Final Reflections Part 1 | #4

I began my internship with a few concrete goals: to work on hard skills, such as programming and web development; to work on on interpersonal skills, such as communication and time management; and to develop a clearer idea, frankly, of what I’d actually like to do when I graduate. In the next few posts I’ll reflect on each of these areas, as well as on my experience as a whole.

As I’ve discussed in my previous posts, the tasks I took on at my position were a bit of a grab bag. Working at a startup with three other employees means there wasn’t a predesigned internship program, nor were there projects it would be easy to dip into as an intern for only 8 weeks. The downside of this was that I didn’t get as much development experience as I might have liked. But the upside was that I was able to explore and get a feel for multiple different facets of the day to day work of a tech startup, and in the process learn quite a bit about my own interests. I developed the company website, developing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I did research on GDPR compliance. I contributed to the visual design of a new web application, and I did some backend work on a mail server, learning to work with HTTP requests in Swift. And finally, I contributed writing to the company blog.

Perhaps one of the most important things I learned while doing all this was what I don’t like – web development, that alluringly in-demand skill that’s mind-numbingly tedious for me. I also came to realize that it was the non-technical work I did that I often enjoyed most: doing research, writing, and even the design work I did.

Looking back, I’m almost surprised that I managed to fit so many things into 8 weeks. And I learned that working at a tech startup really does require you to be a jack of all trades in some ways, which I actually enjoyed. Managing those diverse tasks, moreover, provided ample opportunity to work on soft skills as well, which I’ll discuss in my next post.

3 thoughts on “Final Reflections Part 1 | #4

  • August 24, 2018 at 9:42 am
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    Wow, I’m amazed too that you fit so much into 8 weeks, Michael! That is a really great list of things you accomplished! As you think about how to represent the work that you did and what you learned in your internship on resumes, etc, definitely feel free to come in to our office to meet with a coach.

    I know we’ve talked in previous posts about how valuable it is to have learned what you do and don’t like in your internship, but I continue to be impressed and excited by how you are thinking this through and learning about yourself. It sounds like you had no way of knowing, before your internship, how much you would like development as a job, and it sounds like you realized you don’t like it. Great to find out now instead of once you accept a permanent job doing it, or go to grad school for it!

    Now that you have an idea of what you do like (research, writing, design), it may be a good idea to take a look at some jobs that combine some of your interests and see if that might be a good fit for a future internship or informational interview. For example, content strategy takes into account a lot of those elements.

    I’m looking forward to learning about your soft skills in your next post!

    Maggie

    Reply
  • August 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm
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    Hi Maggie,

    Thanks again for your comments. I was frankly surprised by how much insight I was able to gain about my own interests and goals in such a short period! I’ll talk a little more about that in one of my next posts. I am still trying to digest it all — writing these posts certainly helps, but I definitely think I’ll stop in in the next few weeks to see a coach.

    Michael

    Reply
    • August 28, 2018 at 8:41 am
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      Excellent! We encourage students to blog for just that reason–it helps you to think it through. Definitely hope to meet you at the Hub soon!

      Maggie

      Reply

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