The Benetech Intern Experience: Arthi Chandra
Community college student learns the Bookshare operations
ropes and creates resource for students transitioning to college
My name is Arthi Chandra, and I am an operations intern at Benetech. I am currently attending West Valley Community College and applying to four-year universities this fall. I am a competitive golfer, and during my free time, I love to read as many books as I can as well as going out for runs. I have a slight obsession about dogs and will drop anything I am doing to pet one, since I don’t have a dog of my own. My plans for college include majoring in economics with a minor in computer science and hopefully becoming a corporate lawyer in the future.
From Bookshare Volunteer to Silicon
to being an intern this summer, I have been volunteering at Benetech for the
past two years, getting to know the book uploading process thoroughly. My
volunteer responsibilities consisted mainly of chopping, scanning, and editing
metadata for books so that they could go into the Bookshare collection and into
the hands of Bookshare users. During this internship, I have had the wonderful
opportunity to work on a project that will help Bookshare’s high school students
as they transition to college. I am glad my fellow intern, Kevin Leong, and I
were given this project, since we are starting this process ourselves and are
creating a resource that will help students like us.
born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley means that I have been exposed
to technology all my life and have seen how it can positively impact different
communities. Working at Benetech has given me insight into a community I knew
nothing about at first. I knew that tools to assist people with learning
disabilities and visual impairments existed, but I didn’t know about the
extensive work required to get these tools to the public. For example, I have
learned the steps involved in adding a book to the Bookshare collection.
Interns Acquire More than Knowledge
positive impact of the work being done is not the only great thing about
Benetech. Since my first day, I have felt comfortable inserting myself into the
close-knit group of employees here in Palo Alto. The people and environment are
the main reasons why I applied for an internship at Benetech, since I couldn’t
imagine a better place to work this summer. I hope to continue volunteering
here until I head off to college.
Advice for College Applicants
quick note to Bookshare users who are getting ready to apply to colleges: as
hard as it sounds, try not to stress out. College applications are an extremely
tiring process, and millions of students go through it every year. Many feel
pressured to have all the answers, but it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed.
During this time, reach out to people to get as much help as you can in
whatever form it comes in: from moral support from family and friends to essay
help from your English teachers. Good luck!
Arthi Chandra and Kevin Leong are the Benetech operations interns for the summer. Read Kevin’s story.