The ei3 intern experience

ei3’s internship program offers students and new graduates a unique opportunity to apply their skills to real-world projects. ei3’s company culture promotes a positive work environment in which each intern’s contribution is truly valuable to the company’s mission. Flexible schedules and a supportive leadership team enable students to pursue their passions and continue their education while working, emphasizing the need to grow as people alongside the company. Former interns John Mackenzie, Chris Lombardi, Bernard Hild, and Justas Katkus offer insights into their intern experiences at ei3 and how it has shaped them for a bright future.

John Mackenzie, ei3’s first-ever intern, began his journey at the company as a programmer in the summer of 2000 before starting his Junior year at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Gaining experience ranging from LabVIEW to SQL programming, John worked to conduct various data mining operations to produce valuable data insights from plants. During his second internship with ei3 the following summer, John worked alongside the company’s CEO and founder, Spencer Cramer, to develop predictive systems for industrial machines – a radical idea for its time. In addition, the experience provided John with the opportunity to visit a manufacturing plant, which he describes as being “hugely impactful…and amazing,” igniting the inspiration and laying the groundwork for a career in manufacturing.

In addition to gaining real-world technical experience, John learned the importance of company culture in fostering a productive work environment. Today, he serves as the Director of Advanced Operations at Stryker, a leading medical technology company. John attributes his growth as a person and leader, in many ways, to his time at ei3. Being a part of a small company, he learned the importance of teamwork: “Everybody had to rely on everybody else,” building solid friendships. ei3’s collaborative and open atmosphere helped him create connections and gain the most from his internship. “It didn’t matter that I was an intern.” He aims to replicate this culture at his current company, using his experience at ei3 as “the standard…my teams need to be developing a culture around.” Similarly, witnessing Spencer’s perseverance and hard work during the company’s early stages inspired John to become a courageous leader, taking risks and chasing bigger goals.

Chris Lombardi started at ei3 as an intern in the summer of 2018. After graduating from Rutgers University in 2019, Chris was offered a full-time position with the company, becoming a Senior Network Engineer in only three years. His work as an intern consisted of addressing Level 1 and Level 2 tickets for the Network Support Team, building the confidence to take up Level 3 tickets by the end of his internship. Chris acknowledges former ei3 Network Engineers, the late Bruce Platt, and Varian Hebert, as valuable mentors who have helped him acquire and develop the knowledge and confidence needed to excel in his current role. He was impressed and inspired by the real change he was able to create by working at ei3. ei3’s open culture allowed Chris to have the visibility and transparency of “what goes on”. “For example, when we’re working on a new project, I can see and know the customers and why we’re doing it. I know what the goal is.”

“Being exposed to cutting edge technology at ei3 and working with the brilliant minds behind it was a priceless experience for me and made want to work for ei3 full-time.”

Bernard Hild interned at ei3’s Montreal office in the summer of 2018, working with members of the company’s software development team to create a Virtual Reality visualization tool intended to inspect complex machines, systems, or bodies: Bernard used the tool for his Bachelor’s thesis in Biology. Starting the project with limited software experience, Bernard acquired skills in game development, coding, and Virtual Reality applications during the internship. The idea for his tool, which aimed to be a multi-user VR system in which students and teachers can enter a body to get a first-hand view of the various bodily functions in crisis situations, won the “Impuls Mittelschule Ideenwettbewerb” competition in Switzerland. Despite the numerous challenges Bernard faced, he learnt to collaborate and adapt to make the most of what he could accomplish. Given the shortage of skilled personnel and the need to innovate at speed and scale, VR and AR (Augmented Reality) solutions also have significant use cases in manufacturing. For example, VR/AR allows equipment manufacturers to inspect the equipment remotely, improving the response time. Manufacturers also use VR/AR solutions for remote maintenance.

Justas Katkus began his internship at ei3 in 2021 as a Data Scientist. Only six months later, Justas was given his first solo project in which he utilized data science to monitor the various materials, and loads brought in and out of a recycling site run in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. With guidance from his mentor, Vincent Mottier, he created an algorithm that uses image analysis to automatically detect materials, helping the client keep track of the deposits. Eight months into his internship, Justas was offered a permanent position at the company’s Zurich office. He was drawn to ei3’s flexible work schedule and hours that enabled him to continue his studies in Computer Science at ETH Zurich. Support from ei3 Zurich has also helped him pursue his passion as a competitive windsurfer, currently ranking as the number 3 Windsurfer in Switzerland. Since working at ei3, Justas has had the opportunity to travel to places such as New York City and Dusseldorf to meet with clients and present his work to various audiences.

“Even though I started on a part-time basis - I feel fully welcomed and integrated. I get to talk to everybody and I feel my voice is heard! I really feel this is the place where my ideas matter and I can make a difference.”

The ei3 internship experience, which is offered every summer, provides individuals the tools to excel and succeed in future roles. For ei3, the programe is a valuable avenue to meet fresh talent and hear new ideas. Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply for 2023’s openings.

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