This summer we were lucky enough to have a wonderful group of interns join us to gain real life work experience and have some fun here at SparkPost. A total of eight interns worked on various teams across the company, from Legal and Marketing to Engineering and Security. They stretched across the country, from San Francisco and Seattle to Columbia, MD. We’re excited to share a little bit about each of them in their own words.
1. Tell us about an interesting project you’ve been working on since joining SparkPost.
Vincent Carbone, Legal: I’ve spent a decent amount of time helping the legal team review the language in our contracts to see what rights and limitations they place on our company. It’s very cool to see the actual impact that contracts have on everyday business.
Emilie Wang, Marketing: I’ve learned how to use so many different platforms since starting at SparkPost. I use WordPress to format our blogs, Marketo to work on our internal newsletter, and HootSuite to manage our Twitter. It keeps my day to day interesting, and being in marketing, those are definitely essential skills to have in my back pocket. It also allows me to learn from a variety people in the team- Jenna taught me Marketo, and Danielle trained me on the newsletter.
Matt Leifer, Engineering: I’ve been working on enhancements and improvements to the transmissions API. I’ve worked with code related to templates, trackable links, and other important parts of the SparkPost service.
Chris Young, Security: I’ve worked on migrating compliance tools to the cloud and making our tools run on a server-less computing platform. These tools will become automated and stay running even after my internship ends.
Jonathan Amaral, Engineering: After the Hackathon I decided to take the concept I worked on and apply more visual representation to more customer data throughout SparkPost’s UI.
Ben Newmark, Engineering: I’ve been working on a project to enable skip suppression on an account level in addition to the environmental level, which will allow Premium and Enterprise tenants to use suppression skip in non-SPE environments.
Stephen Kim, Engineering: I have been working closely with the transmissions team picking up various tickets. These vary from production bugs like a unknown transmissions error that I will have to try and figure out or altering the way our engagement tracking works. Something I appreciate is that even though we are interns we are doing work that affects the SparkPost product.
Kevin Chu, Engineering: I’m currently building an API endpoint that allows SparkPost users to set up an alert when they are getting close to their sending limit
2. Share something fun about yourself!
VC: I used to work in the Comic Book Industry, and have been writing my own comic series for almost three years now.
BN: I’m a certified scuba diver who competes in water skiing tournaments.
EW: At the end of this summer, I’m going to Taiwan for a week! I haven’t been to Taiwan since I was in second grade so I’m super excited.
ML: I play ice hockey and ride bikes (road bikes).
JA: I am a self taught guitarist/bassist, as well as a wedding photographer/videographer.
SK: I am heading to Peru this summer. Some of my hobbies are soccer, rock climbing, and playing music.
3. What’s one thing you’ve learned from your mentor?
VC: There’s no such thing as a purely “legal problem.” A good lawyer has to know how legal issues translate into business concerns for the company as a whole, and a great lawyer is able to work with the rest of the staff to address such issues in a way that benefits everyone.
EW: Jen has taught me so many things, but two of the biggest things I’ve learned from her is finding my own voice when writing social copy, and taking every opportunity to help build up the SparkPost community. Writing social copy is something that was pretty new to me, but Jen has been super patient and constructive in helping me grow. Now, it’s one of my favorite things to do! In terms of community building, a moment that’s been really impactful to me was when someone complained on Twitter, and Jen responded. She fixed their complaint, talked to them a bit on Twitter, then sent them some swag. I thought it was awesome how even though the person was being negative, she turned it into a positive opportunity. When she’s gone and I’m looking over our social media, I always try to channel my inner Jen when interacting with our audience.
ML: My mentor has taught me how to check the functionality of the code I’ve worked with in production. I’m able to use different methods to check that my changes are having their intended effects.
CY: My mentor taught me how to interact and manage your way through a company. I knew how to write code but I am learning a lot on how to write code for a company. I’ve also learned hot to handle interactions throughout the company and how to structure tickets to provide the most detail because everyone’s time is very important. I am also learning about amazon’s cloud service and that will help me so much in the future when these services come up I will already have experience.
JA: Brian really helped expand my knowledge of Node.js and React overall.
BN: I’ve learned a lot about troubleshooting problems and how to get more usage out of command line tools.
SK: My mentor Chris Arnold is great. Something I learned is that there is always more to learn. Chris always seems to know so much about our code and has me looking forward to getting more well versed in the industry.
4. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
VC: I’m not sure… She-Hulk has a pretty good gig. “Being able to transform into a super-strong, green-skinned giant when you get angry but still staying in control of your actions” seems pretty useful, and it hasn’t ever gotten in the way of Jennifer Walter’s career as an attorney… Or maybe I’d be Iron Man? I come from a family of engineers, so it would be nice to be the smartest person in the room for a change. Does “being a billionaire genius” count as a superpower?
EW: If I could have one superpower, it would be the power to teleport. That way, I could travel all over the world but in the blink of an eye, be back in my own comfy bed. When people ask how my weekends are, I could tell them that I spent Saturday eating a macaron in Paris, and Sunday eating sushi in Japan. Plus, I could just teleport to work everyday and avoid the bay area traffic!!
ML: Flying: I’d be able to get places quicker and not have to worry about parking.
CY: A superpower I could see myself enjoying is teleportation, something that could cut travel time down to an instant. I feel like it would open up a lot in my life because so many things are too far or too hard to get to that we miss out on a lot.
JA: Super speed, to cut down on downtime and also visit places with less time and travel commitment/cost.
BN: I’d pick teleportation. Being able to travel anywhere I wanted instantly would be great both for stress-free vacations and for commuting to work!
SK: Teleportation, so I can skip the commute to and from work.
KC: Teleportation. Skip all the DMV traffic.
Meet the Interns:
(not pictured: Kevin Chu, Engineering)
Interested in joining our team? Check out our open positions!