The Internship Experience at Harmony Healthcare IT: Jacob Beauchamp08.17.2016
Jacob Beauchamp has his eye on solving big problems one day, especially in the areas of machine learning, data science, high-performance computing or block chain technology. Beauchamp, a Computer Science major and Mathematics minor at Indiana University – Bloomington, spent the summer gaining real-world experience as a junior database analyst at Harmony Healthcare IT (HHIT) in South Bend, Indiana.
“The experience has been great,” shared Beauchamp, who first discovered Harmony Healthcare IT at an IU Career Fair. “I’ve learned a lot about databases. Like the company’s website says; ‘we get data, literally and figuratively.’ I feel like I ‘get’ data a lot more now. As database analysts, we’re literally reverse engineering a large part of the applications our clients give us – this all comes from an immersion into the raw data and only a brief use of the application’s interface. Through this I’ve had the chance not only to learn to write complex queries but to actually develop using T-SQL, PL/pgSQL and even Python.”
Harmony Healthcare IT interns get practical work experience on an innovative team that focuses on the secure storage and long-term access to vital medical records through its Health Data Archiver product. Importantly, the interns also are exposed to the bigger picture of how a medical record archive plays a critical role in improving patient care by providing a comprehensive narrative at the point of care.
“Jacob provided a great deal of coding knowledge which we utilized to develop efficiencies around our project process,” shared John Jonas, ETL Team Lead & Database Analyst. “Having those additional skillsets mixed in with learning our project process typically leads to a lot of original thought and innovation. Something we always look for in employees are people like Jacob who have that thirst for knowledge and who can think outside the box. Regardless of whether the individual returns to us to work full-time, our program helps students become more mature about their career and what they can to do with it.”
What does Jacob envision for the future of healthcare technology?
“There’s a huge need and opportunity for personalized medicine. The only way efforts in this direction will succeed is through data aggregation and analysis. I’ll let the algorithms give a number, but I think there’s a high probability that we’ll see improvements in and standardization of data collection, storage, and availability — as well as security – for use in clinical research and treatment.”
What advice does Jacob have for other students seeking an internship?
“An internship is really what you make it. The organization might have you do one thing, but remember to think outside the box. If you want to learn or get experience in something specific – a certain programming language for example – find ways to use that thing to solve a problem the company is having. I expressed my desire to do some development to the team leads at HHIT and constantly looked out for opportunities where I could use and enhance my coding skills. I found many and the team leads were really generous in facilitating those efforts.”
This fall, Beauchamp heads into his junior year at IU as part of the Cox Scholars Program where he will be working under David J. Crandall, Ph. D. in the IU Computer Vision Lab, researching cutting edge technologies including machine learning and big data.
Beauchamp is making strides toward his goal of solving big problems.
Do you have some of the same interests or aspirations as Jacob? If so, we’d love to meet you. We’re always on the lookout for driven students like Jacob who are looking for work experience. Contact us to learn more about our intern program.