London Coding

Benedict Kohler ’23 is using his computer science and mathematics majors in his summer software engineer internship.

By: Mike Falk  Monday, August 9, 2021 11:46 AM

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Benedict Kohler ’23

Even though Benedict Kohler ’23 is the top player on the Muhlenberg men’s tennis team, and even though he’s interning in London, only about a half-hour walk from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, he never went to see the Wimbledon Championships this summer.

“I should have gone,” he acknowledges.

That might be the only regret Kohler has of his summer experience. Kohler is a software engineer intern with Publicis Sapient, a digital transformation company founded in Massachusetts in 1990 that now has branches in 17 countries.

Publicis Sapient helps companies grow their online presence and keep them up to date with technology. Together with five others on his team, Kohler is writing a DevOps automation platform for a European energy company. 

“A company like Facebook, for example, they update software like 50 times every day,” he says. “And you never see Facebook going down because they have really good systems that integrate the software into the existing platform really quickly. So what I'm basically building is something similar to what Facebook would have.”

Kohler and his team expect to have an initial working version of the project completed by the time his internship is over, with professional engineers putting on the finishing touches. When not working on his primary project, Kohler is also collaborating with his team on a corporate social responsibility project and getting the opportunity to tap into the expertise of the company’s senior directors.

“The whole thing is just a great learning experience,” says Kohler, who could be offered a job when his internship ends in late August, the day before he is due to fly back to the United States for his junior year at Muhlenberg.

A native of South Africa who is staying with family in London, the well-traveled Kohler has found a home in Allentown.

“People in general are very welcoming on campus, very friendly,” he says. “I've spent quite a bit of time there, and I've just kind of got on with a lot of people over there.”

Among the people he’s gotten on with are the faculty in both of his majors, computer science and mathematics. Kohler has a perfect GPA after four semesters, taking courses such as Software Engineering and Database Systems that are directly relevant to his current internship.

He’s also found that the thinking and reasoning skills he’s acquired in his other major give him an edge.

“Literally every day I'm having to soak something in I've never done before,” he says. “Majoring in math kind of differentiates me a bit from other interns. I think computer science is great, but at the core computer science is just applying the reasoning and developing from math. So I think studying math at Muhlenberg really helps in this internship, because it helps me think about stuff on a bit of a deeper level.”

Advantage, Kohler.