Student Coders and Data Scientist Making an Impact

June 16, 2021

The need for digital and analytics talent continues to rise as the digital capabilities of our products evolve. This means that computer science and analytics majors have the chance to gain real industry experience that can be applied to their studies. Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Caterpillar’s Champaign Innovation Center offers students the chance to take part in impactful Caterpillar projects while pursuing their degree.

In this class schedule-accommodating work environment, freshmen to graduate level students join in on projects based on business need. The collaboration between students and employee mentors leads to tremendous enterprise value. Key areas of focus for projects include virtual product development, digital application creation and various optimization projects that impact dealer network, parts availability, and aftermarket growth potential. Students leverage today’s best practices in coding and analytics to identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings for several Caterpillar teams. Not only do students get the opportunity to do the work itself, but they are also given the opportunity to present their findings in visual ways to enterprise leaders. The ability to present their work in a non-technical way is a tremendous skill to have and will serve them well throughout their career,” Says Innovation Center Lab Manager, Steve Baker.

Abhi Kapoor, Champaign Innovation Center Intern
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Abhi Kapoor, Champaign Innovation Center Intern

Caterpillar office
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Abhi Kapoor, Champaign Innovation Center Intern
Caterpillar office

Abhi Kapoor is a current intern whose work is focused on building data visualization. “What’s crazy is that what I do as an intern plays a significant role for CAT Digital and our customer base. [My work as an intern] is so relevant to today’s technology-driven world. I know that everything I code eventually will be utilized by Caterpillar employees, manufacturers, and customers around the world. This is one of the biggest reasons I love the work I get to do as an intern – I know that the work I am doing is important for the company and for those who use our products.”

In addition to the technical experiences, Abhi also describes soft skill development through public speaking, teamwork, and an increase in confidence to be curious and ask questions. Paired with technical experience, Abhi shares that he feels well suited to build a strong career because of his internship.

As we look to the future of the industries we serve, the students and young professionals of today are the driving force behind continued innovation and business success. Are you ready to join the team that does the work that matters?