College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Student combines interests in engineering and music while interning abroad

It’s not every day students are presented with the opportunity to work with two of their passions while also venturing abroad. John RyanMaybe that’s why John Ryan, senior in computer engineering, feels so lucky after spending his summer in Grenoble, France, interning with Artuia.

As a student who has taken many courses in music technology, Ryan was readily familiar with Arturia, a company that develops music hardware and software, and was impressed with the company’s operations.

When it came time to begin applying for summer internships, he decided sending his information to the company was worth a try. He was selected to spend three months at Arturia and was the first intern from the United State to work there.

Ryan’s main responsibility was to create an iPad app geared toward users of a new synthesizer called the MiniBrute.

“The MiniBrute is completely analog so we needed a way to store different sounds or presets,” explains Ryan. “My job was to create an application Minibrute users could access to remember their sound settings and share those with others.  It included a website that hosts that information.”

With plans to release the app by the end of the year, Arturia is still working to fix minor bugs within the program, at times contacting Ryan to assist with this process from Iowa.

Outside of this main project, Ryan was also asked to test products for the company, installing new software and trying out all functions of a product. This process proved to be fairly rigorous as he and the testers needed to be exact.

In addition, he took advantage of his free weekends, planning trips around France and Switzerland with other American students also interning in the country.

He says the opportunity in France was definitely a rarity, but it’s not the first time he has participated in an internship. The previous summer he performed web development tasks for Emerson Process Management.

“I’ve been really fortunate that in both cases I have been given projects that are able to be completed during the course of a single internship, allowing me to see them all the way through,” adds Ryan.

He is also thankful for the direction and guidance he received from the Engineering International Engagement team. With help from those in the department, he was able to earn credit for the Arturia internship, receive insurance during his time abroad, and show affiliation with a university, something many companies ask of interns.

Settled into his fourth and final year at Iowa State, Ryan is grateful for the internship experience he has and is looking ahead to graduation in May. He hopes to find a position that will allow him to continue to enjoy his passion for both music and engineering, developing software and hardware for companies in the music technology field.