MIT Student/Alumni Externship Program

This is the final post in a series from two MIT students—Shawn Wen ’13 and Taylor Yates MBA ’14—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers reported on what they learned and how the experience informed their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor. Read the other posts in this series.

Guest Blogger: Shawn Wen ’13
Extern sponsor: Jon Glaudemans ’80
Company: Ascension Health, Washington, DC
Externship: health policy analysis

Shawn (far left) and her older brother (right) enjoying dinner with Becky Donnellan ’72 (back left) and her family.

Clockwise, from front left: Shawn Wen ’13, Meaghan Karch (daughter of Shawn’s host, Becky Donnellan), Becky Donnellan ’72, Nate Karch (Becky’s husband), and Jason Wen (Shawn’s brother).

As I wrap up my final week at Ascension Health (AH), I am amazed at what I have had the opportunity to do this month. In this past week alone, I have attended congressional hearings; participated in an Alliance for Health Reform briefing on strategies for bending the health-cost curve; researched and prepared data charts on Medicaid Expansion for the CEO of AH; and learned about new, effective practices for reducing shoulder dystocia, a high-trauma birth event, from AH’s director of clinical excellence. I also have been invited to the David Winston Health Policy Gala to cap off my final night in Washington, DC!

What I have come to appreciate is the strength of the MIT connection. It’s something that has been well articulated by others before, but it hadn’t resonated with me so strongly until this externship experience. Becky Donnellan ’72 generously opened up her home and family to me, and my sponsor, Jon, despite traveling extensively, spent the few days he was in our DC office giving me insights on how to lead effectively, make others believe in your vision, and connect with others in professional and personal domains.

Amazingly, everyone I have met has taken a personal interest in helping me, an undergrad, despite their high-profile careers and busy lives. When prompted about my passions, I shared my ongoing work on a low-cost typhoid diagnostic system targeting resources-limited healthcare settings in developing countries, and immediately Jon and Becky both started lining up connections for me. The support was certainly unexpected, and it amazes me how they are personally and genuinely invested in me simply because we share a common alma mater. I doubt this exists at any other institution. Their desire to see me succeed and my desire to make them proud are powerfully motivating. I know I will stay in touch with them in the future.

In short, the Alumni Association’s Student/Alumni Externship Program is one of the most valuable and rewarding opportunities I’ve had at MIT—everyone should take advantage of it. Working at AH helped me build a critical understanding of barriers to the delivery and consumption of healthcare, which I know I will draw upon as a future physician. More importantly, interacting with Becky and Jon opened me up to a whole network of amazing people and helped me appreciate and recognize the type of mentor and person I aspire to become. I couldn’t have planned a more rewarding fourth and final IAP and am so wonderfully grateful to have had this opportunity.

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This is part of a series of posts from two MIT students—Taylor Yates MBA ’14 and Shawn Wen ’13—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor. Read the other posts in this series.

Guest Blogger: Taylor Yates MBA ’14
Extern sponsor: Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06
Company: FeedZai, Redwood City, CA
Externship: business development and marketing associate

Taylor Yates MBA ’14

Taylor Yates MBA ’14.

Small confession: I didn’t know that “deck” meant “PowerPoint presentation” before business school…. How far I’ve come. Today I presented my very own deck to, among others, FeedZai’s founders.

I shed more than a little bit of sweat—and maybe a few tears—putting together my presentation, the culmination of my IAP externship. I knew the audience would be knowledgeable and engaged; founders invest too much of their own time and money to leave room for nonsense and BS. This was high in my mind as I tried to deliver tangible value through my research.

That’s a tall order when you’re asked to master the entire payments processing industry in a matter of weeks. As my first job in Silicon Valley, how this might impact my, MIT’s, and the MBA’s reputation was not lost on me. The last thing I wanted was for my audience to walk away saying “Well, that was disappointing.”

Then again, tall orders are MIT’s specialty.

Through the help of my IAP sponsor, Cathy Chang, and the frameworks I learned at MIT Sloan, I put together a presentation that was fairly well received. Hearing myself speak was somewhat surreal, I could not believe how confidently I detailed a subject that only a few weeks ago had been as unfamiliar as California itself. Nor could I believe how confidently I was able to suggest a course of action to a group that, for all intents and purposes, had no reason to listen to me.

I suppose that is the power of these externships. Not only have I learned a great deal about FeedZai’s business, I’ve learned an enormous amount about what it means to be an MIT student. People simply assume you’re smart and can do the tough jobs. The responsibility of carrying those expectations gracefully is very humbling. Learning that was at least as valuable as learning about tech start-ups.

Ultimately the audience was very happy with my analysis and identified interesting areas for further research. I really could not have asked for a better outcome and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that FeedZai, the Student/Alumni Externship program, and Cathy gave me. Thanks for reading!

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This is part of a series of posts from two MIT students—Taylor Yates MBA ’14 and Shawn Wen ’13—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor. Read the other posts in this series.

Guest Blogger: Taylor Yates MBA ’14
Extern sponsor: Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06
Company: FeedZai, Redwood City, CA
Externship: business development and marketing associate

From left: Extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14 with his externship sponsor, Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06.

From left: Extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14 with his externship sponsor, Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06.

It’s amazing how much you can learn in a week at a start-up.

Last Monday, I had no idea what America’s payments industry looked like, despite having a degree in economics and finance. Now, through my externship at FeedZai and with help from my externship sponsor, I’m starting to speak a whole new language.

I’ve been spending sunny California days listening to my favorite 80’s playlists as I read reports about payment processing and fraud, searching for where exactly FeedZai fits in. I had grand aspirations when I started that somehow I could answer all of the company’s key strategic questions. I’ve been humbled by the complexity and sheer scale of the task.

FeedZai’s CEO, Nuno Sebastiao, told me once that venture capitalists don’t back start-ups that might be the next $50 million success story; they back companies that might be the next billion dollar success story. That’s a whole lot of money to be made, and it’s my job to find out where it might be.

I’ve made time to learn as much as I can from the team around me. Cathy and Nuno have shared spectacular insights that I could only get from working at a start-up in an IAP externship. For example, it is incredibly difficult to recruit talent in a start-up in the US because our career-oriented culture makes Americans exceptionally skilled interviewees. While this is good for the job applicants, it presents a challenge for a CEO trying to build the team that will drive them to success.

With only two weeks left in my externship, I am looking forward to seeing my work come to fruition and make an impact on a company I have come to deeply respect.

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This is part of a series of posts from two MIT students—Shawn Wen ’13 and Taylor Yates MBA ’14—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor. Read the other posts in this series.

Guest Blogger: Shawn Wen ’13
Extern sponsor: Jon Glaudemans ’80
Company: Ascension Health, Washington, DC
Externship: health policy analysis

Shawn at a Congressional hearing.

Shawn at a Congressional hearing.

This past Sunday, a day before President Obama’s Inauguration, I visited Mount Vernon Gardens and Estate. The property itself was beautiful, but perhaps the most poignant part about being at the former home of George and Martha Washington was being reminded of one of our first President’s greatest marks of leadership: his firm belief in the peaceful transfer of power and its shaping influence on how the US political system operates today.

As I watched the Inauguration on Monday among a mass of about 800,000 people packed onto the National Mall, I couldn’t help but feel lucky and moved to be a part of history. In 2009, President Obama made history by becoming the first African American President of the United States. This Monday marked a different kind of history. The nation faces extremely challenging issues, but like President Washington, we must find sound judgment despite being in uniquely challenging circumstances without any guiding precedence.

Scenes from the Inauguration crowd.

The view from the crowd at the Inauguration earlier this week.

A day after the Inauguration, the 113th Congress wasted no time in beginning hearings. I attended hearings at the Energy and Commerce and the Ways and Means Committees. Successes at the Energy and Commerce Committee, which included markup of pending legislation (including the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act and National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013), were mixed with heated discussions about the debt ceiling at the Ways and Means Committee. Sloan Professor Simon Johnson PhD ’89, who gave testimony at the Ways and Means hearing, warned that failure to increase the debt ceiling would seriously and permanently undermine our standing in credit markets, increase interest rates, and worsen the budget deficit, which would have detrimental effects in the global economy.

What I am coming to appreciate about policy and governance is the interconnectedness of issues and the resulting challenges of finding comprehensive solutions. In the three hours of the hearing, no clear action steps were laid out. If anything, a world of challenges and exceptions were raised. But perhaps that’s how policy works. Dialogue is laboriously slow but critically necessary to allow all stakeholders to be heard, every viewpoint to be considered, and the most well-informed policy decisions to be made.

Scenes from the Inauguration crowd.

Scenes from the Inauguration crowd.

At the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

At the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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This is part of a series of posts from two MIT students—Shawn Wen ’13 and Taylor Yates MBA ’14—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor.

Guest Blogger: Shawn Wen ’13
Extern sponsor: Jon Glaudemans ’80
Company: Ascension Health, Washington, DC
Externship title: health policy analysis

Preparations for Inauguration Day at the Capitol Building.

Preparations for Inauguration Day at the Capitol Building.

Ascension Health (AH) is one of the largest health systems in the US, operating a network of over 400 hospitals and medical centers across the country, and I am lucky to call AH’s policy and advocacy office in Washington, DC, my home base this IAP. In just my first week, I have been warmly welcomed by a tight-knit office community and have been fully immersed in the excitingly fast-paced world of health policy. Some days, I am in the office in downtown DC, researching and preparing reports on various topics, such as mental health services to be included in the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits package and implications of the recent changes in Medicare coverage for skilled nursing and therapy services for chronically ill beneficiaries.

Other days, I am tagging along with AH’s senior VP of policy, and I find myself in boardrooms in the company of some of the most influential thought leaders in health care as they engage in earnest discussions about the key driving forces in the health industry; threats of the upcoming budget talks on Medicaid reimbursement rates; and the necessity of moving away from a fee-for-service reimbursement system, which rewards high quantity of services, to shared savings, which rewards high-quality and coordinated care. Every day, I aim to develop more clarity on the world of complex challenges that bar cost-effective delivery of health care in the United States.

Next time, I’ll cover my thus-far fantastic experience living with an MIT alum and Inauguration Day.

About Shawn Wen ’13
I am a premed senior studying brain and cognitive sciences. The most interesting experience I’ve had at MIT has been working on implementing an electricity-free typhoid diagnostic system in resources-limited health-care settings in rural Nepal as an MIT International Development Initiative Technology Dissemination Fellow. Before beginning medical school, I plan on spending a gap year in Nepal channeling MIT’s fundamental principles of innovation and entrepreneurship into my personal engagement with global health and public service. I’m excited to explore yet another side of health-care delivery this IAP.

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This is the first in a series of posts from two MIT students—Taylor Yates MBA ’14 and Shawn Wen ’13—involved in the 2013 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connects current students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. These bloggers will report on what they learn and how the experience informs their career journeys. Alumni, learn how to get involved as a sponsor.

Guest Blogger: Taylor Yates MBA ’14
Extern sponsor: Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06
Company: FeedZai, Redwood City, CA
Externship title: business development and marketing associate

From left: Externship sponsor Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 and extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14.

From left: Externship sponsor Yue Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 and extern Taylor Yates MBA ’14.

I’ve taken a deep dive into my externship at FeedZai, a real-time fraud-prevention tech start-up. Real-time fraud prevention is the art and science—okay, mostly science—of catching fraudsters in the seconds it takes to swipe and approve/decline a stolen credit card. FeedZai thinks it can do this better than anyone.

My role as “our MIT guy,” as the CEO referred to me on my second day, is to identify and analyze the trends in payment processing that will impact fraud and whether FeedZai’s strategy is taking advantage of those trends. It’s a big project that Sloan alumna Cathy Chang MBA ’06, SM ’06 brought me on to tackle.

Every day I am digging through reports, white papers, and PowerPoint presentations to learn as much as I can, and I love it. For me, there are few things more gratifying than learning as much as you can about a topic and being challenged to digest it into useful information. Cathy touches base with me every day and expects me to have weighty questions, which helps keep me on task and out of Wikipedia rabbit holes.

I’m finding that it is critical to be humble in the tech industry, especially for MBAs. The leading edge here is so far ahead of the rest of the world that you need to keep reminding yourself: there’s a lot to do and you know nothing, so you better enjoy learning through doing.

About Taylor Yates MBA ’14
I  moved to Cambridge from Virginia, where I worked variously in cyber security and international development. After working on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, I came to MIT to pursue an MBA with a focus on technology. I survived Course 15’s infamous core semester and even found time to enjoy working on the MIT $100K competition with undergraduate students, the really smart people at MIT.

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Guest blogger: Joseph Cutrufo, program coordinator, WalkBoston

Mariko Davidson at work on the Spicket River Greenway.

Mariko Davidson at work on the Spicket River Greenway.

This past January, two local nonprofit organizations enlisted the help of MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning graduate students Mariko Davidson and Jocelyn Drummond to work on a project aimed at making Lawrence, Massachusetts, more walkable. Davidson and Drummond, along with the pedestrian advocacy organizations WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence, which builds healthy communities through environmental and open-space improvements, developed a plan that addresses pedestrian safety issues and increases walkability around the Spicket River Greenway, which is currently under construction.

Lawrence was established as one of the earliest planned industrial cities in the mid-1800s with a thriving industry based on textile mills. Today, it is one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts and has the highest rate of obesity and diabetes in the Commonwealth. On the surface, the Spicket River Greenway is a recreational path where residents can walk, run or bike. But Davidson and Drummond learned that this particular greenway means so much more than that to Lawrence. In addition to creating a linear park, this three-mile long “emerald bracelet” connects a variety of open spaces and neighborhoods, helps the community achieve the dual goals of riverfront restoration and neighborhood revitalization, remediates a contaminated brownfield, and reduces chronic flooding. Now Groundwork Lawrence and WalkBoston are working to link this area’s schools and major employers to the new Greenway. Without sidewalks or crosswalks, it will be difficult and potentially dangerous for pedestrians to access the path.

Davidson and Drummond developed a plan that highlights safe pedestrian routes and proposes design solutions to connect people by foot from throughout Lawrence to the Greenway. This plan is a critical component in the partnership between WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence, and it will help direct future initiatives of the City of Lawrence’s Mayor’s Health Task Force.

After meeting with the WalkBoston and Groundwork Lawrence staff, they assessed the existing conditions of routes connecting schools and other key institutions, such as Lawrence General Hospital, with the Greenway. Then they identified problem areas—dangerous intersections and places where sidewalks are in disrepair—and mapped them. They also created a list of recommendations that will improve access to and from the Greenway.

Davidson and Drummond are also working on interpretive signage for the Greenway to enhance trail users’ experiences by telling stories about sites along the Greenway. They conducted research at the Lawrence History Center, combing through achives, newspaper articles, photos, postcards, and oral archives to develop signage that will be located at sites including the Arlington Mills and the former location of the Oxford Paper company.

Moving forward, the work Davidson and Drummond have produced will help guide WalkBoston’s work with Groundwork Lawrence in making Lawrence a more walkable, livable community.

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There just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything your company needs to get done. But give them four short weeks and MIT students can offer impressive results on some of those more challenging projects.

Here are four examples, written by alumni, of how their companies sought out students for a win-win experience: students discovered real-world applications of their classroom learnings while alumni benefitted from the special expertise students brought to their work.

This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

Guest blogger: Adam Blake MBA ’11, marketing director, ThriveHive
My initial exposure to the MIT Student-Alumni Externship Program came as a participant during my first semester as an MBA student. I instantly fell in love with the program because of the opportunity it provided to gain exposure to not only a new industry, but also a new culture, a challenging project, and everything else that comes from working in a new company.

From left: Max Faingezicht MBA '11, Deborah Chen '14, Xenia Antipova '13, Brent Wu MBA '13, Adam Blake MBA '11.

From left: Max Faingezicht MBA ’11, Deborah Chen ’14, Xenia Antipova ’13, Brent Wu MBA ’13, and Adam Blake MBA ’11.

Fast forward a couple years, and when the opportunity to be a sponsor for the program arose, my classmate and coworker Max Faingezicht MBA ’11 and I jumped at the chance to sponsor some current students. After the MBA program we both joined a small-business-marketing software startup in Cambridge called ThriveHive, and we knew there were an almost limitless number of projects we could put together for current students. We posted a couple of relatively broad job descriptions to try to attract the most creative and motivated students. After meeting with a few applicants, we designed projects that we felt would match the passion of the students while simultaneously meeting the real needs of our startup. We don’t have the resources to waste time with students just hanging around the office, so everyone had to be working on important projects.

Our externs were Brent Wu MBA ’13, Deborah Chen ’14, and Xenia Antipova ’13. Brent, a first-year Sloanie, made use of his business background to put together a go-to market kit for one of our target markets. Deborah, a Course 6 sophomore who has already acquired some strong database skills, tackled a very challenging project centered on optimizing the complex backend of our software. Xenia, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in architecture, used her analytical design skills to devise better ways for us to visualize our customer facing data.

Startups never have enough bandwidth to get everything done on the wish list, and finding enough smart and motivated people to solve problems is always a challenge. With the addition of our externs, January was full of energy and progress. Three or four weeks is a short amount of time for students to come up to speed and actually accomplish something, but it’s absolutely doable. We’re looking forward to participating again next year.

Guest blogger: Vesta Marks ’00, portfolio manager, UCM Partners, LP
This was the third time UCM Partners has participated in the Student/Alumni Externship Program, and I can say with confidence that this experience was our best thus far. The most impactful difference was that we were able to host two students this year—Diana Hsieh ’13 and Michael Farid ’14—as opposed to just one.

From left to right Vesta Marks '00, Course 18; Diana Hsieh '13, Course 14; Michael Farid '14, Course 2; Jay Menozzi '85, Course 6; and Boris Peresechensky.

From left: Vesta Marks ’00, Course 18; Diana Hsieh ’13, Course 14; Michael Farid ’14, Course 2; Jay Menozzi ’85, Course 6; and Boris Peresechensky.

Within the first two days, I was reminded how quickly MIT students self-organize into a team dynamic that fosters collaboration, idea sharing, and specialization. This ethos propelled our externs along the learning curve much more quickly than if they would have been working singly. It was impressive to see how quickly the team-oriented approach took root and observing it provided me with a pleasant reminder of the culture that exists on campus. [click to continue…]

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Guest blogger: Brad Edelman ’93, CTO, Fingerprint Digital, Inc.

Grad student Carrie Cai with teammates at the Fingerprint Digital office in San Francisco.

Grad student Carrie Cai with teammates at the Fingerprint Digital office in San Francisco.

When I was an undergraduate at MIT, I learned a lot from my coursework but look back with a special fondness on my UROP and summer internships. MIT excels in the theoretical, and students who combine that with some hands-on experience and real-world pragmatism make amazing employees when they enter the workplace. As such, it’s always been a joy for me to host MIT externships and summer internships. This IAP was no exception. At Fingerprint Digital, we hosted Carrie Cai, currently earning her PhD in computer science at MIT and already an MA in education from Stanford. What an amazing extern for our company in the mobile educational games space!

In just three weeks, Carrie had a wide range of experiences. She worked with our engineers to understand our software development kit (SDK) and did a great job improving our written developer integration guide. At the same time, she developed from start to finish a Hangman word game to use as a sample application to include with the SDK. She also had the opportunity to attend outside meetings with our development partners and gain insight into how technical decisions are influenced by business interests and economic realities. And she offered lots of feedback and ideas for improvement in both the UI/UX and curriculum in our upcoming title, Kid Explorer. She even got exposure to our meetings with current and potential investors.

It was refreshing to experience Carrie’s youthful idealism and can-do attitude. We had a fun discussion where Carrie couldn’t understand why basic audio/video capabilities are taking so long to become true cross-browser, cross-platform standards. Frankly, she’s right. It’s a bit hard to believe that these things can take years when on a technical basis, a solution is not only within reach but already robustly implemented. And we could go from there to talking about Fourier analysis and speech recognition and even a tangential detour into cryptography. She says I remind her of the intense MIT undergraduates—to which I say, right back at her! It makes me reminisce for those days when information came at me like a fire hose. MIT keep up the good work!

The externship flew by, and we took Carrie out to lunch on her last day; we wanted to send her off with a little celebration. We got back from lunch at about 2:00 p.m. and she decided to start a new project. Now that’s initiative! In her last four hours in the office, Carrie produced a video showing step-by-step in XCode how easy it is to add the Fingerprint platform to an iOS application. Her idea, her script, her production—and done in a matter of hours on her last day. The power of youth and the amazing capabilities of an MIT student—what a combination!

Carrie became not just a productive contributor but also a true member of our team. We’re really going to miss having her around.

*Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

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Energy research has become an increasingly important part of the MIT culture, and with students now pursuing minors in energy studies, they are often on the lookout for practical ways to use what they’ve learned. Some of the most fruitful experiences happen with the help of alumni.

Here are three stories of alumni welcoming MIT students into their energy-focused companies to learn about different aspects of the industry and the benefits the students offered in return.

This is part of a series of posts from MIT students and alumni who were involved in the 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program, which connected current students to alumni in workplaces worldwide during MIT’s Independent Activities Period. Alumni, learn how to get involved. This is just one way for alumni to interact with MIT students. Learn about other opportunities.

Guest blogger: Jon Garrity ’11, product strategy specialist, GE Energy
Digital Energy, GE Energy’s Atlanta-based smart grid business, hosted two externs over IAP. Fan Wei ’12 and Jorge Moreno, a grad student in the System Design and Management program,  spent four weeks developing analytics around distributed solar energy. Fan’s mathematics background combined with Jorge’s considerable experience in the energy industry made them a formidable team. The first day we gave them project and company background, and by day two, they were off and running.

From left: Externs Fan Wei '12, grad student Jorge Moreno, and host Jon Garrity '11

From left: Externs Fan Wei ’12, grad student Jorge Moreno, and host Jon Garrity ’11.

Our utility customers have challenges integrating distributed generation (for example, rooftop solar installations) into the grid. It isn’t easy to see how much energy all these distributed resources are generating at a given time. The intermittency of certain distributed generation can lead to reliability issues, like flickering. Fan and Jorge, in their short time with us, did an extensive literature review, collected data, and built multiple models for our customers. These models will provide utilities with information on distributed solar generation, improving planning and customer engagement.

With only four weeks to complete the project, the team spent many hours fine-tuning their models and finishing their final presentation. The externship culminated in a presentation to our Smart Grid Solutions business leader. There were jokes before the meeting that “MIT’s reputation is on the line,” but Fan and Jorge delivered an excellent pitch and left everyone impressed. Fortunately, Fan and Jorge were able to experience some culture too—enjoying real Southern barbeque and touring downtown Atlanta. Both agreed that Georgia is a great place to enjoy IAP, especially during one 71-degree afternoon.

Having participated in the externship program as an extern several years ago, it was great to stay involved in the program from the employer side. Both Fan and Jorge jumped right into the project and had a very productive four weeks. We’re looking forward to staying in touch and also to hosting more externs next year.

 Guest blogger: Jacqueline Berger ’89, president of APPRISE
“Welcome to APPRISE!” we said to Kimberly Li ’12 when she walked into our office in Princeton, New Jersey, on a cold January morning. We had been looking forward to introducing Kimberly to our staff and engaging her in various aspects of our evaluation research. Little did we know how much of an impact Kimberly would have in our office in such a short time. [click to continue…]

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