Zach Perry ’25 Has His Head in the Cloud
During back-to-back summer internships at Oracle, the junior and basketball leader has created innovative solutions for the tech giant’s cloud infrastructure team.
This summer, Zach Perry ’25 faces a difficult choice: head to Europe for the opportunity to play basketball or pack his laptop for Seattle, where the offer of a third consecutive internship with tech giant Oracle awaits. Both options are reflective of his life as a varsity men’s basketball leader and computer science major at Haverford, so deciding will be no routine layup.
However, given the success he’s had at Oracle’s Emerald City outpost, it will be no surprise if the North Carolina native opts for the West Coast again. For the past two summers, he’s spent May through August working with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, a division of the company that offers a platform of cloud-based services that cater specifically to enterprise businesses.
In the first year of his internship, which he conducted virtually from his home in Raleigh, Perry was assigned to a division focused on supporting start-up businesses in their nascent days. Though that team has since been mothballed, Perry says he gained invaluable experience while helping the artificial intelligence-driven company Educational Vision Technologies hone its machine learning algorithms. His work has helped streamline the company’s services that quickly transcribe recordings of virtual lectures and meetings, automatically segmenting chapters and generating a table of contents for quick reference in the future.
“It makes it much easier just to skim through rather than having to manually search an entire video and find what you’re looking for,” Perry says of his work. “I also helped develop a script that would automatically upload from the cloud to YouTube with the segmentations as timestamps in the video.”
And if working with synthetic data to train AI after his first year at Haverford wasn’t impressive enough, Perry tackled a greater challenge this past summer as a member of Oracle’s KIEV team (the name is a play on the data term key-value, and is unrelated to Ukraine’s capital). In-person in Seattle this time, he helped untangle a seemingly impossible problem. The KIEV team provides critical metadata — “the data about the data,” Perry explains — storage and access, a vital resource that most of Oracle’s internal teams, which the company refers to as customers, rely on. Until Perry arrived, accessing that data was a convoluted and inefficient ordeal.
“In order to access the data, there was a really drawn out, complex process that involved a ton of jumping all over the place,” Perry says. “To get access to what you wanted, you had to already know information about the information you were trying to get.”
He proposed creating a simple but powerful graphical user interface that can streamline the data-gathering process and present it in an appealing manner. While it functions like an internal-facing website, developing it required some creative programming on Perry’s part and a willingness to collaborate across teams since the KIEV team does not focus on user experience. The interface has been well received at Oracle and is in the initial stages of being rolled out for all of the company’s customers to access.
“When he first joined, I was a little bit concerned that this project might be too difficult for him,” says Yuhang Miao, Perry’s mentor at Oracle. “But it shows what a great job Zach did during his internship. He learned really fast, and used his limited time to absorb as much knowledge as he could to create the user interface.”
So, this summer, whether Perry opts for the court or the office, he’s well-equipped for a future in the tech industry with several impressive projects under his belt.
“It was a great experience just learning more about the industry from the inside and working alongside people who have been doing this for 20, 30, sometimes for 50 years,” he says of his internships. “Seeing how they operate and experiencing the day-to-day operations of a big company has been really informative.”