Intern Update: Where They Landed After Leaving The Nest

Mary Thengvall
Dec. 2, 2016 by Mary Thengvall

Intern Update

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 3 months since our summer interns Avi, Emely, and Vincent flew the nest and moved on to other exciting adventures. Some of them haven’t flown all that far (you’ll learn more about that in a moment) but all of them have grown by leaps and bounds.

I took a moment with them to have an intern update before the tide of finals, holidays, and end-of-quarter rush took over.

Ch-ch-changes

Jumping into an internship, especially your first, can always be a challenge. You don’t know what to expect, how well your skills will be highlighted, or whether your classes have actually prepared you for the reality that is a full-time job.

For Vincent, this was his first experience working in an agile environment.

“The process and ideology I’ve picked up during my time will undoubtedly pay dividends in whatever software engineering career I choose,” he said.

For Emely, it was less about the technical lessons and more about the process.

“I learned that quality is definitely better than quantity. As a college student, it is engrained in my mind that deadlines are the strictest parts of life. But at SparkPost, everyone helped me learn that yes, deadlines are important, however, it is not efficient to work hurriedly and leave stones unturned in my work. The people around me helped me understand that faster is not always better, and that it is okay to stop, ask for feedback, and reevaluate my approach.”

It’s (not) All About that Code

But this summer was about more than just learning the ins and outs of SparkPost. Internships give students the opportunity to interact with a team of engineers as well as people outside of the engineering department. They’re able to make connections with folks across the organization, learning not only the processes, but the personalities.

Emely says for her, the internship “opened the door to the developer community” and allowed her to realize her potential.

Avi says that the thing he enjoyed the most wasn’t working on the new (beautiful) website, or refactoring the PHP client library, but the interactions with the people on his team.

“They were really welcoming, fun, and always ready to laugh at a joke. Every one of them took time out of their day to teach me and give me an opportunity to contribute.”

Likewise for Vincent, it was the people that set the job apart.

“A very friendly and supportive engineering team, especially the other interns (shout-out to my fellow app team interns Avi and Emely!), made my working environment much more productive and enjoyable.”

Intern Update: Onward and Upward

So what are our savvy interns up to now that life has returned to normal?

Emely’s back at RIT, plugging along on her Bioinformatics degree, but has also added a minor in Software Engineering. Why add more to her load?

“I still wanted the opportunity to learn how to make cool products and I miss SparkPost! I’ve been continuing my biological research in school and have been working on some independent side projects. Simply put, I am helping create computational biophysical models of DNA-protein interaction, protein ordering, and nucleic acid flexibility within the context of molecular evolution. It’s been a busy and challenging, yet extremely fun semester.”

Vincent is continuing to pursue his Computer Science degree at the University of Maryland. He’s also balancing out his time with extra-curricular activities.

“I’ve played a lot of badminton and flag football, and I got involved with some Christian student groups as well. Also, this year I’m helping run Bitcamp 2017, UMD’s largest student-run hackathon.”

Avi’s fall has been slightly different, as he’s stayed in the Columbia area with us at SparkPost.

“At the end of my internship I was lucky enough to receive a full time job at SparkPost. Now as a Software Engineer I get to continue to build an awesome product with really talented people.”

In short, we’ve been lucky enough to watch these three awesome people grow both as individuals and as programmers. We love having interns for just this reason! You all teach us a lot about ourselves and help us make our product better.

Enjoyed this intern update? Join our slack channel and chat with us about it! Interested in working for us? Keep an eye on the careers page! We’ll post summer internships in the new year, but there are many full-time opportunities available now!

–Mary

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