Research Park Intern Events

Research Park is consistently home to over 800 interns every year. From large companies to startups, interns have the opportunity to contribute to company development through projects. Students come from multiple disciplines, including engineering, graphic design, marketing, chemistry, computer science, urban planning, and much more. Research Park would not be the innovative hub it is today without the students’ insights, hard work, and creativity.

Office spaces are student-oriented, and most include amenities such as table tennis, kitchen areas, and free coffee. Site Directors are open to feedback from their employees, so offices tend to be flexible in design in order to accommodate work while also respecting preferences.

Research Park hosts multiple student-focused events every year to thank students for their dedication. From the Summer Picnic & Awards to Game Night, these casual, social nights give students the opportunity to meet others from different companies and startups. The Park is more than brick-and-mortar: It’s about a community that works together to stay connected to see success across the board. 

To keep up-to-date with Research Park Intern Events, Sign up for the Intern Newsletter:

Summer Intern Professional Development Series

Research Park supports interns as young professionals, and these 12 to 1 pm workshops every Tuesday allow students to learn about key life skills, like financial responsibility and negotiation strategies. Research Park requests that attendees register in advance for the workshops they will attend. Staying for the entire event is highly recommended.

Missed the 2020 Summer Intern Professional Development Series? Start watching the 2020 workshop series on our YouTube channel.

Summer Picnic & Intern Awards

This ceremony celebrates students’ hard work on company and startup projects. Managers nominate interns for awards like “Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Intern” and “Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup.”

For more information about the 2021 ceremony, including the press release, visit our Summer Intern Awards page.

Congratulations to the finalists and winners for the 2020 Summer Picnic & Intern Awards. Research Park would not be the same without you.

Missed the 2020 awards ceremony? Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

2020 Winners

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
  • Winner – Grayson Schaer: Research Associate, Editekk (Undergraduate, Aerospace Engineering)
Best Technical Innovation
  • Winner – Katherine Ritchie: Cancer Metabolic Modeling Intern, SimBioSys (Undergraduate, Computer Science)
  • Ali Taghibakhshi: Student Robotics Intern, John Deere (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering)
  • Eric Cheng: Data Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Food Science and Statistics)
Best Non-Technical Innovation
  • Winner – Nupur Bhardwaj: Human Resources & Community Intern, Motorola Solutions (Undergraduate, Marketing)
  • Vishaank Ghai: Project Manager, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Undergraduate, Computer Science and Economics)
  • Anne Zulkarnain: UX/UI Designer, Cargill (Undergraduate, Industrial Design)
Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
  • Eric Cheng: Data Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Food Science and Statistics)
  • Jialu Yan: Data Scientist Intern, Cargill (Ph.D., Physics)
  • Jack Massey: Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Masters, Statistics)
  • Grant Greenberg: Neuroscience Bioinformatics Intern, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Most Outstanding Undergraduate Intern
  • Winner – Harry Zhao: Engineering Intern, Caterpillar (Undergraduate, Aerospace Engineering)
  • Winner – Anders Cox: Plasma Processing Intern, Starfire Industries LLC (Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering)
  • Dominic Di Girolamo: Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Undergraduate, Actuarial Science)
  • Jessica Huang: Market Research Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Undergraduate, Accounting & Information Systems and Information Technology)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team
  • Winner – Granular Flex Team
    • Jake Stahl: Data Specialist (Undergraduate, Agriculture Business Market and Management)
    • Jordan Breedlove: Data Specialist (Undergraduate in Agriculture Business)
  • Cloud Animal Health Shared Services Team
    • Rishi Choudhary: Project Management Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Systems Engineering and Design)
    • Fides Icalina: Graphic Design Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Graphic Design)
    • Prit Delada: Front End Developer Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Geographic Information Sciences)
    • Jane Kim: Social Media & Communications Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Media and Cinema Studies)
  • Cargill Team
    • Johnny Chang: Undergraduate in Electrical Engineering
    • Jamie Lim: Undergraduate in Industrial Design

2019 Winners

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
  • Winner – Shaoyu Meng: Software Engineer, LifeFoundry (Masters, Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Xiofan Zhang: Neural Network Engineering Intern, Inspirit-IoT (Ph.D., Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Jugat Singh: Summer Engineering Intern, InstaRecon, Inc. (Masters, Computer Science)
Best Technological Innovation
  • Winner – Harshit Gupta: Data Science Technology Intern, Syngenta (Masters, Information Management)
  • Ashley Oyirifi: Biomedical Innovation Researcher, AbbVie (Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences)
  • Qianli Chen: Data Scientist, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Ph.D., Civil Engineering)
Most Advanced Marketing-Business Development
  • Winner – Mallory Gorman: Associate Product Owner, Nutrien Ag Solutions (Undergraduate, Agricultural Engineering)
  • Sherry Yi: Idea Summer Lab Intern, AbbVie (Ph.D., Educational Psychology)
  • Nikita Nerkar: Web Developer, Ekey Technology (Masters, Technology Management)
Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
  • Zhuzhu Wang: Product Development Intern, Abbott (Ph.D., Food Science)
  • Winner – Saurav Yadav: Data Scientist, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Masters, Information Management)
  • Nuraini Aguse: Front End Intern, InstaRecon (Masters, Computer Science)
Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Intern
  • Winner – Derek Meyer: P&C Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Undergraduate, Actuarial Science)
  • Avani Patel: Clinical Research Intern, PhotoniCare (Undergraduate, Bioengineering)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team
  • Winner – Intelinair Agronomy and Deep Learning Intern Team
  • PSYONIC Mechanical Engineering Team
  • AARP Computer Programming Team

Intern Networking Social

The Intern Mixer is an afternoon social held for Research Park interns. A complimentary buffet is provided. Students play games and interact with one another, sharing work stories and Research Park experiences.

Intern Networking Social will be on June 17 in the evening. 

Intern Game Night

Intern Game Night is an evening of pizza and games at EnterpriseWorks, the startup incubator of Research Park. Board games, like KerPlunk and Connect Four, and coloring sheets are available for interns to destress, and those with a competitive edge can sign up and face others in a MarioKart Tournament. A prize is given away at the end of the night to the best MarioKart racer.

Summer 2021 dates for this event are to be announced.

Research Park’s Table Tennis Tournament

Are you prepared to win The Golden Paddle? Research Park annually holds the Table Tennis Tournament, and all companies can participate. Competition occurs from 4 to 11 pm, and competitors are split between Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced to accommodate all experience levels.

Summer 2021 dates for this event are to be announced.

Fire@Five (May to October)

Fire at Five is a social event that allows employees of Research Park time to de-stress and celebrate the end of the month. Complimentary dinner is provided, and those 21 and over enjoy the happy hour. From beanbags to photo booths to cake walks, a multitude of activities are available at Fire at Five. Invite your co-workers, head to the Atkins Building Patio,  grab a drink, and listen to live music starting at 5 pm on every fourth Friday of the month.