Student Profile

Internship spotlight: Zach Dietz, A.B. '20 (Yalochat)

Name: Zach Dietz

Class: 2020

Concentration: Applied math

Hometown: Northampton, Mass.

Internship focus: Computer programming

Internship location: Yalochat, Mexico City

Describe your internship.

Yalochat is a startup based in Mexico City that builds chatbots for retail and customer service purposes. I interned there this summer as a software engineer, and my main job was to create a service for the company’s internal use to help them interact with their data more easily. This service interacted with their databases to display their data, calculate statistics on it, and manipulate it. I also worked on some machine learning algorithms for the chatbots.

What is one of the most valuable lessons you learned from this internship, and why?

During my internship, I worked fairly independently on my project, so my ability to manage my time and plan out my schedule improved a lot.

What is one of the biggest challenges you faced during this internship, and why? How did you overcome it?

This internship required me to use a lot of services and programs I had never interacted with before. This was a challenge, but ultimately I was able to overcome it by reading online how to use these services as well as speaking with my coworkers. This improved my ability to learn to use new services quickly and efficiently.

What skills from your courses at SEAS helped you the most during this internship, and why?

The basic coding abilities that classes like Introduction to Computer Science (CS50) and Abstraction and Design in Computation (CS 51) taught me were essential for writing code during my internship. Also, when working on machine learning projects, the machine learning exposure I’d received from some SEAS classes came handy.

Why has this internship been a good experience for you?

This internship gave me valuable experience coding and glimpse of what life as a software engineer is like.

How do you think this experience could inform or benefit your future career path?

One of the most impactful parts of this internship was its location in Mexico City. I saw how fun it is to work in a startup outside of the U.S., and this is an experience I would like to repeat.

How did you find out about this internship?

I learned about it through the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies’ Summer Internship Program.