MALVERN, Pa. — Summer internships help scores of Penn State Great Valley students develop valuable real-world experience that can lead to full-time jobs. For Master of Science in Data Analytics student Mahgol Nowparvar, her internship and upcoming full-time job couldn’t be more related.
Nowparvar spent the summer as an engineering systems analyst intern for 3M, which operates and produces products in the fields of industry, worker safety, U.S. health care and consumer goods. Her performance was impressive enough to earn her an offer for a full-time position as an engineering systems analyst once she completes her degree at Great Valley.
“At the end of the internship we had to present our work to all the departments in 3M,” Nowparvar said. “They offered me a full-time position not only because of the presentation, but mostly because I knew the detail of my project and suggested a few new ways to approach solving some problems in projects, such as coming up with new ways of analysis and suggesting new software to work with.”
3M is headquartered in Maplewood, Minnesota, approximately five minutes from where Nowparvar was living and attending classes remotely during the 2020-21 academic year. A short commute was part of the appeal for Nowparvar, but she also had been interested in working for the company for a while, in large part due to its reputation for a positive working culture and global innovation.
During her internship, Nowparvar focused on analyzing and visualizing data to improve the use of engineering resources throughout the company. Nowparvar used Power BI to create those data visualizations during her internship, and, while she didn’t learn Power BI specifically in her courses, she credited the Data Visualization course she took for giving her a strong basis to create helpful visualizations for the company.
“All the courses I took helped me get that internship and helped me be successful in that internship,” Nowparvar said.
With the fall semester in full swing and now living in the Malvern area to take in-person classes, Nowparvar is working on her thesis, the capstone project for MS Data Analytics students, titled “Immersive Simulation-Based Learning (ISBL): Efficacy and Effect of Navigation in the Virtual Environment,” which focuses on finding the relationship between user navigation and learning outcomes in virtual settings.
Nowparvar also serves as a research assistant to Ashkan Negahban, assistant professor of engineering management. Her work with Negahban focuses on statistical and predictive analysis, which she expects will help her further when she begins her full-time position.
“During my master’s program, I have taken a few data analytics courses,” Nowparvar said, “learning Python, Minitab, Tableau, and predictive analytics using R, which I’m hoping to be useful in my future career.”