My Internship Experience at SAP Fieldglass

Aditya Kumar (MSIT '19) talks about how he is applying lessons learned in Northwestern University's Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program to his internship as a software developer.

Aditya Kumar (MSIT '19) spent six years as a software engineer in India before coming to Northwestern University for its Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program. Before graduating, Kumar wanted a chance to apply some of the lessons he learned during his time in the program, which is why he chose to take advantage of the program's optional summer internship opportunity.

Kumar is currently interning as a software developer at SAP Fieldglass in Naperville, IL, where he is working with a software architecture team. He recently talked about the types of projects he is working on and how he's been able to implement some of the lessons he learned from professors and classmates in the MSIT program. 

You said your internship is at SAP. What exactly is your role and responsibilities during the internship?

I am working with SAP Fieldglass with a software architecture team that provides technical support to development teams on challenging designs and issues with the software. The team conducts research on new and upcoming technologies and provides recommendations to development teams. It also assesses security risks to the Fieldglass application and finds solutions to mitigate the risks. My main role is as an individual contributor, writing code in Java, understanding SSO, and web security. Some of my other responsibilities include:

  • Develop Cloud native application in Spring Boot
  • Implement SAML SSO in Java
  • Develop RESTful APIs and backend systems
  • Resolve web security issues

Why did you want to pursue the optional summer internship?

I wanted to pursue an optional summer internship for many reasons. I thought an internship would help me gain some work experience and software industry knowledge from experts. I also wanted to utilize the skills and knowledge I have gained at Northwestern University from the MSIT program. Also, I thought an internship would help me make connections and network for the future, which can be a great benefit.

What do you hope to learn from the experience?

I want to gain hands-on experience working in Software Enterprise Architecture, Design pattern, High-level System design and other technologies that I have learned about in my MSIT classes. I want to see how can we solve the technical complexities of a huge software system. It is really a tough job to design good architecture for any software from scratch or bring the latest technologies into existing software. I want to learn these techniques and methods from this summer internship so that I can handle this role independently in the future for any organization.

How do you think you will be able to apply what you learned in MSIT to your internship?

Recently in my internship, I had an opportunity to work on a task where I was integrating the analytics tool to the main application. My MSIT classes on Data Science for Business Intelligence and Information Security and Assurance were very useful for completing this type of day-to-day task. Other tasks that I am involved with include creating microservices, deploying it on the cloud and containerizing using Docker. The guest lectures on cloud, continuous integration, and microservices in the MSIT Capstone course helped me understand the requirements for these tasks and how to find a good solution for them.

What was it about MSIT that initially appealed to you?

After working as a software developer in India for six years, I was looking for a graduate program with more of a technical focus plus some managerial courses in the curriculum. I learned about the unique Northwestern MSIT program with 70% technical courses and 30% business and management courses in the curriculum, and at that time I finalized my decision to go for my masters and upgrade my skills.

Another thing that really motivated me to select this program was the option to take some classes from other programs and departments at Northwestern based on my interests, including the Master of Engineering Management, Master of Science in Analytics, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science, as well as the Kellogg School of Management.

How would you describe your overall MSIT experience?

My year with MSIT has been filled with good experiences and lots of learning. I feel that my skills have been broadened in many fields such as software development and management. I have explored data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and I learned about IT management, financial management, and marketing management. 

What do you hope to do after your internship?

After completing my summer internship, I am returning to Northwestern for my final quarter in the MSIT program. Once I graduate after the Fall quarter, I will be looking for a full-time opportunity as a software architect or a senior team lead role, in which I hope to handle the technical complexity of software and contribute in designing good and scalable software. I feel that the MSIT program equipped me with the talent to do this, and I now feel confident I can take on this role.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

The MSIT program offered me an exciting journey with lots of learnings. I was really scared to go back to school after working full-time for six years, but with the help of the MSIT professors and MSIT staff members, I never felt any difficulties on this journey. I recommend it to anyone up for the challenge!