How One Engineer Found a Career and Community at Intel

Arjun moved from California to Massachusetts to join Intel in 2018. He has quickly become an integral part of the Intel community, thanks to his work and a welcoming team and leadership. “In terms of responsibility and knowledge transfer, it has been a steady ramp. We were a new team. It took a lot of learning and strategizing with other teams to implement our planned goals on schedule.” Within a few months of joining Intel, Arjun joined the NextGen employee resource group (ERG). “These ERGs, Next Gen in particular, are a great platform for new engineers to experience Intel’s unique culture and understand the ecosystem. It gives them the familiarity and comfort to reach out to anyone and truly harness Intel’s resources for their work and teams. Productivity in a workplace is hinged on an open workplace dynamic and It all boils down to how Next Gen, or any ERG for that matter, promotes what Intel is and how to function efficiently within Intel. This ultimately adds value to the whole organization.”

Arjun started his career at Intel as a Pre-Silicon Verification Engineer, but as the program progressed, so has his role. He moved teams and now finds himself bringing pre-silicon and post-silicon worlds together to power-on and bring-up the chip that was being architected and designed over the last two years. He works with experts from multiple disciplines to try and solve interesting problems (not covered by a specific team). “You’re going to hit a lot of roadblocks, and part of that effort is to work with experts from different teams and organizations within Intel, be it from the pre-silicon world or the post-silicon world – from customer facing teams to Silicon Architecture, SW/FW design, validation, Product, Fabrication etc. Bringing them together to brainstorm and resolve mission critical issues (impacting product pipeline/roadmap) in a time-sensitive market makes the work challenging and interesting at every step of the way. It’s probably one of the most complex products I’ve worked on in my career. It’s immensely interesting and at the same time, it’s a lot of fun. Working with such high-caliber individuals and teams always inspires me to do my best.”

It is this big picture thinking that really keeps Arjun motivated. “Intel’s culture of learning and transparency really helps us to appreciate how our work impacts the end user. You can zoom out and see how the products you’re working on fit into this wider data-centric ecosystem. We have products that are being used at the cancer center of research and innovation at the Boston Children’s Hospital and even the phone I’m using today has a chip that I played a role in bringing to the market. I can see how my work impacts the chip, the product, all the way to the customer, and how it interacts with the wider industry. It is inspiring to see Intel as a key player in almost every market segment out there – even beyond the semiconductor industry.”

One aspect of working at Intel that Arjun particularly enjoys is the sense of being in a smaller company within a larger firm which lends his experience a very entrepreneurial feel. “Hudson is a small tight-knit community. People are always willing to help you and there is an implicit level of comfort working with everyone. It is easy to reach experts and leadership in specific areas to help brainstorm and collaborate on projects. We come together to work on complex problems and see our efforts come to fruition. It is inspiring to see experts from all parts of the organization come together to solve a problem and bringing them together to do this is a part of my job I really enjoy.”

Beyond the connections, Arjun found that Intel has a culture of constant learning. “You learn every step of the way, so you’re consistently building not only your technical knowledge but also your leadership and management capabilities. There is so much information coming from every angle. To bring it all together is interesting and It’s challenging, and I think that’s what’s fun.”

Arjun’s experience with employee resource groups has given him the opportunity to connect with co-workers and other teams on the campus. “ERGs are fun to be a part of and are great stress-busters. There are so many resources and events that take place, from the Maker fair and cultural events to community service and pick-up sports. As a member of the NextGen board, I’m now a part of the committee that helps organize such events. I am also an active member of the recruiting committee and have spoken about Intel to college students in some of the top schools in the area, such as MIT and Harvard.”

While personal connections may be more difficult given the COVID context, it hasn’t stopped our ERGs from coming up with novel ways to bring employees together. “It is important to take a break and de-stress with colleagues over something other than engineering, be it a game night or a happy hour, even if it’s virtually organized.”

 

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