergoing an intense intern housing search, I just knew the country would be shut down until the end of the year, meaning the internship program would be canceled. To my surprise, my remote internship went much smoother than I could have ever imagined. I met and worked with some extremely talented and welcoming people and had an intern experience like none before.

As a data science intern with Lam’s Service Analytics Research and Development team in the Customer Support Business Group, I was responsible for creating programs that automatically generate and filter parameters for a fleet monitoring application, which are currently in development for Lam’s etch chambers. The most challenging part about this project was starting from scratch. I was automating something that had been done manually and proved to be a time- and labor-intensive task. In the beginning, I dove into my project without much understanding of the problem as my goal was to impress my team by getting the automation done. However, frequent conversations with my mentors and supervisor reminded me that understanding the problem is step one of any project. I quickly regrouped my efforts and developed my project into something that had clear objectives, motivation, and outcomes of quality. It is nice to know that I was able to create something of value that will continue to develop and be integrated into something larger.

Mixing a pandemic with an internship really tested and improved both my technical and communication skills. I was caught off guard by the spectrum of skills I dusted off while working with the R&D team. My mentors also introduced me to many new skills and tools to increase my productivity. Many of which I will definitely be using in my future studies (i.e., Anaconda environments!). I even got the chance to see the true power of version control software in the midst of technical difficulties. This experience taught me that there are always new things to learn and that no one really stops learning. My favorite lesson being an analogy comparing the job of a data scientist to that of a chef. After all, a good chef wouldn’t cook with bad ingredients, right? During this pandemic and internship, this team showed me that adjustments can be made, and progress can continue. Their openness to share knowledge and experiences is something that will play an integral part in my professional development as a data scientist and added to an overall great summer internship with Lam.

To learn about Lam’s internship program, please visit our site for more information.

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