- Participated in: Summer 2012
- Internship Organization: US Department of Education
- Previous Position: Software Engineer at Genability
- Current Position: Founder at Cerebus
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pjsheehan
How has your experience with the Washington Program affected your career trajectory?
The Washington Program helped me pick between my then-current major (Political Science) and the major I graduated with (Computer Science). Working at the department of education I realized that it's not enough to study the problems you want to solve, you have to learn a tool that can be used to solve them.
How have your career goals evolved since your participation in the Washington Program?
I wouldn't say my career goals have evolved. I knew before the program that I wanted to work in sustainability. What the program helped me decide is whether or not I should begin my career in government or in private industry and what skills I was missing.
Describe what you are currently doing, and how your experiences in DC relate to your current position.
Currently, I develop software and algorithms which make clean energy cheaper by giving people tools to quickly and accurately see if "going solar" makes sense financially.
DC was my first experience working with data in the real world. Now, much of what I do is obtaining, manipulating, and analyzing data.
Do you have any advice for future Washington Program participants?
I didn't exactly fall in love with my internship. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the internship version of what I wanted to do with my life. That being said, it helped me figure out some things I didn't want to do, and some things I did want to do. Whatever your experience with your internship, good or bad, use it as an indication of what you want to do next and what you need to learn in order to make that leap.