Let’s Get Digital

Over the coming months, we will feature two Fellows in our summer internship series. They will share what they’re learning on the job and how they’re applying what they’ve learned through Braven. Our first blogger is Joshua Cruz, a San José State University Fellow who is working at Digital Media Academy at Stanford University.

By Joshua Cruz, San José State University Braven Fellow

There’s something about the disappointed reaction I get from telling people I am working at a summer camp that makes me giggle.

As a student at San José State University expecting to complete my undergraduate degree in computer engineering with a minor in music in the 2016–2017 academic year, it has been quite the experience not only persevering through a strenuous course of study, but also having an impact on my campus community. I have always struggled with understanding how to merge my soft skills along with my technical knowledge, but the opportunity I have this summer is a true validation of my hard work and passion. I have the incredible opportunity to serve as the director for a teen program for Digital Media Academy (DMA) at Stanford University. I am overseeing over 30 instructional staff, an overnight program, and up to 200 students each week throughout this summer.

It has been a real blessing to grow as a professional with DMA. I have been working at DMA for the past two summers as the Technical Director who was in charge of the setup, troubleshooting, and weekly turnover of over 350 computers and mobile computing devices. Thinking back to how I randomly stopped by DMA’s table as I was leaving an SJSU career fair, I could not have predicted the amount of growth I’ve been able to have through this company. From creating new processes, establishing documentation, and making many other positive changes during my tenure in the Technical Director role, it was truly an honor to be offered a more influential role for this summer camp this year.

I spent the first few days of the role receiving director training at the DMA corporate office in Los Gatos, CA. Upon my arrival, I got to meet all the new directors from DMA campuses all over the United States and Canada. It has been so helpful having the opportunity to interact with and learn from individuals who have already completed their master’s degrees and/or have been working in such fields as education, game development, and engineering for many years. The most memorable part of training was hearing the stories and life experiences of the other directors. Two of the most significant lessons I took away from training was that I should feel more comfortable letting my passions guide my professional work, and that I have a amazing support system of individuals all over North America to seek advice from regarding my work this summer as well as my personal endeavors afterwards.

I am hyped to learn and grow at DMA Stanford this summer. I feel invigorated to create a great community at my campus and truly be part of having a positive impact on the lives of future tech innovators. I am excited to take some advice from my Braven coach, Allison Slater, who has started a summer camp herself. She shared with me the following formula:

(Rules + Regulations) — (Reasons + Rationale) = (Resistance and Resentment)

I have found this piece of advice very significant to the work I do every day. This summer is going to be great, and I’m excited to share more soon. The best is yet to come.