From India, to Kansas, and now to AT&T, Pradeep Medaramelta has always pursued the best education possible. He knew an internship at AT&T would provide an invaluable learning opportunity. Here's my conversation with him.
What Brought You to the United States?
I'm originally from India and moved here to go to Kansas State University. I grew up in a boarding school, and moving for my education and better opportunities has been a constant in my life. Both of my parents are teachers and they always pushed me to pursue the best education possible. I was resistant and not very fond of school for a long time, but I grew into it. It's hard to believe that I didn't like school at one point because I'm on my third degree now!
What Made You Want to Intern With AT&T?
David Sedlock, associate vice president and chief operating officer of Big Data at AT&T, was at our school giving a talk on Big Data and how AT&T utilizes data and technology to prepare the business for the future. I was really intrigued by everything he shared and that led me to pursue internship opportunities with AT&T. After learning about Big Data, I was so curious and excited to gain firsthand experience at AT&T!
What Are You Learning About at AT&T Now?
During my internship, I was tasked with figuring out how to predict how much money a movie would make before it was released at the box office. We used social media data and learned that all the tweets people send and what they say about upcoming movies can help us strategically predict the performance of a movie at the box office.
Is That A Subject That Interests You?
Yes! I love film and TV. I'm passionate about getting to know people's stories. For the longest time, I wanted to be a filmmaker. Even today, I'm driven by learning about the unique paths people take in life. The funny thing is, after you've met enough people and heard enough stories, it almost feels like everybody is going through the same struggle in trying to get to where we're going!
Did You Study Film or Writing When You Were Younger?
Math was actually my favorite subject at school, mainly because it made sense. I was bad at languages (we had to study three languages at school in India) and it made me feel really dumb. Math and physics classes were my time to shine!
It Sounds Like Film Was More of An Interest Than A Field of Study. What Are You Studying?
I got my bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from a school in India. I then moved to Kansas State University to attend graduate school. I'm finishing up my dual master's in industrial engineering and business administration. I've been in school for a while and am excited to be done, at least for now!
What Do You Like About the Work Culture?
I've had the privilege of working with and learning from a lot of great people. To gain career advice from leaders and have the opportunity to pick their brains has been a blessing. Plus, it's very open and collaborative in my internship at AT&T. Our office has an open floor plan which fosters collaboration.
When You're Not at Your Internship, What Do You Like to Do for Fun?
Ideally, I'd like to split my free time equally between reading, working out, watching TV and spending time with my friends. But that's not always the case. Sometimes watching TV takes over -- there are so many good shows out there. I recently read this book called “The Power of Habit" about habits, how to form new ones and break unwanted ones -- I highly recommend the book.
What Advice Would You Give to Other Students Looking at Internships for Next Year?
I'd say reach out to people. There's so much diversity of work at AT&T and you have so many opportunities to find the right fit. Reach out to people who can help you understand your internship options. Good luck in your search -- you've got this!