Samudyatha Chakki had been growing increasingly anxious for months when Twitter finally called her. She had applied to dozens of internships, filling out hundreds of applications. “I had sleepless nights” she said, regarding the first five months of 2011. Studying for her Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at UNT since spring 2010, Chakki had been fortunate enough to get research assistanceship over the previous summer, but 2011 was turning out differently. Chakki had been applying for internships and jobs since January, but received none applicable to her studies. As the end of May approached, the chances of getting an internship were looking slim. It was at that point she had an unexpected phone call from San Francisco.
Chakki received three phone interviews, then “suddenly, I heard from them” she said, “and they’re like, ‘you know what? Come in next Monday.’” Chakki packed hurriedly and flew out to San Francisco that same weekend, less than a week since Twitter first contacted her. She spent the next few months working with other engineers to expand Twitter’s datacenter. “It was really fun,” Chakki said. “I learned a lot. My programming skills improved like crazy.”
One memorable moment during her time at Twitter was when the CEO arranged for Chakki and the other interns to meet with prolific Angel Investor Ron Conway: “he called him in to talk to us and inspire us to be good entrepreneurs,” she explained. Chakki was also surprised that despite being an intern, she was recognized and welcomed wherever she went . “Everyone knows who you are before you even get there,” she said. “Being a social networking company, it’s important that there is social networking and fun within the company.” She later recalled the company’s VP of engineering contacting her and the other interns personally to check up on how things were going and receive updates on the team’s progress. About the atmosphere at the start-up, she said, “the culture at Twitter is really sincere. Everyone is engaged, and everyone knows what they’re really contributing to.”
After four months, Chakki returned to UNT in September. Two months later, she and two other students teamed up to win second place in the Nov. 19, 2011, “Innovation Challenge” app design contest sponsored by UNT and Alcatel-Lucent. She is graduating this May, and will take on a position at Intel. She believes her experience at Twitter was likely partially responsible for the Intel job opportunity, and she was very grateful for the experience she received.
She said, “I would like to thank Dr. Parthasarathy Guturu my graduate adviser for his constant support and motivation. And Dr. Krishna Kavi whose course 'Computer Architecture' has made a lasting impact on my career.”