Internship at NVIDIA 2014
4 Benefits and fun at NVIDIA
NVIDIA provides some nice benefits, perks, and rich program for their interns over the summer. Some of the regular employees may envy some stuff available for interns and not for them.
4.1 Benefits at NVIDIA
The first great benefit was reimbursement of relocation and living costs. NVIDIA pays a flat amount for housing and reimburses the relocation costs. In my case it covered nearly the whole rent.
On top of that NVIDIA offers $200 transportation bonus that can be claimed by submitting gas receipts, public transport tickets or even a bike. So I bought a bike for $215 from craigslist including a helmet and a lock — that was a good deal.
All employees have some yearly credit for NVIDIA gear store so I bought a couple of T-shirts. Every employee also have one-time $200 subsidy for any Tegra-based device. This includes tablets, phones, or shield devices. I bought a Shield tablet that was for $400 so I paid only half. Some interns were asking if the Tegra subsidy is available for the Tesla Model S since there is Tegra processor inside — that's how much we earn here! (just kidding :). The best case for Tegra subsidy was suggested by another intern: The Dragon v.2 space capsule that has also multiple Tegra processors inside!
Another great benefit was a health insurance. It may sound useless but NVIDIA's health insurance is really cheap and the benefits are great. For example I broke my glasses during the internship. Because I paid extra few cents per month for vision plan I was able to buy new prescription glasses for 20% of their original price. And if you have troubles with teeth the dental plan is also great.
There are more convenient services at NVIDIA such as on-size hair cuts or car inspections.
Figure 1: A cool table in my building made of NVIDIA chips.
4.2 Food at NVIDIA
Having a good place to eat near your work place is really important. NVIDIA has three cafeterias where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is not free as in Google but average lunch was $6 flat. There was $5 discount for dinners so I ended up having free dinners.
The food in the main cafeteria was usually very good — freshly cooked in front of your eyes. The only bad part was that my team was working across the road from the main building and getting there and back was quite a waste of time. There was a closer place on our side of the road but the choices there were substantially limited.
Figure 2: Some dishes from NVIDIA cafeterias.
I was coming to work around 10 am. By that time breakfast was already over so I usually brought a sandwich from home. Around 12:30 pm our team had a lunch together. It does not sound special but a lunch with whole team was one of the best parts of my internship. Many other interns were eating with each other or even alone which really takes the whole social aspect away.
Thanks to the common lunches I get to know all my team members quite well. It is nice to know people around you. The work place feels suddenly much closer to you.
We were always discussing some stuff over the lunch — sometimes it was work related and sometimes it was not. The lunch was a great opportunity to ask about minor problems about my project without explicitly bothering anybody in the office.
Figure 3: My breakfast/snack special — a sandwich with eggs, ham, cheese, and some ketchup.
4.3 Intern events at NVIDIA
NVIDIA organized several events for interns over the summer. I would categorize the events into two categories: "fun" and "educational".
The two major fun events were paintball and scavenger hunt in San Jose downtown. It was fun end events were well organized. There were also some minor events like trivia night or even lan-party organized by interns.
There was also one charity event were interns volunteered to assemble bikes for kids. That was a nice opportunity to give back to community.
The educational events were presentations from VPs (Vice Presidents) from across the NVIDIA. We have enjoyed speakers from CUDA division, Research organization, GPU road map, SHIELD, and Software. I have to say that those presentations were really awesome! It was really cool to hear how NVIDIA works from inside and what is coming in near future. I think that many of regular employees actually do not have the chance to hear what we interns heard.
Out of all the presentations I would like to mention one from co-founder of NVIDIA Chris Malachowsky. He started with standard explanation of NVIDIA products but then he basically told the whole story of NVIDIA. The story was told from the very beginning where he and his friends left their work to create a new company that will produce the best GPUs in the world.
The series of talks was finished by talk of NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun. He did not prepared any slides because he was answering questions from interns for an hour. His stories were also really interesting. At the end he invited all interns to his house for a party!
Figure 4: Paintball event organized by NVIDIA.
4.4 Party at Jen-Hsun's
Ok, so in case you still did not get it: CEO of NVIDIA invited all interns for a party to his own house. How awesome is that? Jen-Hsun was so kind with his invitation and he even opened doors to all rooms in his house so we could see them. It is very unusual feeling when a "celebrity" like him is suddenly standing next to you with a beer in his hand and talks with you like everybody else.
Next to his house was really nice garden with a pool and grill. There was food and drinks prepared for all interns and later some deserts were served as well.
Figure 5: Party at Jen-Hsun's.
My friend was really curious about Jen-Hsun's car but we could not find it. We approached to him and asked about his car. He said:
“Oh yeah, my car is in the garage, please feel free to go there and check it out. Or you know what? Let me show it to you!„
So we went with him to his garage, he opened it and said:
“Right, I know why you did not find it. The car is in the second floor.„
Yeah, his garage has second floor. He made joke that he needs to store his cars somewhere and one floor was not enough. Then he lowered the second floor. There it was. Bright red Ferrari covered by red silk sheet. He uncovered if and jumped in and started it up! Just awesome! Then he offered one female intern to go inside and try it so she did. She seemed quite nervous (and who wouldn't be :).
Figure 6: Jen-Hsun's garage.
Later in the evening Jen-Hsun was just talking with the interns in the garden. One intern asked him how did he got people at the beginning of NVIDIA. His answer was that he was just calling to people he knew. He told us that one of his friends wanted to come but his wife did not allowed it because in that time NVIDIA had no health insurance plan. He joined later on though.
I have to say that this event was way above my expectations from the internship at NVIDIA.
Figure 7: Party at Jen-Hsun's.
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Table of contents
- 1 My way to NVIDIA
- 2 Getting ready
- 3 Internship at NVIDIA
- 4 Benefits and fun at NVIDIA
- 5 Traveling around California
- 5.1 Arches National Park
- 5.2 Red Canyon
- 5.3 Bryce Canyon National Park
- 5.4 Las Vegas
- 5.5 Joshua Tree National Park
- 5.6 Hoover Dam
- 5.7 Death Valley National Park
- 5.8 Crowley Lake
- 5.9 Yosemite National Park
- 5.10 Lake Tahoe
- 5.11 Yellowstone National Park
- 5.12 Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- 5.13 Other places worth visiting
- 6 Conclusion
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