Interns

Xylem Digital Solutions West hosts Norwegian Business School Delegation

By: Sabrina Strauss, Office Manager

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On July 26, 36 students from the Norwegian School of Economics’ Corporate Innovation program visited the Xylem - Digital Solutions’ San Francisco office to learn about innovation in the water industry.  The 36 students are all enrolled at a summer business certificate program at UC Berkeley. CEO Christine Boyle and their professor Leah Edwards have been working together for several years to help students gain office experience and learn about innovation in Silicon Valley. For the past 3 summers (2017-2019), Valor / Xylem has hosted two summer interns from the program, with both Xylem and the interns learning a lot each year. Interns have helped with marketing material, product documentation, and user group event planning. We also host them to a baseball game each summer. 

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The 2019 program on Corporate Innovation focusses on startup methods utilized within bigger organizations, as well as the acquisition of startups as a way to kickstart innovation in big companies. The one-day visit aimed to provide students real -life examples of corporate innovation, with a focus on the water industry. 

Christine Boyle started the session with an introduction of Xylem and their business mission, as well as the development of their relationship with Valor Water Analytics, which led to the company’s acquisition in 2018. Valor Water is now part of the Xylem - Digital Solutions group.  Next, Xylem staff delivered sessions on product management, data science & AI, and software development practices at Xylem. 

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The students showed great interest in each presentation, and had great questions.  It was a pleasure to have the group and their Professor stop by, and we are looking forward to the next batch in 2020.


Getting to Know Our Summer Interns: Introducing Celine

This is part 2 of our intern introduction blog posts. Part 3 will be posted in August. You can read part 1 here.

By: Celine Clausen

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I am a 23 year old woman from Norway and graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Norwegian School of Economics. As a part of my masters, I am attending a 10-week long program called Innovation School, during which I am studying at UC Berkeley and interning with Valor Water Analytics - A Xylem Company. 

Why I wanted to work at Xylem

It was mainly the combination of sustainability and technology that sparked my interest in working at Xylem. By contributing to solve challenges related to water, Valor also contributes with their software solutions to the resolution of water scarcity issues. I also liked how Valor is addressing one specific area, with the focus is to be the best in this area, rather than delivering several halfway solutions in several different areas. Also, I wanted to work for a company that will be relevant in the future, and I believe that Valor’s technological solutions are going to provide many water utilities with valuable analytics in the years to come. 

How I like working at Valor

It is very interesting to learn about an industry that is completely new to me. It is a fun challenge to understand how Valor's solutions work and the great value they bring to water utilities. I am also overwhelmed by the friendly people working here and the good vibe in the office. Valor has a very flat structure where all thoughts and opinions are heard, and even as an intern I feel appreciated which is very motivating when working. 

My future plans

I want to keep working with global challenges and combine my business degree with my interest in preserving the environment. Therefore, I will lead my master degree in a more sustainable direction, by studying energy, natural resources and the environment with an underlying business focus. 

As I enjoy learning and new challenges I can see myself working a few years in consulting before entering a more specific industry. My time with Valor has been a great learning experience, as I have learned how to quickly understand and adapt to a new industry and business area.

Life in San Francisco

I am a very active surfer so I am trying to surf as much as possible in areas close to San Francisco. Surfing has also been a great way to experience the culture, see the surrounding nature and meet new people. I also spend a lot of time checking out the different parts of the city and eat good food. San Francisco is a very cultural city, and I really enjoy all the art and music there is!

My best San Francisco experience

My best experience in San Francisco was celebrating Pride in Dolores Park with good friends. It was such a happy and colorful experience. I believe no other place does celebrating Pride better than San Francisco.


Getting to Know Our Summer Interns: Introducing Amanda

This is part 1 of our intern introduction blog posts. Part 2 and 3 will be posted later this month and in August.

By: Amanda Jennings

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I just finished my bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration at the Norwegian School of Economics, and have travelled to San Francisco to be an intern at Valor Water Analytics this summer! 

Why did I choose Valor Water Analytics?

As a recently graduated Bachelor student, I am currently in a place where I need to start making decisions about what I want to peruse as a master's degree, and beyond this what I want to work with in the future. Up until this point, my studies have been heavily focused on the theoretical. Being an intern in the tech-capital of the world, where innovation, culture and creativity intertwine, is a rare opportunity to witness the day-to-day inner workings of an organization with a purpose. 

One of the master degrees I am considering is Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment. This is why Valor caught my attention. I am not an engineer, as many of my co-workers are, but I am interested in their vision. Valor brings tech to water, in order to make utilities more efficient and to conserve one of the most valuable resources on earth.

What is your background?

My mother is Norwegian, my father is English and I lived in Latvia up until the age of 12. After this, I moved to Norway. Before starting university, I attended an international school. Because of this background, I have always been interested in the outside world, meeting new people and learning about new places. 

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love to read. Sitting outside in the sun with a good book is difficult to beat. But as I study in Bergen, also known as the rainiest city on Earth, this isn't always so easy. It should therefore come as no surprise that I also enjoy travelling, ideally to places where it rains less 240 days a year. I love being active, playing sports and being with friends. 

What do you like about your work at Valor Water Analytics?

Valor's company culture is what sets it apart from other jobs I have had in the past. I have been here about a week now, and I have only been met with positivity. From "Bagel Breakfast Monday's" to "Hump-day Lunch Wednesday's", Valor manages to bring joy into the workplace. I have been invited out for coffee, to a baseball game, to a summer picnic, and more. It's an inclusive environment, where people actually want to get to know the interns. 

I have travelled quite a distance to be here, and I am very excited to start my summer in a new city, filled with new life and new experiences!


Interns at Valor Water - Supporting Future Generations of Water Enthusiasts

By Sabrina Strauss, Office Manager

Valor Water has since its founding supported interns by giving them an opportunity to get an insight into the world of water utilities, software engineering and product development. 2019 has been no exception to this. 

Left: The two Data Science interns Jian Wang and Yihan Wang; Middle: The two summer interns for the Product and Delivery team, Amanda Jennings and Celine Clausen; Right: Software Engineer intern Jordan Manthey

Left: The two Data Science interns Jian Wang and Yihan Wang; Middle: The two summer interns for the Product and Delivery team, Amanda Jennings and Celine Clausen; Right: Software Engineer intern Jordan Manthey

Our two University of San Francisco Data Science interns Jian Wang and Yihan Wang finished their 7 months long practicums end of June, and everyone at Valor wishes them well in their careers!  Jian and Yihan worked closely with Valor’s Data Scientist Dr. Bahman Roostaei since the beginning in November 2018. Yihan's focus was predicting the likelihood of service interruption for a customer based upon their payment behavior. He worked on projects including: developing a pipeline to preprocess data, train and evaluate models and predict the probability for such events to happen. Jian focused on two problems: Forecasting the consumption of each individual customer using mathematical models, and, clustering the consumption histories of customers along with relevant metadata. This included correlating each forecast or each cluster with the flagged meters.


Beginning of June, we welcomed our 3 summer interns: Jordan Manthey, a student at UC Berkeley, with expected graduation in 2020, who is working with the Software Engineering Department; and Celine Clausen and Amanda Jennings from Norway, who are both enrolled at the NHH Norwegian School of Economics, with an expected graduation in 2021. They are supporting the Product and Development team during the summer. Jordan, Celine and Amanda will be with Valor Water until end of August. Each one of them will be introduced with individual posts on the Valor Blog in the upcoming weeks.