Karsun’s internship program returned this year, adding a second cohort for exceptional high school and early college STEM students. These two cohorts took the next steps in preparing for their future careers with this program that embeds interns inside the Karsun Innovation Center. The summer programs invited students to imagine the future of government, complete technical certifications, dive into AI/ML and collaborate with experts.
Nurturing Future Technology Leaders
Here careers grow as Karsun grows. This year that included an expansion to our intern program, enabling that experience to start earlier for high school and college students in their freshman and sophomore years of college. These Student Interns also worked directly with the Karsun Innovation Center and were mentored by previous graduates of the intern program.
A key focus of the program was imaging the future of technology in government. Working in pairs, our Student Interns picked project topics ranging from digital twins to robotic process automation (RPA). The interns researched these technologies throughout their ten-week program submitting a research paper and presentation at the end of the course.
The intern track for advanced college students, recent grads and graduate students also offered opportunities to work with mentors while building their technical skills. These interns were assigned mentors from one of the KIC Practice Areas. These experts from the Development, Lean, DevSecOps, Data and Solution Practices helped these interns assess and select programs from our Karsun Academy professional development courses. As a result, several members of the class ended their internship with AWS certifications and other credentials.
“Karsun encourages and supports its workers in obtaining cloud certification in Amazon Web Services for the advancement of their careers is another thing I admire.” – Mayank Tamakuwala
Building with Karsun Innovators
In addition to their research projects, the Student Interns worked in teams on two challenge projects. In one project, they developed a prototype to solve a hypothetical challenge for federal government agencies. The second challenge was a code-a-thon designed to demonstrate the application of data science concepts. In this challenge, the teams applied a digital twin to determine if different images contained pictures of a collapsed lung.
The more experienced interns, worked on real projects under development in the Innovation Center’s R&D unit. Their data science project focused on building a synthetic data platform to improve the security of PII in data modeling. This project culminated with the synthetic data team presenting their findings at an organization-wide Innovation Townhall.
Some members of the intern program also worked with Karsun’s internal digital workplace team. They assisted with the Karsun Kollaborate project. This initiative examines new ways Karsun team members can connect and collaborate outside of their current delivery teams. Some of these projects were also data focused, using tools like Google Data Studio to improve operational efficiency at Karsun. This was also an opportunity to try low-code/no-code development with to add enhancements to the digital workplace experience.
Collaborating and Presenting to Colleagues
They also participated in Show Don’t Tell sessions, a cornerstone of the internship program. In these weekly meetings, attended by Karsun team members throughout the innovation center, interns demoed and presented their accomplishments. This is also an opportunity to receive feedback from other units in the KIC outside of their practice mentors. At the final Show Don’t Tell event, both groups of interns demoed their projects and presented results from their government technology research projects to Karsun leaders.
“I always felt like my opinion was respected at meetings, even in a room full of people that were far more experienced than me. I also had a great time working with the team, everyone was so willing to help each other and it felt like a comfortable, collaborative environment.” – Akhilesh Varanasi
“I enjoyed the biweekly ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ meetings where I learned about other ongoing projects at KIC. I was introduced to new ideas and tools.” – Sanjana M Moodbagil
Our advanced Summer Interns earned professional certifications, imagined new uses for synthetic data and created tools by Karsun Teams. Meanwhile, our Student Interns experimented with the application of AI/ML, development and other technical concepts as they celebrated innovation while bringing visibility to these future leaders and experts. Through the Karsun Innovation Center, Karsun Academy and other resources, we empower our teams to find their next opportunity to grow at any stage in their education or career.
Every year the Karsun Innovation Center (KIC) hosts a new Summer Intern class for college students in their junior year. Mentored by KIC practice advocates, they work alongside delivery teams prototyping solutions for real-life initiatives developed by Karsun. This year we introduced a new Student Intern class. Composed of exceptional high school and college students, these internship participants completed a series of technical challenges over a ten-week program. Additionally, each Student Intern selected an emerging technology topic to research throughout their time at Karsun.
Exploring Technology in Government
This new internship invited STEM students to explore different modern software development, cloud and data solutions implementations. Working in pairs, The ten-week session opened with a challenge designed to help students think about how the federal government uses technology. In this code-a-thon, students built a web application with the potential to solve a common government technical problem.
Applying Machine Learning
Similar to the Summer Interns working on the synthetic data portal, the Student Interns also had an opportunity to work on ML/AI-related work as part of their internships. In that technology challenge, students trained machine learning models to identify images of collapsed lungs. Working alongside Innovation Center experts is a key benefit of our intern programs.
Bringing It Together
The student interns wrapped up their session with a research paper. They selected from a list of topics ranging from robotic process automation (RPA) to digital twins. They explored beyond the industries where Karsun performs work to understand how these tools are implemented in exciting ways across the government.
The student interns also worked with mentors throughout the program. The mentor to each student is a graduate from a previous intern cohort and a current Karsun employee. Just as we are excited to see the careers pursued by our graduating Summer Interns, we are also excited to see what the future holds for these emerging STEM experts.
About the Karsun Innovation Center Internship Programs
The Karsun Innovation Center hosts an annual summer internship program for computer science or equivalent students, typically in their junior year of college. Occasionally, internship opportunities are available for recent graduates. In 2022, the center added a Student Internship cohort to support exceptional high school and early college students. Information on current internship openings is available at KarsunCareers.com.
When our leadership revealed its vision for the next decade at the start of 2020 they could not anticipate the challenges of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, even then Karsun had already created the infrastructure to allow our teams to grow remotely together. This year we celebrated continued recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. As we scaled in this remote environment we also affirmed our commitment to team member development welcoming new intern cohorts, sponsoring professional development programs, and introducing virtual training programs.
Longtime Programs Adapt to Virtual Work
Through New Remote Program Interns Grow with Karsun
Through our Karsun Innovation Center (KIC) Internship Program each of our interns has a voice in the future of our company. These interns support the Research and Development teams rolling out new tools and processes across our organization. Interns learn and grow during their time with us. Shadowing team members in our Innovation Center and customer delivery teams, they participate in cross-functional projects, sharing their insights with teams across the company.
Coffee with Leadership Goes Online
Launched in 2017, Coffee with Leadership is a longstanding monthly tradition at Karsun. During this open discussion, executive leadership hosts a small gathering with frontline team members. In this open forum anyone may share their experiences, make suggestions or discuss opportunities to improve work at Karsun. This year saw a transition to a remote format for Coffee with Leadership and the addition of a second monthly Brunch with Leadership group expanding the diversity of feedback across management levels. We included these breakfasts in Karsun’s new remote environment to ensure all employees have the opportunity to contribute to our vision for growth.
DataOps NoVa Launches Virtual Series
Hosted by Karsun’s Data Practice, DataOps NoVa is a monthly Meetup designed to introduce best practices and tools to the data, analytics, and IT community. Its DataOps 101 series was among the last of Karsun’s in-person training events at our Herndon, Virginia headquarters. This first series included discussions and demonstrations from DataOps vendors and an introduction to data encryption using middleware components presented by our Innovation Center.
After taking a short break from in-person events, the Meetup returned virtually in August. The new series will cover topics like data fabric, analytics foundations for MLOps, and vendor demos. The new format also allowed the team to expand outside Virginia hosting data experts from around the world. These new virtual sessions are published on the DataOps NoVa Meetup Page.
Karsun Leaders Grow Through Industry Groups and Fellowships
Karsun Executives Recognized as Industry Leaders
As Karsun celebrated its tenth year in operation and its tenth year supporting the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) our President, Terry Miller, was recognized in part for his leadership within the organization. In March 2020 Miller was named to FCW‘s prestigious Federal 100 list. This list includes 100 men and women who personify what’s possible in federal IT. He also served as the 2019 Industry Chair of ACT-IAC’s highly regarded Partners Program. This training and professional development curriculum pairs “rising star” leaders from government and industry. New under Miller’s leadership, the group formed three challenge teams to provide direct solutions to government agencies (GSA, NASA, SBA). He is also a graduate of the Partners Program and was the Chair of the Management of Change (MOC) event in 2013.
Also early in 2020, the College of Engineering Guindy Alumni Association of North America (CEGAANA) named Karsun CEO Sundar Vaidyanathan its 2020 Chairman of the Board. Sundar is committed to making the organization a self-sustaining entity. His ultimate goal is strengthening collaboration between students, the college and the alumni network.
Satish Alluri Graduates from Selective Fellowship Program
Meet Satish Alluri, the Deputy Program Manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grants Management Modernization initiative. He graduated in 2020 from the selective ACT- IAC Voyagers Professional Development fellowship. In September we spotlighted this longtime Karsun team member. Over the course of his career he grew from a Senior Business Analyst to a leader in both our DHS FEMA and GSA programs. Learn how Satish grew with us here.
Karsun Concludes 2020 with Virtual Team Recognition Events
Both our FEMA and KIC celebrated successes transitioning from in-person to virtual work through team recognition at the end of 2020. While our FEMA program hosted team lunches, our Innovation Center recognized our Karsun Academy and Practice Area mentors during an Innovation All Hands event in November.
As an organization Karsun Solutions also celebrated with a holiday lunch in December 2020. Every team member had lunch delivered to them as Karsun looked back on contract wins, team events and other small victories throughout the year. It was a final opportunity for our leadership to say “Go Team Karsun! Thank you for all your hard work!”
Solving difficult problems drives the work at Karsun Solutions. One of those difficult problems included transitioning Karsun’s internship program, formerly based out of its Herndon, Virginia Headquarters, to a fully remote program. In this new virtual internship format, interns join a mentorship centered program designed to keep them connected and innovating even as they work remotely.
At Karsun Solutions the Internship Program is affiliated with the Karsun Innovation Center or KIC. As part of their virtual internship, each participant pairs up with a mentor from the KIC. Beyond introducing them to an innovative IT modernization culture, mentors provide continuous feedback so that interns may further develop and improve their skills.
Building a Digital Workplace with Karsun Konnect
As members of the Innovation Center, interns will envision the future of remote work. They will work directly with Karsun’s new digital workplace initiative, Karsun Konnect. This is a real-world application, designed for Karsun employees, which is created and maintained by the KIC. Upon completion, Konnect will include both an InnerSource library and provide workflow enhancements to the corporate functions serving Karsun teams.
Their work will involve collaborating with various stakeholders within the Operations, Talent, Human Resources, and Business Development teams, to identify areas of digital transformation. As part of this experience, interns will identify business requirements. Then they will learn to implement low-cost and efficient solutions within the identified constraints. Based on the business needs and feasibility, they next select appropriate software solutions. These solutions might include chatbots and other applications developed on no-code/low-code frameworks available under the Konnect platform.
An Immersive Innovation Center Experience
Interns will also participate in daily remote stand-ups and demo their projects weekly to Innovation Center leadership. Although remote these interns will also have the opportunity to present and engage with Karsun’s monthly virtual Innovation Town Halls. They may also participate in virtual training through monthly dojos and brown bags hosted by the KIC.
Some may continue their projects after completing their program. Graduates of three previous intern classes now continue their projects in the Karsun Innovation Center as full-time employees. Several of these former internship participants plan to participate as mentors or advisors for this year’s class. The KIC internship program is one of several outreach events designed to engage future IT professionals. In addition to engaging in other college hiring programs the organization previously sponsored a senior capstone project at George Mason University and hackathons at the University of Oklahoma and University of Southampton. Karsun accepts internship applications in the spring.
Through our Karsun Innovation Center (KIC) Internship Program each of our interns has a voice in the future of our company. These interns support the Research and Development teams rolling out new tools and processes across our organization. In the fall of 2019, we launched an Innovation Town Hall series. And once again our interns led the way. Presenting their projects to Karsun employees at these monthly meetings, they not only demoed new innovations currently in production they also explained customer pain points and opportunities for future enhancements. From SQL proxies to artificial intelligence, each of our interns had new innovative projects to share.
Interns learn and grow during their time with us. Shadowing team members in our Innovation Center and customer delivery teams, they participate in cross-functional projects, sharing their insights with teams across the company. They also sit down with senior executives, learn about their background, and dig a little deeper into their leadership experience as they share advice on things that helped them along the way.
The SQL Proxy Approach to Data Encryption with Anuraadha Kandadai
Anuraadhaa Kandadai is a recent graduate from Duke University with an MS in Economics and Computation. Over the past summer, she worked as an Intern at KIC. During her time at Karsun Anuraadha presented at both Karsun’s internal Innovation Town Hall and at DataOps NoVa, a local Meetup hosted by Karsun Solution’s Data Practice.
Anuraadhaa presented on the SQL Proxy Approach to Data Encryption. Her demo was a behind the scenes look at the SQL Proxy components followed by use cases for encryption. She also highlighted the challenges with complete encryption.
Apart from her work in the Karsun Innovation Center, she enjoys doing DIY art and craftwork. On her time in the Innovation Center, she said,
“For someone with a mixed background (economics and CS), I came in with an open mind and with a primary goal to learn as much as possible. After 3 months of the internship, I can confidently say that learning as an intern at KIC was immense. The range of work from working on Robotic Process Automation to building a “dead code” analyzer was exciting. I must also add that the team at KIC has been extremely helpful and always encouraging and patient with all the interns.”
JAM Stack Development with Sheetal Ramamoorthy
Sheetal is a recent graduate with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management with a focus on Analytics from the University of South Florida, Tampa. During her free time, she paints with friends and participates in 5k runs during the marathon season. On her time working with the Karsun Innovation Center and Development Practice she added,
“I had many different things on my mind during the internship. I wanted to learn what it is like to work in an office environment, have more experience in coding, and work with new programming languages and learned them too. As an intern I worked as a part of the KIC team doing data analysis for the CMMI audit and scripting in R language for regression equation and I hope to contribute more on the development of Innovation at Karsun.”
Compliance Masonry with Akhil Ramaswamy
During his Innovation Town Hall Akhil Ramaswamy demonstrated his work with the compliance masonry team. This is a capture and management framework (CMF) for documenting System Security Plans (SSPs.) Using compliance masonry, teams collaborate on documentation as structured data. Then they automatically format it in multiple ways useful to their teammates and compliance reviewers. This is both more secure and more efficient than the traditional approach which involves many team members manually managing large static Word and Excel documents.
During his time at Karsun Innovation Center, Akhil extended the compliance masonry to add two additional features. First, Control Check verifies if an application’s source code has the security control implemented and confirms the required documentation is available. Second, Extract inserts control documentation from the code and updates the open control YAML.
The KIC Internship Program is just one of several ways Karsun leverages its innovation resources to support employees and the local IT community. Previously seniors at George Mason University completed a rapid scaffolding prototype with a KIC mentor as part of their capstone project.
The KIC also includes five employee-centric Practice Areas. Led by a subject matter expert, these Practice Areas host innovation center days, training workshops, and connect employees to an expanding pool of resources. This program cultivates team members into Enterprise Modernization Experts while enabling new opportunities to serve our customers. Through KIC the Data Practices also reach back to the IT community. Many practice leads speak at industry events. Meanwhile teams in the Data Practice host a monthly DataOps NoVa Meetup at the Karsun Solutions Headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
About Karsun Solutions
Karsun Solutions is a fast-growing, innovative, enterprise modernization firm. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Washington Business Journal, and Inc. all recognize Karsun Solutions among the fastest-growing companies in the Washington, D.C. region. Karsun teams deliver software development, cloud, and advanced analytics solutions to customers at government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, and General Services Administration. It is an established firm, with a DCAA Approved Accounting System, CMMI Level 5 – DEV appraisal, and AWS Government Competency as well as ISO 9001, ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 certifications. Information on employment opportunities is available at karsun-llc.com/careers.
We recently welcomed our 2018 Summer Intern class into our Herndon, Virginia headquarters. Interns tackle difficult problems alongside our program and Innovation Center teams. Last year’s internships covered everything from cloud operations to the blockchain. This year’s class includes students from Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and University of Maryland, College Park. Meet each of our interns below and see how they inspire us to Do Extraordinary!
Sean Kim is majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Cybersecurity at Virginia Tech. This summer he will support our GSA customer as a member of the CAMEO SB TDR team. Growing up, music has been a big part of his family and life. Sean plays several instruments including the clarinet, saxophone, piano and guitar. He also stays active whenever he can whether it’s playing sports or going hiking with friends.
How Sean Does Extraordinary at Karsun Solutions:
“My main objective for this internship is to learn as much as I possibly can. Being with Karsun for a couple of weeks now, I have been exposed to so much even though I know it’s only just the tip of the iceberg. It’s exciting to see how everyone works together to create solutions, and I am so grateful knowing that I can be a part of the process.”
Kiran Saravanakumar is a rising senior at George Mason University. He is majoring in Computer Science and will be graduating in May of 2019. Outside of the workplace, he likes to go biking, listen to music and hang out with friends. Additionally, he plays competitive basketball and cricket. Kiran supports our GSA customer and the CAMEO SB TDR team this summer.
How Kiran Does Extraordinary at Karsun Solutions:
“Throughout the course of this internship my number one objective is to actively learn as much information about the industry as well as the various technical tools that are being utilized by the teams here at Karsun. At the end of this summer, I hope to become a more well rounded individual both as a professional and as a communicator. I plan on achieving my goals by taking initiative and being very hands on by asking for new tasks as soon as the opportunity opens up.”
Henry Chen is a Computer Science and Statistics double major at the University of Maryland, College Park. As an intern, Henry joins the Karsun Innovation Center. In his free time, Henry likes to experiment with new technologies.
How Henry Does Extraordinary at Karsun Solutions:
As a member of the Karsun Innovation Center, Henry hopes to contribute directly to production development work. He plans to work hard to Do Extraordinary during his time at Karsun Solutions.