The Course-Adjuster

Mamadou Balde '16 smiles while leaning against a tree in front of a waterfall. Photo by Solai Sanchez '15.

Mamadou Balde '16 on a spring service trip to Alabama with the Office of Religious Life & Community Service. Photo by Solai Sanchez '15.

Mamadou Balde '16 is on a journey to transform society with technological innovations

by Ben West '14

Mamadou Balde '16 is a busy man. An active member of M.O.R.E., a resident advisor and a club soccer player, he has ample opportunity to be pulled in many directions. From his perspective, however, he moves toward one larger goal—to use technology to ensure that society moves in a positive direction. While at Dickinson, Balde nears that aim by way of the computer science and economics departments. This summer his journey took him through Viacom and Nickelodeon as a global business operations intern. Read more about Balde below:


Computer science and economics.


Resident advisor, vice president of the Math & Computer Science Club, executive board member of the Muslim Student Association, event coordinator for M.O.R.E. (Men Overcoming Restrictive Expectations) and Men's Club Soccer.

Where would be the mostly likely spot to find you on campus?

For this semester, I would have to say Tome Hall. I have three classes in that building and most of my work will require the use of certain software that is available only on computers there. 

Past internship:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York City. 

How did you end up with this internship at Viacom/Nickelodeon?

I applied through the Posse Foundation Career Network. A few weeks later, I had a call from Viacom to interview and, after the interview, I received an offer for their summer internship position.

Do you have a favorite show, program or character from Nickelodeon?

My favorite character is Dora [the Explorer], for sure. I have two nieces who really like Dora, and every time they come to visit me we watch Dora together.

Can you describe what you did for the internship on a day-to-day basis?

I worked with the Nickelodeon Global Business Operations Team. My duties included helping to test a new database system that the team was setting up to track licensing deals and royalties. I created business reports using Business Objects software to assess licensees' performance, set up meetings and reserved conference rooms and performed other administrative tasks.

What skill or lesson were you surprised to take away from the internship this summer?

I was actually very impressed with how much I learned about the licensing business in a short period of time. Although I knew beforehand that I would be using Microsoft Excel to do some data analysis, I was surprised to learn another data-analysis application, Business Objects (BO for short). I spent a good deal of my internship performing analyses using BO, and I think that being able to gather data and make sense of it is a very useful skill to have.

What advice would you offer to peers considering an internship?

I would say to definitely utilize the resources available to you during the internship. Ask for help when needed and take on initiatives. No matter what internship you get, there is always room for learning and growth. So it's very important to do your best on each task that you are assigned. 

What are your plans/hopes/dreams after you graduate from Dickinson? What larger goal or dream do you hope to fulfill?

As a computer science and economics double major, my first goal is to acquire a good understanding of the science behind the technology we use daily. My second goal is to come up with efficient ways that we as a society can utilize technology to improve our living standards and to help businesses operate efficiently. I hope to fulfill these goals by going to graduate school for business and technology to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help me create a successful startup. My dream is to eventually build my own tech company, and I strive every day to make this dream become a reality.

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Published September 22, 2014