Javier Salas

Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship. 

I was first exposed to the application process by attending Seminole futures. This was a great starting point as I was able to talk to employers to get an idea of what they looked for – the value of immediate feedback on my resume cannot be understated. The environment is great too, there a lot of employers but you’re also there with your friends which makes the process a lot less stressful.

How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?

For my summer internship I began preparing during the start of the spring semester. Most of my effort with into refining my resume which the career center streamlined.

If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship, what were they? How did they support your application process? 

The Career Center is an amazing resource – both in person and online. Utilizing the on-campus interviews helped me understand the interview process. Furthermore, the Career Center liaisons help me on a more individual level in that my liaison was able to state specific attributes that recruiters were looking for. The online presence is awesome in that the incorporation of handshake makes applying easy.

Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity. 

Since computer science is such a broad topic, I found that a lot of my responsibilities included learning topic outside of that I learned in class – more specifically older technologies in order to support them. Often, we look ahead in technologies, always looking for the newest. But several of the day to day system we interact with have existed for years and need to be maintained. That’s not to say new technologies aren’t used; In application development, the most supported software (likely the newest) is used so that in the future maintenance is easier. 

What was a typical day like "on the job?" 

On a normal day when everything is running smooth, most of the day is spent doing application development. If there is a software issue with the system I maintain, then the day is spent troubleshooting. 

What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?

A major takeaway is that if there’s something that you don’t know – to ask! The willingness to ask is invaluable. This applies to people too – if you see someone excelling on your team – ask them how they learned; People like sharing experiences so don’t be shy! At this point in my career I’d be surprised if people didn’t except me to ask questions.

I also learned that in problem solving, that an incorrect solution isn’t a failed solution – it’s a solution that you know doesn’t work. Knowing that in the beginning of my career that I’ll make mistakes and that it’s natural alleviated my concerns and made me more productive.  

By far the most important skill I learned is communication – both inside my department and outside my department. In a business, together, you are all part of one team comprised of smaller teams and each team is responsible for their part. A change in one department impacts all the other departments. Without interdepartmental communication a single change in a common process and cause delays and frustration.

Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so? 

This experience brought me to the real world. In class you get an assignment, you get the expected solution, and you are asked how to process the input, perform some known algorithm, then give the desired output. In the business setting, there is no known algorithm – that’s why you were brought on. Experiencing this firsthand is intimidating at first but the challenge is a motivating factor. As someone who likes to problem solve, I know I’m on the right career path.  

Ranya Salvant

Javier Salas

"My goal is to make a more efficient world through the use of technology."

Major: Computer Science, Class of 2019
Company/Organization: Danfoss Turbocor Compressors 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/javier-tomas-salas