Amazon Teaches Computer Science Student First-Class Skills

Posted: October 18, 2017 | Author: Kaden Mcbride | Read Time: 2 minutes

Katrina MehringAn understanding of technology can open many doors. Katrina Mehring’s proficiency with technology opened a big door for her, as the computer science major from Pioche, Nevada, was able to secure an internship at Amazon this summer.

Mehring, a senior at Southern Utah University, applied for the internship in October 2015 through the university's job board. She hoped to at least get an interview but felt that could be a long shot. Not hearing back from Amazon until January, she was taken by surprise when they called her in for an interview. A few days later they offered her the position.

At Amazon she helped the Alexa Skills Publishing team create a system that would allow developers to tailor Alexa’s skills to specific users. These skills are applications used by Alexa, a cloud based digital assistant, that allow customers to do anything from checking the news and weather to scheduling appointments or receiving style tips.

“I was able to learn and implement AWS technologies, notably DynamoDB, SQS and SNS services,” said Mehring. “I also learned the importance of operational focus and software testing as part of my internship.”

Mehring said that Dr. Michael Grady, a computer science professor, assisted and encouraged her the most during her time at the university. His excitement for programming and operating systems was infective.“Katrina has strong potential,” said Grady. “I confidently expect that there will be many additional success stories in the years to come.”

“Professor Grady always let us choose our own projects for his classes, within reason, allowing us to look into what our own passions were and to learn more about them,” said Mehring.

Reflecting on her experience at Amazon, Mehring said “this internship taught me a lot about planning projects and taking into consideration all the technologies and decisions that need to be made.”

As for her future, Mehring dreams of working on operating systems and open source software.

The Computer Science and Information Security (CSIS) department provides a learning centered environment that enables students to compete globally for careers ranging from IT specialists to software application developers, computer designers and web designers.

For more information about internships, go to

This article was published more than 5 years ago and might contain outdated information or broken links. As a result, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Tags: Computer Science Blog

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