Here at DISTek one of our top priorities is investing in the next generation of innovative technology leaders and engineers. One of the ways in which we do this is through our internship program. We are fortunate to have so many qualified experts on staff that can mentor and foster the skills necessary for these college students to be successful in the industry upon graduation. This past fall, we were joined by two sophomores from the University of Northern Iowa. Johnny Pham is local to the Cedar Valley and is working on obtaining his B.S. in Computer Science. Varina Timothy is an international student from India and is majoring in Electrical Engineering Technology.
Here at DISTek, we place a strong emphasis on our internship program. Every summer we hire a handful of interns to work alongside our teams to not only provide mentor-ship for those entering the field, but also to, hopefully, entice some of the best and brightest to join our ranks after graduation. This summer we were lucky enough to have David Schmadeke, an Electrical Engineering major at Iowa State University, join our internship program.
I became sick of clerical work and odd jobs that would never help me in my career, so last summer I went on the hunt for something with embedded systems around Cedar Falls. I found DISTek and sent a message on their “Contact Us” link. Never would I have imagined that it was going to be such a great experience in my life. When I was a freshman in college, my first semester I told one of my professors that I was interested in the computers inside of the Ag machinery. A year later, I was offered a job at DISTek and my dream had been fulfilled.
As a student you feel fortunate to have an opportunity to get an internship, but to get an amazing internship, such as DISTek, is a true blessing. DISTek is the ultimate playground for embedded systems programming nerds that love manipulating hardware through software and who relish at the thought that their work will eventually end up on a microcontroller of an agricultural or off-road vehicle. To my delight, within an hour on my first day, I was assigned to a CAN bus project, based around ISO 11783, working side by side with full time employees on a real product intended for real customers. After receiving a binder full of ISO standards and a quick, but quite necessary, pep talk from my new coworkers I was set to start programming… or so I thought.