This summer, Luca Disbrow, a graduate in data science, joined Simpson Strong-Tie for an IT internship. Shifting from academics to on-the-job IT, he contributed to our 24/7 IT help desk and gained hands-on problem-solving experience. Luca reflects on the close-knit community within the company, his learnings from diverse colleagues, and the impact he’s made. Explore his journey to uncover insights into his internship experience.
Hello! My name is Luca. For these past few months, I’ve been the IT Support Services intern here at the Simpson Strong-Tie Home Office in Pleasanton, CA. I graduated about a year ago and earned my Bachelor of Science in data science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I first studied at Las Positas Community College in Livermore, California. There I earned associate degrees in computerstudies, mathematics, and physics. I then transferred to UCSB where I first studied applied mathematics and went on to study data science. I learned valuable skills in programming and problem-solving but was eager to get some hands-on experience.
To be honest, I knew very little about Simpson Strong-Tie. A friend of mine had been working at the company for several years. He would constantly point out Simpson Strong-Tie products, and I would just stare at him and wonder what he was talking about. But as someone who likes computers, I jumped at the opportunity when he told me about an IT internship at the company. Finally, after hearing Simpson Strong-Tie as the name of a manufacturing company, I was astounded at my introduction into a community that was so passionate about their brand and industry.
I was fortunate enough to start my internship right when the IT department was holding their West Coast summit. I got the chance to meet Support Techs from a variety of branches and learn their stories and what brought them to Simpson Strong-Tie. There’s a great dynamic throughout the department. Every group meeting felt like a team huddle where the members could joke around while still staying focused on the task at hand.
This internship gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had built in school and at part-time jobs to help people in the real world. It put a face on the “end-user.” I gained hands-on experience solving software and hardware issues. Instead of the theoretical problems I faced in school, the solutions I found here directly helped people and made an impact on the business.
Coming from a data science background, many IT concepts were new to me, and jumping into this new field was a bit overwhelming at first, but my team was extremely patient with me and were always there when I had a question. Every member is a source of knowledge with a variety of expertise and experiences.
The biggest surprise in working here was the community. Even though this is a company that is constantly expanding, working here felt like contributing to a small, local business. Everyone knows each other and can chat no matter their position. There’s a connection built here that is undeniable.
It was an amazing learning experience, and more importantly it was great getting to know the people here at Simpson Strong-Tie. My advice to future interns would be to have an open mind and be ready to ask questions — it’s the fastest way to learn. Simpson Strong-Tie is a very service-oriented company, and they taught me that IT can be one of the helping professions. I couldn’t have asked for a better career start!