The Journey from a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Student to Summer Intern
With science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the heart of innovation, Samsung strives to empower the next generation of leaders to utilize these tools to drive positive change. Corporate citizenship programs such as Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (SFT) and the company’s summer internship opportunity help make this possible by providing the education and hands-on experience to foster creativity and further develop the necessary skills for success.
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a national competition for public schools grades 6-12 in which students are tasked to create change in their communities using STEM. However, the learning can continue on when students graduate the program. As alumni, students have access to professional development workshops and a network of like-minded individuals to continue advancing in their journeys together. The company also hosts an annual summer internship program where students nationwide are able to experience life at Samsung and present their bold, new ideas to the company. Recently, we sat down with Athulya Nair, Corporate Citizenship Intern and Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Alumna, to hear about her experience from Solve for Tomorrow National Finalist to her internship with Samsung.
What first sparked your passion for STEM education?
“When I first started learning about engineering in high school, I didn’t really know what to expect from it. But as I went through college, I realized that it is something that really interests me, and I wanted to continue that passion. Without Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, I never would have known just how much I can impact the community through science, technology, engineering and math, and having that experience to be able to do something so great for not only my community, but my personal development is something that I’m very grateful to Samsung for. I want to be sure that in my future years I give back that passion and ambition to stay within the STEM field to other students.”
Why did you choose to participate in Solve for Tomorrow?
“My Solve for Tomorrow experience started my senior year of high school. The teacher of my Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science program received a notification about SFT, and seeing that it was such a renowned program that could benefit our community, two other classmates and I decided to give it a shot. I was involved in a lot of the science and math classes at my school, so having this program was a really convenient way for me to connect with my community and friends, while gaining experiences. So I joined to see what’s out there and build myself up, not only as a professional, but as a student and member of my community.”
How did SFT impact your professional development?
“I was really able to build up my communication skills through the presentations that we gave to the panelists of judges. In high school, I didn’t really have that much public speaking experience, so I was able to get those tips and tricks from the mentors that I had in the program and it really helped build my speaking and presentation skills. Within my team, I was able to help lead different parts of the project, so I grew as a leader too. The overall experience was great for building my confidence in myself and my abilities and showing me just how capable I was for the future. It made me excited to see how much I could accomplish.
Throughout my first and second years of college, I was able to participate in events specifically for Samsung SFT alumni. One that I distinctly remember is a resume review session. I sent in my resume and received so many great tips and tricks on how to not only improve my resume, but my professional development skills as a whole. There were others as well, but that was my favorite because it was so beneficial to hear this advice directly from a company. It gave me insight that my other advisors might not have been able to give me because the company knows exactly what they’re looking for.”
Why did you choose to pursue an internship at Samsung?
“Solve for Tomorrow definitely had a very big impact on my decision to apply to be an intern at Samsung because of the friendliness that Samsung had shown us when we were in the competition, and just seeing how kind and accommodating everyone was toward high school students in general. Their program was just really great in making sure that we were well attended to and if we ever had any questions we could easily ask our mentors. Our mentors were really great at helping us get through the process and everything like that. So just seeing the culture at Samsung was really what made me think about pursuing an internship here.”
What has been your favorite part of the internship?
“I could not be more grateful to work with such an amazing team. All of the members of my team were willing to answer any questions that I had and helped me through every single process imaginable.
My favorite part was knowing how much of an impact that my contributions can be for K-12 students and teachers alike. As an SFT alumna myself, and now being on the flip side as an intern, it is really cool to see all of the little things that take place to help such a big program come into play year after year. I was able to help with this year’s Teacher Academy and revamp for the 13th year of Solve for Tomorrow, and see how both programs are constantly evolving and striving to be the best they can be for its students and teachers. I am really happy to be a part of that and contribute to making a positive impact for the younger generation by helping to build their passion for STEM.”
What advice would you give to other students thinking about applying for Samsung Solve for Tomorrow or Summer Internship Program?
“Apply no matter what! There is so much development that you can experience for yourself along the way. At the end of the day it could be something that you really enjoy and something could come out of it that you never expected to happen. I applied for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program with no expectations, and now I’m a Samsung intern. The experiences that you can achieve through what you apply yourself to is unmatched. Just make sure that you’re not limiting yourself to any opportunities that may arise.”
For more on Samsung’s corporate citizenship programs, visit Samsung.com.