UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Computer Science Students File Results for Intuit

Computer science and engineering (CSE) students Ojas Sitapara and Siddharth Gidwani have been turning heads at Intuit, the company known for such products as Quicken® and TurboTax®. The two friends, who began as interns in summer 2003 and later acquired part-time status at Intuit's San Diego office, hope to continue as full-time employees after graduation. Sitapara is involved with the backend functionality of TurboTax, developing compilers that enable programmers to introduce new features to crunch numbers and perform calculations. He has also worked to make the nightly build system web accessible.

In contrast, Gidwani works on TurboTax's front-end, building a graphical user interface that looks good to the customer and is easy to navigate. "I recently improved the process for entering W-2 information, making it more streamlined and user-friendly," says Gidwani. He has designed a smooth, seamless way in which users can exploit the features made possible by individuals such as Sitapara at the back-end.

In January, Gidwani and Sitapara, and interns from QUALCOMM and APS Technology, discussed their industry experiences with fellow CSE students. The quarterly event is intended to provide insight into how to obtain an internship, tips on developing effective resumes and interviewing skills, and examples of ways in which classroom experience can be applied to real-world situations.

During these peer presentations, Sitapara and Gidwani beamed with enthusiasm as they recalled their Intuit experiences. According to Gidwani, "They treat us like real engineers and give us meaningful projects. Our contributions are important and we are made to feel valued. I think this is why Intuit has been named one of the best companies to work for in the United States for the past three years."

Sitapara and Gidwani's primary advice to students looking for internships is to build a solid list of contacts. In fact, both landed their initial interview with Intuit because they were recommended by fellow classmates who were already employed at the company. They also suggest using the professional development resources available at UCSD, such as Engineering Student Services (ESS).

Send e-mail to ess@soe.ucsd.edu or visit the internship website at
http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu:8080/student/student_career/career_intern/ for more information.