Thomas Larrison

Thomas Larrison
Thomas Larrison

Thomas Larrison


Tell us about your internship. What kind of work did you do? What did you find rewarding?
My internship was with the United States Small Business Administration as a Data Analyst. At the SBA, I supported the Q&A team in identifying root causes for loan defaults, created dashboards used for reporting to United States Congress, assisted in developing common reporting practices across SBA's regional offices and fielded many data related ad-hoc requests. I found my experience at SBA to be immensely rewarding because one reason that the SBA exists is to facilitate loans to small businesses with a focus on serving traditionally under-served populations. My work contributed to the SBA's ability to facilitate loans to more entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and I'm proud to have served in that way.

Have your career or life goals changed as a result of your internship? If so, how?
My internship at the SBA was the primary reason that I was able to find an amazing job immediately after graduation. I'm currently employed at the video game company, Electronic Arts (EA) as a data analyst working on our "Madden" titles. Madden is my all-time favorite video game so working to produce it is a dream come true. Even though my internship was unpaid, it taught me the necessary skills to get through the screening algorithms, the tech screens and finally, the interviews themselves. In my opinion, the working context and marketable skills that you gain from interning is at least as valuable as most entry-level salaries.

Thomas LarrisonShare an exciting memory from your internship – something unexpected, an accomplishment, someone you met.
During my summer in Washington, I met some of the smartest people that I had ever been around at the time. We had amazing conversations and contentious debates, we traveled up and down the East coast, we played Basketball and dined at amazing restaurants. I also had the best apartment mates that I could have asked for. We became great friends and still follow each others' careers closely.

Did your internship lead to any opportunities?
My internship didn't lead to any job opportunities at the SBA, but there is opportunity and value in the connections I made with my manager and co-workers. These connections to high achieving people will likely prove useful as I progress through my career.

Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc.
One experience that I had in Washington that I will never forget is our visit to Arlington National Cemetery. Being around all of those heroes was a solemn experience that made me appreciate the privileges that I enjoy as an American. Our trip also opened my eyes to the scale of sacrifice that people have made for our country.

How has living in the nation’s capital for a quarter changed you?
My summer in Washington made me a more well-rounded person. Washington is very different than Davis with regard to the people, the food, political ideologies, the climate and much more. It was enlightening to get out of the northern California "bubble" and experience a different culture.

Share any advice you have (i.e. choosing an internship, lessons learned, missed opportunities, etc.
Meet and interact with as many UCDC students as you can. These folks have similar interests and will likely become lifelong friends.