Meet Handshake’s All-Virtual Summer Intern Class of 2020

Handshake welcomes an extraordinary group of students to our virtual summer internship program.

Since shelter-in-place regulations took effect nationwide, many students’ internships have been canceled, deferred, or postponed. In fact, around 30% of the 1,000 college juniors and seniors we recently surveyed told us that their summer internship offers were rescinded entirely.

Meanwhile, students have shown that they’re willing and able to work from home, with more than 8 in 10 students reporting that they would consider a remote job or internship, and 3 in 4 saying that they are set up and able to perform an internship from home, according to Handshake’s COVID-19 student report.

Like many other employers navigating this new normal, our people team knew we had some tough decisions to make, and that we needed to make those decisions fast. 

On the one hand, we wanted to provide a meaningful summer opportunity for interns without jeopardizing their health and safety. On the other, our summer internship was traditionally set up to offer an in-person experience where early talent could get to know our business, people, and culture first-hand.

During this time of uncertainty, we couldn’t have predicted the swift spread of COVID-19, so we decided to transition our in-person internship to an all-virtual one, as interns would be safer at home. By doing so, we reduced logistical burdens often associated with re-location and are now able to support our interns in a space where they feel most comfortable: surrounded by loved ones at home.

One key factor in our decision not to cancel our internship was the commitment we made to young professionals who are just starting out their careers. Our mission here at Handshake is to democratize opportunity for early talent everywhere, and we infuse just about everything we do with our “students first” core value in mind.

Today, we’re excited to welcome our intern class of 2020 with an exciting week-long virtual onboarding—packed with events for them to meet one another and their new colleagues at Handshake. And throughout the virtual program, we’ve planned a number of opportunities to keep them connected and engaged. 

Our interns have so much to offer, and we’re excited to immerse them in Handshake’s culture. They’re gamers, artists, hikers, Netflix bingers, adventurous eaters, and two of them even play the ukulele! Without further ado, let’s meet Handshake’s virtual intern class of 2020.

Kedron Abbott

Kedron Abbott

School: Troy University

Major: Computer science

Expected graduation: September 2020

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Team I’ll be working with: University engineering

3 words to describe me: Motivated, Enthusiastic, Thoughtful  

Home: I grew up in Palm Coast, Florida but have lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for school for the past few years. I hope to call the Bay Area home soon enough!

Hobbies & interests: Hammocking, learning to play ukulele, and playing ping pong.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Being immersed in the culture of an awesome startup that has a really wide reach, and the chance to learn from the talented people I’ll be working alongside.

Alejandra Alvarez

Alejandra Alvarez

School: Wake Forest University 

Major: Communication with a concentration in marketing

Minors: Spanish & entrepreneurship 

Expected graduation: May 2021

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Employer customer success

3 words to describe me: Passionate, Curious, Energetic 

Home: I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico but raised in Charleston, SC.

Hobbies & interests: Running, cooking, and binge watching Spanish telenovelas.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Helping Handshake’s Premium partners proactively plan for fall recruiting, learning Salesforce admin skills, and getting to know the summer intern cohort! 

Ishan Baniya

Ishan Baniya

School: Georgia Institute of Technology

Major: Computer science with a concentration in intelligence and information-internetworks

Expected graduation: December 2021

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Team I’ll be working with: Employer engineering

3 words to describe me: Optimistic, Hardworking, Humble

Home: I was born and raised in Nepal and currently go to school in Atlanta, GA

Hobbies & interests: Photography, hiking, and finding new food.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Contributing towards the company goals and mission, and learning new skills and building relationships in the process.

Brittany Beisner

Brittany Beisner

School: Georgia Institute of Technology 

Program: MBA

Expected graduation: May 2021

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Employer product

3 words to describe me: Upbeat, Creative, Curious 

Home: Atlanta, Georgia

Hobbies & interests: Running, rock climbing, cooking, and reading.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Learning from super smart people and making an impact! 

Shreya Saha Dalal

Shreya Saha Dalal

School: University of Pennsylvania

Major: Math

Minors: Computer science, statistics, cognitive science, and south asia studies

Expected graduation: May 2021

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Data 

3 words to describe me: Performer, Bubbly, Nerd

Home: I grew up in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania but I was born in India!

Hobbies & interests: Figure skating, singing, guitar/ukulele, ballroom dance, and lifting.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Getting data science experience, and learning about the business side of a startup.

Saumya Dedhia

Saumya Dedhia

School: University of California, Los Angeles

Major: Computer science

Expected graduation: Spring 2021

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Student engineering

3 words to describe me: Creative, Independent, Restless

Home: I was born in Long Island, New York, but I consider Bombay home, and I live in New Jersey.

Hobbies & interests: Eating lots of sushi, playing Mario Kart, thrifting, and watching Bojack Horseman and Jane the Virgin.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Meeting new people and collaborating over projects, delving deeper into full stack technologies, learning how to best combine an impact-driven mindset with a profit-driven one.

Julie Gentile

Julie Gentile

School: University of San Francisco

Major: English 

Minor: Film

Graduation: May 2019

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Student & corporate marketing

3 words to describe me: Relaxed, Curious, Creative

Home: I was born in Korea, raised in southern California, and now live in SF.

Hobbies & Interests: Going to shows (when things were open), cooking, and discovering new music.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Continuing the progress I’ve made in marketing over the last eight months here.

Mariah Heard

Mariah Heard 

School: University of California, Davis

Major: Communication

Expected graduation: March 2020

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Employer marketing

3 words to describe me: Honest, Driven, Talkative

Home: Born and raised in San Francisco, CA

Hobbies & interests: I love watching almost any show on Netflix, reading, and trying new food. 

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Getting to know the people that I’m working alongside and what fuels their passion for Handshake, and understanding how everything I learn applies in the real world.

Carter Henderson

School: Claremont McKenna College

Major: Dual Major in Economics and Religious Studies

Expected Graduation: May 2021

Pronouns: He/Him/His

3 words to describe me: Friendly, Hard-working, Motivated

Home: I was born in Arcadia, CA; raised in Victorville, CA; and now live in Chino, CA.

Hobbies & Interests: Beatboxing, eating nachos, watching anime, watching sports (basketball, football, MMA), playing basketball and football, a capella

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Learning about the sales industry and becoming proficient with data analytics tools.

Isabelle Jia

School: Claremont McKenna College

Major: Psychology

Minor: Data Science

Graduation: Expected May 2022

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

3 words to describe me: Dependable, Creative, Honest

Home: I was born in Pleasanton but was raised in Castro Valley and San Ramon and now live in Pleasanton.

Hobbies & Interests: Fashion (styling outfits, creating mood boards and aesthetics, thrifting, discovering new ways to practice sustainable and ethical shopping), Creative Writing (I love reading and writing poetry), watching Grey’s Anatomy, finding new food places/dessert spots to try

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Learning how to help the University team implement Handshake’s new branding book, having the creative freedom when working on developing Handshake’s social media channels, having a lasting impact at Handshake, and engaging/networking with people within my team and outside.

Sherry Liang

Sherry Liang

School: Wesleyan University

Major: American studies 

Minor: East Asian studies

Expected graduation: May 2020

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: University success

3 words to describe me: Creative, Mindful, Adventurous

Home: Oakland, California (born and raised!)

Hobbies & Interests: Photography, dance, poetry, music, and anything art! I also love being active by hiking or going to the gym.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Working with a small team, and learning about the partnerships between students, employers, and universities!

Kelsey Namba

Kelsey Namba

School: Columbia University

Major: Computer science with a concentration in linguistics

Expected graduation: May 2021

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Team I’ll be working with: Employer engineering

3 words to describe me: Loud, Outgoing, Hardworking

Home: Santa Maria, California

Hobbies & interests: Painting, drawing, and hanging out with my cats.

What I’m looking forward to this summer: Getting to experience life as a software engineer, learning Ruby on Rails, and going to workshops. 

Curtis Salinger

School: Claremont McKenna College

Major: Applied Math

Minor: Computer Science

Graduation: May 2022

Pronouns: He/Him/His

3 words to describe me: Cheerful, Collaborative, Analytical

Home: Durango, Colorado

Hobbies & Interests: Adaptive Technologies, Hockey, VR/AR, Gadgets, Wearables, Photography, Drones, Scuba Diving

What I’m looking forward to this summer: I am looking forward to seeing how to formally approach sales. From looking into who to contact in a network, to compiling and visualizing the right data. I am also hopefully going to learn SQL on the side! And last, I’m excited to see the inner workings of a successful start-up.

If you’re a student looking for a virtual internship, read tips for getting hired remotely here.