Interns Trade Chips, Code for Paintbrushes, Aprons

by Liz Austin

It started with a donation to the Foundation of Hospital Art. It ended with five brightly painted murals presented to a Silicon Valley medical center.

In between were smiling NVIDIA interns, smudged with paint and chattering about fish, zebras, butterflies and other creatures.

NVIDIA intern mural
Interns hard at work painting.

Normally our summer interns are writing code or testing hardware, but one recent Friday afternoon nearly 90 of them slipped out of their cubes to help throw some paint on canvas.

NVIDIA’s University Relations team had earlier received 30 unpainted, animal-themed mural panels from the Foundation of Hospital Art. Their ultimate home would be the walls of Valley Health Center Sunnyvale.

Involving all the levels of our workforce in philanthropy is a core principle of our employee-led NVIDIA Foundation, and interns are no exception. Since the Foundation for Hospital Art is a nonprofit dedicated to cheering up the sometimes somber interiors of hospitals worldwide with colorful artwork, working with them was a good fit.

NVIDIA intern mural
Those murals don’t paint themselves.

The blank canvas panels came in groups of six, each group making up a unified mural. Interns donned aprons, dipped brushes into paint, and worked carefully but intensely for two hours to transform the blank slates into colorful, vibrant murals.

“It means a lot that we as interns can take part in one of NVIDIA’s core values, community service,” said performance analysis intern Cecilia Carrillo. “I enjoyed the event because we got to help improve the lives of patients at Valley Health Center by making the hospital a more comforting place.”

Last week, the NVIDIA Foundation and University Relations teams, along with 10 interns, presented the murals to Valley Health Center Sunnyvale. The artwork will decorate five pediatric exam rooms at the hospital.

“Giving back is a huge part of the NVIDIA culture, which is why it was so great to introduce our interns to this,” explains Monica Spehar, recruiting manager for University Relations. “The internship program isn’t just about what it’s like to work at NVIDIA; it’s about what it’s like to be an NVIDIAN.”

NVIDIA intern mural
Giving back at NVIDIA looks a little like this.