July 28 is National Intern Day, an annual holiday dedicated to celebrating the future of the workforce — interns. With more than 60 students making up this year’s summer intern class, Tanium is dedicated to shaping the next generation of future leaders. One of those interns is Kuhu Sharma.
Kuhu currently serves as an engineering intern, but that’s not what defines her. When Kuhu isn’t on the clock at Tanium, she’s fostering community in her school’s organization for women in engineering at UC Berkeley, and is always looking to explore nature spots with friends and family.
We sat down with Kuhu to learn more about her past professional experience, her work with her school’s organization, and what it looks like to intern at Tanium. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us about your background:
Kuhu Sharma: Growing up, I had this image of myself being a doctor. But as I got older, my parents convinced me to give Computer Science (CS) a chance, and I eventually developed an interest in the field after taking a class. When choosing what to do for higher education, I chose to study CS at UC Berkeley because it opened more opportunities to work in software in various fields. Fast forward a few years, and the courses I’ve taken at Berkeley have not only solidified my professional goals but also led me to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), where I learned about Tanium.
This group of women surrounded me with like-minded individuals and people who would challenge me to work harder and become a leader. In joining SWE, I also had the opportunity to give back and recruit more female/nonbinary-identifying engineers through heading our High School Engineering Program, mentoring and teaching students about the different fields of engineering. Other positions I held in SWE, such as managing their tech stack as Webmaster and their social media presence as Social Media Chair, assisted in cultivating a passion for the future of the organization and its success.
What is your current title? What does your day-to-day look like?
Kuhu Sharma: I’m working as a Technical Transformation Engineer Intern, which means I work on developing internal tooling, creating tools for developers to use in their development process for Tanium. My day consists mainly of finding solutions to fix issues in our codebase, documented through GitHub and our JIRA task board. Depending on the scope of the issue, I can get through a few issues throughout a day, but sometimes I might work on the same issue for a whole week. Regardless, I love the structure of my day-to-day. I’ll usually start out with implementing some solutions I’ve thought over before the workday starts, and get most of my work done at the beginning of the day. I especially like my mid-day stand-up call with my team, where we talk about some of the issues we’re working on and wrap up with some quick but deeply intricate icebreakers to learn more about each other. After that, I resume work on my issues and tend to start new ones at that time as well. At the end of the day, I value ending on a good note and in a good place to begin my work for the next day.
What projects have you worked on or been a part of?
Kuhu Sharma: One of the projects I’m currently working on is automating package scaffolding systems for developers. Currently, every time a developer needs to create a new package, we must add it to and update the codebase manually. I’m working on a program to help us save time, so that eventually, developers can create their ideal package simply by entering a command in their terminal and answering a few questions.
Why did you choose Tanium for your summer internship?
Kuhu Sharma: At Berkeley, some of my favorite courses have been about ethics in CS and data science. Though this curriculum primarily focuses on the morality and thought process behind developing new technologies, it also emphasizes how to be an ethical tech employee in fairly producing for your company while also standing up for your morals. After interviewing and researching Tanium, it was extremely refreshing to see that one of our core values was that “we do the right thing.” Hearing such emphasis placed on this value and seeing it exemplified in my interviewing process made choosing Tanium an easy decision for me.
Have you been able to network with people outside of our department? Was it difficult?
Kuhu Sharma: I’ve had many chances to meet with both interns and employees at Tanium. We are invited to intern mixers twice a week, where we are put in random breakout rooms to play games or answer silly questions about ourselves. I try to go to as many as I can to get more Tanium interactions outside of the wonderful people I work with. I also actively reach out to other employees through email and work in-house, where I can meet employees I would’ve never met otherwise. A couple of weeks ago, at the Emeryville office, I found out I was sitting next to the head of Legal for Tanium, which was incredibly cool to me. The best thing about networking at Tanium is that everybody is as eager to meet you as you are to meet them!
What’s something about Tanium that stands out to you?
Kuhu Sharma: Tanium’s conversational culture, for sure. I’ve had many chances to get to know the people around me and have conversations with them about things outside of work, which has helped me separate work from friendships and mentorship. Simple conversations to get to know someone more personally have helped me learn more about my team and make work even more enjoyable through the social aspect.
Would you recommend this internship to your classmates?
Kuhu Sharma: Yes, 100%. Even when I shadowed Tanium engineers through SWE before getting the internship, Tanium exuded good energy and seemed like a great place to learn. Having worked here now, I have nothing but great things to say about the experience whenever some of my classmates ask me about how the internship is going. From my mentor to the different speaker events and of course, the work, it is a comprehensive look into what it looks like to work here.
What advice do you have for female/nonbinary-identifying engineers who want to work in STEM?
Kuhu Sharma: In discussing with my fellow female Tanium engineering interns, we’ve realized that there’s this common voice in the back of our heads that pipes up whenever we don’t know everything, or if we make a mistake, even when we’re actively still learning. Feeling like you’re representing not just yourself, but your entire minority group can be incredibly daunting. I encourage you to actively silence that voice in your head whenever you can. Nobody knows everything, and especially not when they’re just starting out! So when you inevitably run into challenges, it’s vital to view them as learning opportunities. Persevere through it, and you’ll look back on just how much you’ve grown and positively impacted the others around you in the process as well.
It’s never a bad thing to ask for help or assistance either. The worst thing somebody can do is say no. And even if they say no, it’s not the end of the world, it just means that you knock on another door. And it only takes going through one door to improve your journey.
“Inside Tanium” is part of a series that highlights the people and culture of Tanium. To learn more about Tanium and explore our range of career opportunities, visit our Tanium Careers page.