By: Saurabh Kumar
When I first walked through the front doors of the H2O.ai Mountain View office, I have to admit, thoughts of robots, cyborgs, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator were in the back of my mind. However, my initial preconceived notions were quickly put to rest.
I am a third-year college intern studying Psychology and Marketing and was looking forward to applying my classroom studies to a real work environment. I am thankful that H2O.ai has been my first experience working in the AI industry because I was able to learn about this new technology with an underlying message of using AI to empower people.
One of my first experiences as a college intern was attending an onboarding training for new recruits. At this training, we were to hear our leadership team speak about the company’s vision. I was sitting in the back of the room, being a wallflower, when our CEO, Sri, motioned for me to move closer to a seat in the front of the room. The uneasiness of being the new kid was put at ease as I listened to the speakers and found that everyone is working to develop H2O.ai in their own unique way. At this company, everyone is respected, no matter their position or title. As I sat in my front-row seat, I felt right at home in my new community, and I was inspired to contribute to H2O.ai.
As a Sales Operations Intern, I worked on various projects that included using sales tools to bring in a larger lead and contact base, helping to plan and carry out company trainings and events, and configuring spreadsheets to organize and analyze data.
I realized that in many ways, working at H2O.ai is similar to being a student on a college campus; we collaborate with people of different backgrounds, we are passionate about what we do – and we have a “meal plan” that includes daily catered meals and a generously stocked snack pantry.
A few aspects of working at the company headquarters that made this experience beneficial was the opportunity to connect with people from different departments and create meaningful relationships with people of all ages, countries, and upbringings. Though I was a Sales Operations Intern, I was encouraged to explore all parts of the company. I enjoyed being assigned projects from other departments because it gave me a holistic idea of how the company is run.
This small office brings together people from all over the world who are passionate about H2O.ai’s values, culture, and technology. These people have created platforms that are being used in healthcare to save lives by detecting diseases early on, to being used in agriculture to detect when produce is most ripe. Having conversations with the people behind this world-changing technology has sparked my interest.
While at work, I began to dive deeper into how H2O.ai’s platforms work by flipping through Driverless AI and Machine Learning booklets, viewing handouts that highlight use cases and newsworthy moments, and looking into webinars lead by data scientists.
After a summer of being immersed in the world of H2O.ai, I have learned more about sales operations, company operations, and AI technology than I had ever expected. Still, I have just scratched the surface.
I am fortunate to have this internship with Kathy Lee and the Sales Operations team, and I am extremely excited for the opportunity to continue to work with H2O.ai as a remote Sales Operations Intern and H2O.ai Academic Ambassador during this coming school year.
Keeping in touch with H2O.ai as I continue my studies will allow me to keep learning, while also bringing my experiences to school to expose other students to the world of AI. As an academic Ambassador, I will introduce H2O.ai’s platforms to both professors and students alike through Data Science classes, club events, and job fairs.
College graduates often tell me, “the best years of your life will be lived in college.” However, this internship has shown me that learning does not end at graduation, and the excitement of new experiences is life long.