“As an intern, I was given the opportunity to present a project solution to management, which shows the trust and encouragement Intel builds with young minds.”
Zaman Zaid Mulla will never forget the day he earned his employee badge at Intel’s Bengaluru office. He was no longer an intern but a full-time Intel employee! It was a joyful as well as an emotional moment, not only for him but also for his family back in Mumbai.
Punctual and tenacious Zaman was pursuing the M.Tech (Master of Technology) program when he learned about the internship opportunity at Intel. After applying online and multiple rounds of interviews, he got hired and soon was assigned his first problem statement involving signal strength in motherboards. That was just the beginning of several customer problems he has solved over the past two years.
Below is an excerpt from the interview where Zaman recalls those precious moments, the best career advice he received, and more.
Tell us about your most cherished memory at Intel.
If I had to pick one, it has to be the appreciation I received from senior management within a few months of joining Intel. I received a pat on the back for a customer deliverable I achieved in a short period of time.
What are three qualities that you’ve learned at Intel?
The first quality is logical thinking. It’s this thinking capacity that helps me translate theory into reality. The next is time management. At Intel, I’ve learned to manage my time diligently, ensuring I don’t miss any work deadlines. Yet, I have time for things that interest me outside work—lastly, problem-solving as I’ve learned to face hurdles head-on and solve them confidently.
What problems do interns solve at Intel?
I was excited and quite intrigued when I got the opportunity to join Intel as an intern. My first assignment was in signal integrity and machine learning (ML). My focus was on enhancing prediction using emerging technology like ML to improve the signal quality in high-speed input/output and memory topologies. There are various types of ML algorithms, and some of these can be very specific to the topology of the motherboard. I had to work with the team and choose the best algorithm out of the pool, which would directly translate into how well the system or laptop would perform on the user’s end. These are real-world problems, and it was exciting to see theory turned into reality.
How easy or difficult was it interning at Intel?
There is a lot of exposure to the newest technologies and, at the same time, immense support from the Intel team. In the project assigned, I was quite confident in the theoretical aspect of how the signal looks within the system. But translating it on a practical level took me a couple of months and lots of learning from Intel resources and mentors.
There are several aspects to consider, such as the signal data rate increases if data increases, a jump in transmitting info from 2GHz a few years ago to 7GHz now, data distortion, and more. All these experiences and finding a way to build an aggressive, high-quality platform goes beyond any books I’ve read.
Tell us about your experience with the Intel team.
As an intern, I was given the opportunity to present a project solution to management, which shows the trust and encouragement Intel builds with young minds. For the project, I was assigned a dedicated mentor—a technical leader who guided me at every step and helped me face every technical hurdle confidently. Signal integrity is a huge team, and so is the ML/AI team. My role was to collaborate and build a bridge that joins both domains to help improve signal quality. I had to interact with both teams regularly, and everyone assured me I’d learned more than was needed. In fact, one of the best pieces of career advice I have received is from my tech leads and manager at Intel on how to utilize time efficiently.
From an intern to a full-time Intel employee. Tell us about it.
The cognizance of working for Intel as a permanent full-time employee is itself serendipity. Working for such an immense organization loads one with a huge amount of responsibility and accountability. From successfully clearing a series of interview sessions with managers to receiving a call to join Intel full-time was the result of a lot of hard work during my internship.
What does a typical day for an analog engineer look like?
My day begins with a to-do list of tasks. Along with my team, my job is to provide customer solutions and develop new technologies at Intel. We enable customers by building new user experiences as well as showing them how to integrate new technologies into their platform and laptops. Customers approach us with specific problems and constraints they face. We try to solve them considering these constraints. Each problem statement is directly converted into a project. The highlight is that one solution isn’t repeated across domains. The same solution may not work for another customer who faces a similar problem.
How does your work impact day-to-day lives?
My work involves improving signal quality, which directly converts into a more aggressive platform, reducing the latencies in day-to-day life. On the one hand, we enable our customers to design high-quality products using ML prediction for several parameters and components like capacitors and resistance values in the board. We fine-tune these values to build products that can keep them ahead of the competition. On the other hand, these aggressive platforms mitigate latencies for end-users, allowing them to complete tasks faster. For instance, a web page that usually takes 30 seconds can load in microseconds, a gamer can play without facing delays, plus search results and other productivity tasks get done faster.
Zaman strongly believes that Intel has a gamut of opportunities for learning and career growth. From research and development to encouraging participation in conferences—Intel teaches you to be analytical and logical about how new technologies can be integrated within a platform.
Ready to kick-start your career working with the latest technologies, solving real-world problems? Discover opportunities at Intel India today.