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TIP Top Team Internship Program

Top Team Internship Program

Professional engineering work experience. International adventure. Rent money for next school year. Students who spend a summer in the Jacobs School's Team Internship Program (TIP) can have all of the above ... and a great time too, while working together on project-based teams at corporate job sites around the world.

From Carl Zeiss in Jena, Germany and QUALCOMM in Haifa, Israel to the San Diego offices of ViaSat and SDG&E - and many companies in between - Jacobs School students and a few other students from UC San Diego teamed up last summer and tackled real engineering problems facing their employers.

"My team internship at SDG&E gave me a taste of the real world. If it wasn't for TIP, I wouldn't have my name on a patent application," said Gavrilinos Gavrielides, an electrical engineering undergraduate whose team developed technologies for charging batteries for hybrid electric cars last summer. "It's the best experience I've had at the Jacobs School. I guarantee it."

"Our student teams provide their employers with innovative solutions ... oftentimes under budget, ahead of schedule, and with proofs of concept, prototypes, or IP that can be patented," said Frieder Seible, Dean of the Jacobs School. Seible launched TIP in 2003 and took the program international in 2006.The Jacobs School's Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP) runs TIP.

Last summer, bioengineering graduate student Katie Olson and her teammates from bioengineering and UC San Diego's Rady School of Management travelled to Jena, Germany to work at Carl Zeiss, a maker of optical systems, industrial measurements and medical devices. Carl Zeiss hired the TIP team to perform health sciences market research.

Top Team Internship Program

"Thanks to my TIP experience at Carl Zeiss, I can show potential employers that I have both the interest and the ability to grasp the big picture in engineering research and development," said Olson. "I also strengthened my communication and presentation skills and teamwork abilities."

Over the weekends, Olson and her team travelled Europe. "We went to the Czech Republic. We took the fast train to Berlin. We visited Munich, Dresden, Budapest, Vienna, and Bratislava."

"By taking TIP global, Jacobs School students have the opportunity to become citizens of the world, which is increasingly important now that today's engineering challenges and solutions are international in nature," said Seible.

While Olson explored the Old World, Gavrielides' San Diego-based SDG&E TIP team explored recharging technologies for plug-in hybrid cars. Their engineering design and prototyping work led to a patent application for a device that measures the electricity consumed by plug-in car batteries during recharge. Their prototype can send the information wirelessly to a meter in the car owner's home.

"Our technology also addresses user authentication and power theft issues," said Gavrielides. His TIP team included a Rady MBA student who often injected commercial feasibility and marketability issues into engineering discussions.

Up the coast in Carlsbad, a TIP team at ViaSat "a provider of digital satellite communications" also learned to balance technical and business issues.

ViaSat hired Jacobs School computer science undergraduate Stephan Kemper onto a student team tasked with helping the company determine which enterprise search vendor to choose.

ViaSat has hired TIP teams since 2006.The team internship approach has proved so successful that ViaSat built its own summer internship program around the TIP model.

Last summer, 19 students from seven colleges and universities worked on six ViaSat projects. Kemper's teammates hailed from UCLA and Virginia Tech.

Top Team Internship Program

"ViaSat is committed to building our engineering staff with a significant number of new grads from top schools each year," said Roger Colbath, Engineering Director atViaSat."Internship continues to be the highest yielding method for attracting and evaluating top engineering talent.The team internship provides both the company and the student the opportunity to assess each other in a typical, dynamic,multidisciplinary project environment. I am always impressed with the innovative solutions developed by our intern teams.During the current recruiting year, 20 percent of our new grad hires were last summer's team interns."

According to Kemper,"The TIP internship atViaSat opened my eyes to the ridiculous variety of jobs you can get with a computer science degree.All three of my supervisors at ViaSat had computer science degrees and they were each doing radically different kinds of work."

Back to campus after a TIP summer, Kemper says he looks at his classes a little differently.

"I took an algorithms course during the fall quarter and the topic was so much more real to me than it would have been if I'd not worked atViaSat last summer.When I look at algorithms now, I wonder how enterprise search vendors work them into their systems."

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