I am so thankful that I got to experience my first internship this summer because it has reaffirmed for me that I am on the right path. Software development in the workplace is such a different experience than learning Computer Science at school. The way that U of M teaches Computer Science is often very theory-focused, which has definitely made me a better computer scientist/programmer. I’ve learned so much in my computer science classes, but grade-wise I have not really met my personal expectations which led to me wondering if this was the right path for me, and if I really belonged here. At the beginning of my internship I was wondering the same thing: I didn’t have a lot of work to do yet so the 9-5 days dragged on, and I was seriously questioning my choice in a career where you often sat in a cubicle all day.
By the end, I had a lot more work to do, and the days often flew by. I ended up kind of loving my cubicle and the pseudo-privacy it provided while I worked (I hated that everyone around me could hear me when I took calls though). I am enjoying software development more when the pressure is less on me writing a perfect project to get a good grade and affirm my self worth, and more on adding functionality to the code, and finding and fixing bugs (both caused by myself, and by others on the team). I’m kind of sad to be leaving my internship because the longer I’m here, the more I learn and the more I’m able to contribute to the team, but it’s reassuring to know that I like working and picked the right career path for me.