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Reaping the benefits of an internship experience

Anusha Pai and Daisy Arellano

Ask anyone who has completed internships before starting their full-time job out of college and they will most likely tell you how much it prepared them for so many things they they did not or could not learn in a classroom or lab. That was the experience for Anusha Pai (BS ’19) and Daisy Arellano (BS ’19) during their software engineering internships this past summer in California. Anusha was at Google in Mountain View while Daisy completed her internship at Macy’s Technology in San Francisco. They each shared details from their experience.

Anusha Pai | Google

Securing the internship:
I found out about the internship through the Grace Hopper Conference (fall 2017).

Best part of the internship:
Working on a project with an amazing group of talent would have to be the best part of my internship. I also loved that the project I worked on has a large-scale impact on many users.

Most challenging part of the internship:
This was my second internship at Google, so I was more comfortable with the internal tools, the work environment/culture, and the campus. However, during my first Google internship, I felt overwhelmed with the large campus and all the training in the first week, which was very challenging for me, but with the help of my team, I was able to complete the training and learn lots of new things during my internship successfully.

Most valuable thing learned that was not CS or engineering related:
I learned that networking with as many people as you can is very important in your career. During my internship, there were a lot of intern events and team events that motivated us to build connections and get to know the team a little better.

Surprising part of internship:
I was surprised how truly caring every single coworker is and how motivating everyone is to each other. It was exactly like I heard it would be like. The environment and work culture is very positive and caring, and the company truly believes in each individual’s success. The Google community is like one big family who helps each other out in all situations, which is one of the many reasons I loved interning there.

Evaluation of overall experience:
My overall experience was unforgettable! I have been so fortunate and blessed to be a part of the Google community. I received a warm welcome, great support, had a fantastic time, and learned tons during my internship.

If they offered a full-time position:
My internship experience at Google was very positive, and I loved working there every single day over the summer with such an incredible group of people. I would love to work at Google again and would definitely accept a full-time offer from them.

Daisy Arellano | Macy’s Technology

Securing the internship:
I was recruited through the Grace Hopper 2017 conference which I attended with the UIC computer science department.

Best part of the internship:
Being able to explore a different city, and meeting new people within my field. Networking with people across the company and learning how ecommerce works.

Most challenging part of the internship:
I think the hardest part of my internship was becoming comfortable and confident enough within my team to ask questions and ask for resources I needed.

Most valuable thing learned that was not CS or engineering related:
I learned how different working for a tech company in ecommerce is than a tech company that focuses only on tech. This was valuable because I realized I really like the business applications and emphasis on the customer that companies like Macy’s focus on and that I will probably want to work for a company much like this one.

Surprising part of the internship:
I was surprised by how much the company cared about making sure I had a fun experience. There was a lot more downtime than I expected allocated just for us to network and enjoy San Francisco.

Evaluating overall experience:
It was an amazing experience, I learned so much about myself and how I work with a team and how I work as a programmer.

If they offered a full-time position:
Accepting the offer would mean relocating and I have family and friends here. I also love Chicago and would like to stay for a while after I graduate. If I get an offer I will have lots to think about but it is definitely a possibility!

Additional comments:
I was very nervous about my first internship as I usually work with teams at UIC that I am fairly familiar with but everyone was so focused on making sure I learned as much as possible and was so helpful. For anyone who is nervous about their first internship I encourage you to research the company because while I had a great experience I know many people who did not and it really does make a difference.