Armen Vardanyan C’16/ENG’16, at Tesorio in Philadelphia, PA Read Armen’s story Anna Yang M&T’17, at Identified Technologies Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA

2014-2015 Ambassador of Entrepreneurship

Neff Entrepreneurial Intern Fellow

How did you find the position? I was looking for internships in the beginning of my Spring 2014 semester. I am a Computer Science major, but was mainly looking for quantitative position, as I am interested in algorithms. I was considering applying to a high frequency trading firm like Jane Street or D.E. Shaw, or a data analytics firm like Palantir Technologies. At that time I heard from Fabio, my friend from freshman year that he was working in a startup called Tesorio, and was wondering what plans I had for the summer. They were doing something in the intersection of finance and computer science, which seemed quite interesting to me. Fabio organized a meeting with the founder of the startup Carlos, who was then in his second year of MBA, with a statistics/data analysis concentration. During the meeting we had an interesting conversation about the vision of Tesorio and my possible contribution. I was a good fit for Tesorio as they were looking for someone of exactly my skills and background. I also liked the position and decided to join Tesorio during the summer. What was your motivation for working at a start-up this summer? Being a Computer Science major my goal is to start and develop my company one day. Being in a startup I would get a full exposure to developing a company during its early stages, which would be very helpful for my goal. I would have an opportunity to work closely with the founders, and learn from them the various aspects of business development. At the same time, working in a startup I would be responsible for a large portion of the backend development and the algorithmic design. This would also provide me with great opportunity to become even better in my profession. What advice would you give to students interested in working at a start-up this summer? My advice to students interested in working at a startup is to work hard to find a company that matches their interests very well. There is a lot of independence and responsibility working in the startup and you need to make sure what they are doing is exciting for you.

What advice would you give to students interested in working at a start-up this summer? My advice to students interested in working at a startup is to work hard to find a company that matches their interests very well. There is a lot of independence and responsibility working in the startup and you need to make sure what they are doing is exciting for you. Otherwise you will work unmotivated and lose the opportunity for the exceptional growth and experience. My summer at

What was your motivation for working at a start-up this summer? Being a Computer Science major my goal is to start and develop my company one day. Being in a startup I would get a full exposure to developing a company during its early stages, which would be very helpful for my goal. I would have an opportunity to work closely with the founders, and learn from them the various aspects of business development. At the same time, working in a startup I would be responsible for a large portion of the backend development and the algorithmic design. This would also provide me with great opportunity to become even better in my profession. What advice would you give to students interested in working at a start-up this summer? My advice to students interested in working at a startup is to work hard to find a company that matches their interests very well. There is a lot of independence and responsibility working in the startup and you need to make sure what they are doing is exciting for you. Otherwise you will work unmotivated and lose the opportunity for the exceptional growth and experience.

My summer at Tesorio I started the internship in the beginning of June. I had been back in Armenia for a couple of weeks before starting but managed to get involved with the work and learn things that I was going to need for the internship. Tesorio was using Django/Python for their backend. They started with WebApp2 but realized that Django would provide much better abstractions for the company. I had mostly coded in Java and C++ before, and in scientific/algorithmic computation, so it was going to be a little bit of a stretch for me to learn Django and Python fast. The beginning of the internship was little overwhelming as I went to work literally after 8 hours after my flight arrived in Philly and I wasn’t feeling very well. I also needed to learn Django fast and focus on developing the algorithm for the company. For the first half of the internship I was mainly learning Django, helping Fabio with some backend coding and developing an algorithm to come up with optimal discount rates for our clients given some financial parameters about their company. It was also great to participate in discussions about the company’s future in general and the business development. I definitely learned a lot from Fabio, Carlos, and Katie who was Carlos’s classmate working on sales. I also attended some of the companies meetings with interesting people, which was a great experience.
For the second half of the internship I focused on the algorithm more. I needed to create a Machine Learning algorithm to solve the problem. The problem needed very individual approach though, and it was not possible to use any existing libraries or tools to solve it with. It was also very crucial to make sure that everything is done efficiently because the company could lose a lot of money because of inefficiency in the algorithm. I ended up designing and coding my own ML algorithm from scratch, which involved Bayesian learning methods and heavy probability theory and math. During the process I learned a lot and was very satisfied with the results at the end. Overall I had a great experience in Tesorio this summer.