I learned and grew my skills exponentially through this internship. I’m extremely glad that I was chosen for this role and for this company! Working at a small tech startup, specifically with a smaller team, has made me realize how important communication is. In the beginning of the semester, my fellow intern and I spent a lot of time fine tuning a thorough project plan for the semester. I didn’t realize the significance this document truly played, until the second half of this semester. However, it really ensured that we kept on track for meeting all our goals for the semester and it was a great way for me to visually see what I had accomplished over these last few months.
The founders gave me much freedom and flexibility in exploring different tasks throughout this semester. I had the opportunity to do research, perform analytics, design media, conduct app testing, create a business proposal, and conduct outreach. I didn’t have much experience with any of these tasks initially, but as time went on, I got the hang of it. Additionally with the opportunity to explore many different roles, I was able to figure out what I enjoyed and what I didn’t.
My two favorite things that I did this semester were the app testing and performing analytics on the huge dataset that I was handed. Working at this tech startup made me realize that I do have an interest in working in the tech industry. The data analysis class that I am taking this semester also drove my interest as we coded everyday. I’ve never done app testing before and it was so interesting to conduct it. The feedback we got from all the testers was extremely insightful and detailed. They talked about backend and frontend issues they encountered. I was able to compile all the feedback with my fellow intern and send it off to our head software engineer. And he started making changes to the app right away to make the app more user friendly. So we will be able to hold another testing session relatively soon to gather a second round of feedback! This is such a fascinating cycle and it grew my appreciation for how tedious people must be when designing an application. I also really enjoyed working in excel and performing analysis on it. It was daunting at first, but after subsetting it based upon the factors we were looking at, it made the data more malleable. It was exciting to actually use the data that was gathered. I worked with two datasets, one of them told me if a school was a Title IX school and the other one told me the number of students in the school that qualified for the reduced lunch program. I was able to use this data to conduct outreach to various school districts about downloading the College Xoice app.
This was my first internship and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to gain relevant and practical real life experience. I was able to see the relevance and impact of my work every single day. Additionally it was so cool when I was able to put to use the content I was learning in class to my work. For example, I was learning about creating swimlane diagrams in my tech enabled business transformations class and then in our weekly standup, I was given the task of making a swim lane diagram for a business proposal. I look forward to seeing the continual growth of College Xoice and seeing it engage with more high school students.