Alison, a 2018 Western Digital RAMP intern
Inside Western Digital

Together, #WeAchieveMore

At Western Digital, we find immense value in the skillsets and intuition of our incoming talent. Our 10-12 week RAMP Internship program brings together unique personalities and perspectives that will help drive company strategy towards the future. Each intern works alongside our teams of experienced, professional Western Digital employees on carefully selected, strategic projects over the course of the summer. They help us bring fresh new ideas to our business challenges and add real value to the design of our products as well as the business itself.

In addition to first-hand experience, RAMP also provides opportunities to network with executives and other interns, a day to give back to the community – which is a vitally important part of our corporate culture – and of course, a bit of fun, too! Best of all, our program also serves as a strategic pipeline to hire our future years’ new college graduate class.

Class of 2018 Summer Interns, I would like to offer you a sincere word of gratitude for all the hard work and effort you put into this summer with us at Western Digital.  We’ve truly enjoyed having you here with us this summer!  Best of luck now that you’re back at university, and we hope to see you in our hallways, labs, or meeting rooms upon graduation!

Read About the Experiences of Some of Our Interns:

Alison D., Finance and Accounting Intern

Alison, a 2018 Western Digital RAMP internThere is a unique aura at Western Digital that seems to flow all throughout the office. It’s a contagious feeling of cohesion and encouragement that makes every day feel like a new journey towards a common goal. My time in the Western Digital Internship program is defined by the people that I’ve been able to meet, as well as the culture that they help create at this company.

As an incoming finance and accounting intern, my biggest fear was that I would make mistakes that would take a toll on the progress of my team. Young professionals, especially those in large companies, often make it their goal to fit in and become familiar with the standards of a company. When I came onboard, I was encouraged to do the exact opposite. I was pushed to take creative and unconventional approaches to tackle financial projects, and as a result, I have been able to help my team improve the quality of financial insight we receive and develop strategies for the future. Western Digital’s emphasis on creativity has allowed me to showcase my skills and develop talents that I never thought I would have.

Developing relationships of substance with your teammates will prove to be the ultimate catalyst of success.

Make an effort to understand and connect with those around you to truly maximize the return on collaboration. My confidence to perform in the workplace was cultivated by teammates that trusted in me and I will always be grateful for that.

This summer provided only a glimpse of what Western Digital interns are capable of. We are tenacious learners and eager performers that have our best work in front of us. All of the success that we have enjoyed and hardship that we have overcome serve as stepping stones to achieve even greater goals. Thank you to my colleagues as well as to the Western Digital Internship program for providing a platform for young professionals to excel.

Rob S., Corporate Development and Strategy Intern

Rob, a 2018 Western Digital RAMP internThis summer, I learned how to work strategically with real people on real problems. I saw first-hand how we evaluate potential acquisition and investment targets from a strategic perspective, with technological hedges and industry headlights at the forefront and with potential financial returns playing an important, but secondary role. As an MBA intern in Corporate Development and Strategy at Western Digital, I learned three lessons.

Straddle both worlds. Dive into the technical aspects of a business and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t know something. I learned to build relationships with subject matter experts and translate changes in regulatory environments and operational situations into specific and relevant business impacts.

Get the framing right. I learned to frame analysis in a way that captures relevant information requirements and drives forward toward useful, actionable conclusions. This lesson came in the context of coordinating cross-functional working groups. This brought me into contact with different parts of the business each day.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This was the first advice I received, and “make mistakes” is exactly what I did. Through all of them, I found myself surrounded by a team dedicated to Western Digital’s strategic success, but also dedicated to developing me as an employee, as a leader, and as a person.

This was a summer of firsts: my first work on a live Corporate Development deal; my first role thinking strategically about Series Seed investments; my first time working cross-functionally both with engineers and with accountants. In truth, after 8 years in the Marines, Western Digital took me from an unconventional non-business background and gave me my very first corporate job. I will always be grateful for this opportunity to do meaningful work and will definitely reflect on these real-world experiences as I return to Los Angeles and continue school.

Dillon L., Software Development Intern

Dillon, a 2018 Western Digital RAMP internWe’ve seen the power of artificial intelligence in action within functions as simple as email categorization and facial recognition all the way to the spectacle of self-driving cars. As a huge football and basketball fanatic, I can only imagine how artificial intelligence can make the basketball court and the football field a safer place for all athletes. Interning at Western Digital has driven me to push data to the limits so that one day, I can discover the next breakthrough in AI.

I’ve been able to work directly on projects that have exposed me to the processes by which data is stored, organized, and applied. By the end of the summer I plan to have a system up and running that will allow for quicker and more transparent use of data for analysis purposes.

Professional growth goes hand in hand with personal growth. I’ve attended speaking seminars held by Western Digital leaders and I’ve seen firsthand how much guidance is available to employees at all levels. I’ve also participated in an intern volunteer event in which my colleagues and I assembled bikes for children in underprivileged communities. Some of my greatest memories have come from actively participating in initiatives that build up the communities around me.

The RAMP Internship program at Western Digital has provided an environment in which I have been able to learn and achieve what I had not thought was possible. I’ve taken part in projects that have the potential to change the way we all use data to perform everyday tasks.

Of all of the lessons that I have learned this summer, there is one specifically that we must all remember:

Don’t be rattled by unexpected situations; our greatest opportunities are often disguised as difficulties or roadblocks and it is up to us to make them spectacular.

Abhijna P., Senior Product Design Engineering Intern

Abhijna, a 2018 Western Digital RAMP internAs a Senior Product Design Engineering Intern at Western Digital, I’ve been placed in a community that finds bliss and beauty in uncertainty. A successful product engineer requires a fine balance of patience, persistence, and humility. There are many ways to interpret this and even more ways to apply these three traits in a work environment.

I still get a rush of anxiety when I am assigned a new responsibility in a project. The thought of having an integral role within a team used to cause unbearable pressure… yikes! However, my manager, my mentor, and my entire memory team continually stressed the importance of being patient. This includes sorting out the basics first and creating a roadmap to tackle the project at hand. So, sit back, sort it out, and then dive in!

To oneself, it may be hard to realize the distinct line between being persistent and being stubborn. Stubborn workers hinder a team’s ability to think freely and perform creatively, while persistent workers motivate a team to perform the impossible. There are many different ways to complete any given task and it’s important to realize that you may not have the answers to every problem.

Humility will provide you with the seeds of growth that will propel you in all aspects of life. When you are aware of just how much you can learn, you open the door to new information and wonderful people. Be humble!

This summer at Western Digital, I have been able to design various product aspects that cater to the needs of emerging new technology. I was given the chance to work alongside an amazing team and we’ve given our all to create quality products that will help everyone become more efficient in their craft. Thank you to the Western Digital Internship program as well as all of my peers who have believed in my abilities.

Learn More

For more information on the RAMP Internship Program, visit Students.WDC.com.

Leave a Response

Meagan Cooper
Meagan Cooper is Western Digital's Director of Global University Recruitment and is responsible for the strategic development to recruit top talent from key universities around the world. With her global team at her side, Meagan leads the RAMP Internship Program and LAUNCH New College Graduate Program where students and new graduates alike start off their professional careers on the right foot and fully engaged with Western Digital. In her personal life, Meagan’s interests include exploring the world with her loved ones, running on the beach, surfing, volunteering her time for local charities and organizations and cheering on the local sports teams (Go Angels!).