Push innovation this fall with SPIN

This article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on how innovations in technology affect campus life.

By Sara Abdeljalil, Economics '18

If you’re looking for an interesting and engaging internship this upcoming school year, then look no further! The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hiring interns for their Students Pushing Innovation (SPIN) program.

I learned more about this opportunity when visiting the SPIN open house on March 29.

The most important thing to know about the SPIN internship is that it’s all about real-world experience. According to the welcome packet distributed at the open house, the program was created in order to “provide University of Illinois undergraduates with the opportunity to apply their skills to real challenges in high-performance computing, data analysis and visualization, cybersecurity, and other areas of interest to NCSA.”

And the second most important thing is that it’s open to everyone. No, really, everyone.

As an Economics major, I was a little worried that SPIN would be closed to students outside of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that that’s not the case.

As Olena Kindratenko, the Program Director  for SPIN, stated, “We offer a number of interdisciplinary projects, so all majors are welcome.” NCSA looks for diversity and originality in work, rather than a firm set of skills in certain areas.

The program has sixteen different projects students can choose from. SPIN really tries to use collaboration between majors to add insight to their work outside of the traditional engineering lense. For example, the advanced visualization lab general project looks for CS and Music majors, to name a few, to help build digital experiences for cutting-edge arts applications. More information on the project descriptions can be found at: http://wholetale.org/interns2017.html

You do have to be in good academic standing, but there is no GPA cut-off. And as an added bonus, interns are also paid!

The internship is sixteen weeks total. But students are only expected to work five hours a week, so it’s a really easy program to fit into your schedule.

What are you waiting for? Get those applications in!

To apply, go to http://spin.ncsa.illinois.edu, and click on the “apply” tab. The application is due at 5pm on Monday, May 1, 2017.