Research Park Intern Events

Research Park is consistently home to over 600 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 stays connected to see success across the board.

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.”

Congratulations to the finalists and winners for the 2019 Summer Picnic & Intern Awards. Research Park would not be the same without you.

Missed the awards ceremony? Watch the video.

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 Mixer

The 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 Game Night

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 de-stress, 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 Intern Professional Development Series

Research Park supports interns as young professionals, and these 12 to 1 pm workshops allow students to learn about key life skills, like financial responsibility and negotiation strategies. A complimentary lunch is provided from 12 to 12:15 pm. Research Park does request that attendees stay for the entire duration of the workshop. 

Missed the 2019 Summer Intern Professional Development Series? Watch the videos below.

Kate Rogers

Financial Wellness

Kate Rogers, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Office of Campus Card Management, discussed how to budget, save an emergency fund, pay down debt, set financial goals, and how to improve credit scores.

Patricia Simpson

Leveraging Your Strengths

Patricia Simpson, Academic Advisor within Career Services at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Chemistry, discussed how strengths influence interactions with other people and how those same strengths influence your mindset.

Kristina Wright

Emotional Intelligence

Kristina Wright, an Associate Director of Engineering Career Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed why emotional intelligence matters, how it can be used every day, and how to be more cognizant of others.

Derek Attig

Translating Skills

Derek Attig, Director of Career Development at the Graduate College of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed how to identify marketable skills and how to articulate their value in a variety of contexts.

Jim Dahl

Negotiation Strategies

Jim Dahl, Teaching Professor of Business Administration from the Gies College of Business, discussed tactics and methods for negotiating both in professional life and personal life.

Stacy Walker and Brad Mehrtens

Improv for Interviews

Stacy Walker, Graduate Academic Advisor for Grainger College of Engineering, and Brad Mehrtens, Academic Advisor for Molecular and Cellular Biology, discussed how improv can be effectively applied to interview preparation and interviews themselves.

Lauren Stites

From Summer to LinkedIn

Lauren Stites, Associate Director at Grainger College of Engineering, discussed how to best leverage LinkedIn for networking, job searching, and personal branding.

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.

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 Ameren Pond,  grab a drink, and listen to live music starting at 5 pm on every last Friday of the month.