Summer Spotlight - Qualcomm

This week we are talking with Mario about his experience so far at Qualcomm

Aaroh Mankad

About Me

I’m a Senior Computer Science student at UCR. I am the Outreach Director for Cyber@UCR, an Undergraduate Researcher at M.A.D. Lab with Dr. Papalexakis and a Google Scholar. I grew up in the Bay Area (South Bay) and I transferred to UC Riverside in Fall 2016 from De Anza College (Cupertino, CA). I started my academic career as a Business student at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. Business was fine, but I didn’t feel challenged so I switched to Computer Science and I graduated with an Associate’s in Business Administration and coursework towards Computer Science.

Interview Process

The interview process for Qualcomm is 2 separate 45 minute phone interviews (back-to-back) with members of the technical team, which includes questions about your resume, design questions that are very in-depth and sometimes coding questions. In my first phone interview I was asked some soft skills questions and then I had a barrage of operating systems questions to ensure that I understood every aspect of an operating system. A few things I was asked about is context switching, threads vs. processes and virtual memory. In my second interview, I was asked to design a communication system between employees at a company. Throughout the entire interview you're asked to explain further with everything that you talk about. The main purpose of the questions isn't so that you can just answer correctly or hear your thought process. The main purpose is to find out what you know and how much you know. So if you find an opportunity to explain a component that you know very well, feel free to do it because it'll showcase your depth!

BTW, the pay is very generous and they pay for your housing and utilities in San Diego! Got a family? They give you a stipend to cover rent!

Memorable Experience(s)

My most memorable experience was going on a “booze cruise” with my team at QCSS. We went on a scavenger hunt cruise to Coronado where we had mimosas as we sailed through the waters while getting paid for it. I also enjoyed going to the San Diego fair throughout the summer and visiting the beaches. Qualcomm’s hackathon (Hack Mobile) was fun because we were able to work with Qualcomm DragonBoards and there were many surprise events throughout the night. Qualcomm has a weekly BeerQuest where interns try a new brewery every week! The intern favorite is usually a flight (3-4 beer sampler). We also have a weekly Sushi & Sake night, which mainly just consists of sake… and a headache the next day. San Diego is full of alcohol as you can see. Qualcomm interns like to… ( )code ( )eat ( )sleep (x)drink alcohol. We also had an entire day of volunteering that Qualcomm paid for. I learned how to make a dog toys for animals in shelters, others when to a river cleanup and there were a few other volunteer events. I missed a chunk of intern events this year because I was out for two weeks so I missed Qualcomm’s walk at Pride. A lot of interns say that walking with the Qualcomm float and meeting Steve Mollenkopf at pride was a fun experience.


My first day at QCSS there was a retirement party and I had a beer (3 actually) with my mentor, manager and fellow interns...

The culture varies by group as with a lot of companies. In QCSS in particular, we are a close-knit group with a small business feel, but we have the resources of a large company. In QCSS you get to work on every aspect of Qualcomm since you are assigned to project teams that varies from anything in the disciplines of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Oh, and we also have an epic snack table!

Qualcomm has sparkling water (La Croix and Bubbly) and soda fully stocked throughout the entire campus for its employees. The company is very focused on innovation so the employee search portal (QPeople) showcases employee patents (the CEO has roughly 40!).


At QCSS, I was given an office and a lab bench, but most of the interns usually work in the lab since we’re all next to each other and we can bounce ideas off of each other. I was issued a Windows laptop (a lot of IoT device tools that we use requires Windows) and I was issued a Linux desktop with a triple-monitor setup.

For my project, I’m working on a proof of concept with a few of our newest technologies on the MDM9206 IoT device. I have worked on many different levels of our technology ranging from assembly and C to Java and Python. Areas that I have been able to explore is mobile networks, RF, SIM cards, modems, SoC, CaaS, TrustZone and ThreadX to name a few. QCSS has a lot to offer for a new grads/students since it is structured into project teams for contracts so you get the opportunity to learn a lot and use all of Qualcomm’s technology.

In QCSS, our intern presentations are done in a lecture room in front of fellow interns, staff/senior engineers and executives. Other groups in Qualcomm have intern presentations and/or poster presentations.


Qualcomm is located in San Diego, California. There is an abundance of things to do in San Diego on any given day. My favorite place to go for nightlife is Gaslamp and Pacific Beach, beaches at Del Mar and Ocean Beach, great food in Convoy and tacos in Chula Vista, and great sunset view at Gliderport. Simply said, you won’t run out of things to do. My favorite thing to do was to go on bike rides and hikes around the trails in San Diego and watch the sunset at Gliderport or Seagrove Park! And OF COURSE the tacos at Tacos El Gordo!

There were so many photos we had to pick the best ones! See the full photo album here For referral: