Women in Technology Showcase Features Summer Interns

Thursday, August 6, 2020

headshots of the interns from Women in Technology Showcase

WiT interns (from left, top row) Aylah Iqbal, Catherine Mei, Devanshi Gupta, Julia Danielle Uy, Karina Strauch; (bottom row) Lila Loughlin, Madison Barnett, Kelsey Bui, Namrata Chaudhary, Sai Shravani Sistla

William Blair hosted its third annual Women in Technology (WiT) showcase on July 29, featuring the work of 10 college and graduate students from universities across the country who interned with the firm this summer.

All are pursuing careers in information technology and they described their summer research projects during the employee event, held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19.

William Blair Chief Technology Officer Jim Connors kicked off the 2020 showcase, thanking the women and staff for their agility and flexibility in exceeding the firm’s expectations during the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown.

“It’s a great opportunity to see the amazing work our interns have been able to accomplish in a short time period,” Connors told the group. “We’re excited to continue to support the diversity of women roles in technology and do our small part to move that forward.”

 

The interns

The talented interns supported a variety of tech groups within William Blair—from application development to infrastructure engineering and data science. Their research projects covered a host of topics to address business problems:

Namrata Chaudhary, a graduate student at Penn State University, developed a statistical forecasting model to project incoming revenue for investment banking.

Sai Shravani Sistla, who is pursuing a master’s in computer science at Georgia Tech, explored network technology and graph analytics to help teams within investment banking.

Madison Barnett, a junior at University of Arizona, created an interactive dashboard to analyze the capacity and expense of running a data center.

Kelsey Bui, a senior at Lehigh University, worked to enhance interactive, online financial reports used by the private wealth management team.

Devanshi Gupta, a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University, analyzed Apache’s Parquet software that compresses large data sets with the aim to increase storage and memory efficiencies.

Aylah Iqbal, a senior at Northwestern University, developed a search algorithm for investment management’s Summit research platform. 

Lila Loughlin, a senior at Wake Forest University, analyzed Salesforce data and access to users within investment banking.

Catherine Mei, a sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researched a robotic automation process to increase efficiency in affirming trades for institutional sales.

Karina Strauch, a junior at University of Pennsylvania, analyzed the back-office processes for William Blair’s data analytics and insights platform.

Julia Danielle Uy, a junior at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, created a system to improve data maintenance and updates for investment management reports.

 

WiT program

“These young women were positive, engaged, open to ideas,” said Jill Krivacek, a member William Blair’s IT team and one of the mentors for this year’s class. “It’s energizing to help other women shape their journeys and see someone in technology that looks like them.”

The WiT program, a partnership between William Blair’s information technology department and the Women’s Alliance business resource group, was started in 2018 by Fares Ghanimah, head of central technology services for William Blair.

“We introduced WiT to increase the number of women in IT and bring diversity to our staff—not just for the sake of the numbers but to increase the performance and outcomes for the business,” Ghanimah says.

WiT also supports women in tech roles at William Blair through employee engagement and development programs and it partners with community groups with similar goals.

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