Intern Diaries: Summer Send-Off

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A BIG thank-you to our summer interns for all of your contributions you’ve made to our products and team these past few months. You will be missed. Best of luck in your classes!

Reflections and Advice:

Shane: 1. The team is more important than the product. I’d rather be on an amazing, supportive team working on a boring project than work on an amazing project with an unappreciative team that doesn’t trust me. While I wasn’t sure what I was going to be working on this summer, I knew I was choosing a supportive team, and that has really differentiated my internship from a lot of my friends’ internships.  2. a. Look early. There is nothing wrong with starting the search in September. Most companies already have their listings up and you’ll look pretty on top of things when you’re applying in the Fall. In fact, when you get your internship in October or November, you don’t have to worry for the rest of the year, while your friends start stressing in February and March.

b. Figure out what you’re looking for. I like to think of internships like how I think of classes. You don’t sign up for any classes within your major. You pull out the registration book and think about what you’re interested in or what you need to learn more about. Similarly, don’t send an application to every tech company you’ve ever heard of. If you want to get comfortable with MongoDB or get real world experience with Objective C, find the internship that will let you do that. If you just send out scatter-shot applications, you’re going to end up writing assembly language.

Madalyn: I had a fantastic summer, and I’m really sad to be leaving Skimbox. When I started, the company was called Riparian Data and the email app that we were making was called Gander. Through a long process, where my input was included, the company name and the brand name became Skimbox. That change was really cool to see and be a part of. I loved working for a startup, and I think that’s a great place for any intern to work. You get to see the entire evolution of a company, and you are an active member in that process. You won’t get that experience at a big corporation. Wherever you go after your internship, and whatever you do, you will have the knowledge (to some degree) of what it takes to run a company. It is something everyone should experience at some point. You get to see the passion of the people involved in startups, who are trying to take their ideas and turn them into a product and a company.

Alex: As the summer fades away and I approach my return to school, I can’t help but to notice a grin spreading across my face. In high school, I dreaded the final days of summer. It signaled the end of trips to the Berkshires, spontaneous adventures, and marked the beginning of a downpour of homework.

Going back to college is different. While there is still work to do, most of it is for my Computer Science classes. My friends think I am weird and my parents have no idea what I am doing, but I genuinely love to program. When I leave next Friday, it is a real goodbye. It is a farewell to being a part of a team, working on important projects, and to my coworkers, who were always ready to impart their programming wisdom and knowledge.  It is always hard to leave my family, but while at school, I will long for my internship at SoftArtisans more than anything else. I can always call my parents when I miss them, but phoning into the office wouldn’t quite do the trick.

I am extremely thankful for my experiences here and can only hope for more experiences that allow me to grow as a programmer and as a person.

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