【SERIES】 Experiences in Silicon Valley Internship Program 2019

October 30, 2019

Vol.3 Kai Yamada (B2)

The University of Aizu provides an internship opportunity for students visiting Silicon Valley and learning about the world's cutting edge technologies by communicating with local engineers.

These series introduce how the students feel and what they have gained in the 2019 internship program through interviews.

Mr. Yamada is a 2nd year undergraduate student of the University of Aizu. He is also a student assistant of Aizu Geek Dojo and is actively taking part in events like hackathon.
"In Silicon Valley, I would like to feel working atmosphere of local engineers and get inspiration from them." he said before leaving Japan. What did he gain from the internship two weeks later?

A group photo in Hacker Dojo. He is at 3rd from right.

Q.What did you experience in Silicon Valley?

I was mainly focused on development of web system before but this time I spent much time for hardware development. Even in my free time such as the day off, I also stayed at Hacker Dojo to work on the development.
The self-introduction in my presentation gave a strong impression to local engineers, so they talked to me a lot. I enjoyed it.

He was concentrating on the development.

Q.Did you feel difficult in the internship?

I had trouble with the development because the circuit board damaged when I brought it from Japan. Differing from web system development that shows error messages if it doesn't work, a hardware says nothing so that I struggled to fix them.

Q.What was the most interesting thing?

It was the greatest experience for me that I learned so much form local companies―history of Silicon Valley, recent trends, and philosophy of system development.There are 3 basic elements of manufacturing ―"What (What to make)", "Why (Why to make)", and "How (How to make)" . Two of them are necessary for becoming a good programmer, some engineers said. They told me that my strength is "How", also they advised me to find out another elements from now on.

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They were visiting local companies.

Q.Did you have a change of mind after the internship?

I was a little bit nervous since I thought Silicon Valley is a place where excellent engineers gathered. Actually, I could talk frankly with local people so that I felt it is a friendly place for me.

I ever imagined working in Silicon Valley because working abroad in the future is one of my dream, so I participated in this internship.
I realized that there is something that can only be done in Silicon Valley and something is not. I would like to think about the future to expand my horizons in other countries or to pursue growth in Japanese companies.
The reason for thinking it because I was able to taste the atmosphere of Silicon Valley through watching and listening.

Giving a presentation with teammates.

Q.How will you connect these experiences to the future?

I intend to put effort into off-campus activities by challenging some hackathon with friends I met in this internship or trying other internships in Tokyo.
In addition, I would like to go to Shinsen in China to obtain electronic components for hardware development directly. I hope that will widen my view for the future.

Participants of the Silicon Valley Internship Program 2019 submitted their internship achievements for the GUGEN 2019, Japan's largest hardware contest. Please look forward to their future activities and successes!