When I started my internship last summer, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had heard about Sparq from career fairs and even knew a few grads from my university that were employed there, but I wasn’t sure just what I’d be doing. I was fearful that I would be stuffed in the role of the stereotypical office gopher, delegated all of the non-programming tasks. I was also taking summer classes, and I knew that my schedule was going to be tight.
One of the biggest challenges I faced while interning with Sparq was managing my time. When I began my internship, I was spending between 15 to 20 hours a week on school-related activities such as attending class, completing assignments and preparing for exams. Combined with an average of 25 hours of internship per week and travel between home, school and the office, I found myself frequently working in excess of 50 hours per week. I doubt I could have kept myself motivated if I wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing.
Fortunately, my internship experience was well worth the extra workload. I wasn’t just some office gopher making sure the coffee was warm; I was a bona-fide software developer. Immediately upon arriving (after some compulsory H.R. orientation) I was expanding my skills and learning new technologies by creating actual software. I was surrounded by experienced software engineers who were both able and eager to help the other interns and I learn. I was able to leverage resources like Pluralsight and create training projects based upon what I had learned. Within the first six months of my internship, I had the opportunity to:
• Work on a mock-client on a small team of developers
• Demonstrate software I created to stakeholders
• Participate in an office-wide software competition
• Dress up for a Halloween costume contest
• Go to an awesome Christmas party
Interning at Sparq is not easy, but it’s a worthwhile investment for students who are looking to take developing their programming skills seriously. For those up to the challenge, apply for an intern position and be prepared to work hard, have fun and learn lots!
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