Intern Spotlight: Stuart Larsen

Francesca Krihely


This year, MongoDB welcomed 33 university students to our intern program in Engineering, Marketing and Education. In this series, we'll introduce you to the talented students who are helping us transform development and operations for how we run applications today.

I had the chance to sit down with Stuart Larsen who spent the summer working on the Kernel Security team.

Where do you go to school, what is your major, and what year are you in?

I currently go to school at Michigan Technological University as an Electrical Engineer. I'm about to enter my fifth year (super senior wewt wewt).

What is your role at MongoDB?

I pretty much run the place - JK! On a serious note, I'm working on the kernel security team, building a new certificate authority system.

How did you find out about the internship program at MongoDB? Why did you choose to come to MongoDB?

Last summer I worked at Fog Creek Software, a software company also in NYC. MongoDB invited the Fog Creek Software interns for a little party at the MongoDB office and I had a great time.

But the real reason I wanted to be an intern at MongoDB was because of the product. It's a great piece of software that I've enjoyed using in my projects. I was going to try to contribute, and then I realized I could get paid to contribute, so I jumped on that =P.

Where is your hometown?

Ann Arbor, MI

Did you have previous experience using MongoDB before you arrived? If so, how are things different now that you work at MongoDB? If not, how did you learn MongoDB and how was the education process?

I've used MongoDB for a number of person projects (, and at my previous employer. It was really fascinating to get an inside look of how it actually works.

Bike or public transportation to work?

Public transportation. I'd like to bike, but my bike is back home :(

What’s a typical day (or week) for you?

There's bootcamp at 8:00am on Monday and Wednesday. A personal trainer comes in and helps us keep in shape. It's pretty nice since we have showers in the office, so I really don't have an excuse to not workout. Then at 10am I meet with the rest of the security team to talk about how our projects are going. At noon we eat, some days Seamless, somedays we go out and find food, other days I just eat a PB&J. If we stay in, we usually play some ping pong too! Then the rest of the day we work.

What do you love most about MongoDB?

In the four weeks I've been here, I've met a few pretty awesome people. As a programming/security nerd, sometime it's hard to find other people that have the same interest as you. But there's plenty of geeky people at MongoDB, and they're pretty cool.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

I think it's true of any real software project. But I often forget that I need to design products for people who may have different requirements or views than my own.

What do you hope to accomplish while you’re here?

Learn all that I can. There's a lot of smart people, and I've already learned a lot.

What’s your favorite Seamless lunch order?

I'm kind of boring, I usually get a salad with some chicken.

Name one secret skill you have, unrelated to work.

My family didn't own any car's for a while, so we only biked places. I'm pretty decent at biking/unicycling/motorcycling, or balancing on anything with wheels.

What would you like to do with your life?

That's a great question. In the future I'd like to build/design software for protecting our liberties and freedoms. Maybe that'll be designing crypto protocols that ensure freedom of speech, or writing AI (artificial intelligence) that'll help understand people and make better choices, I'm not really sure what's in store for the future.

Kindle or book? What’s your favorite book?

Depends. Kindle if I'm just messing around, or reading in bed. But if it's a textbook or a real non-fiction book, I prefer hard copy.

My favorite book is The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Describe your perfect weekend.

I'm not sure if it needs to be a realistic weekend. But if I woke up one Saturday and understood all universal truths, that'd be pretty cool.

Realistically, I do enjoy writing good code. Some frisbee, a few drinks, maybe explore somewhere new.

Want to help build the next revolution in database technology? MongoDB offers summer internships and new graduate opportunities to foster computer science talent across the country. Learn more about the MongoDB University Relations program.