Aug 15, 20185m read
Summer at Spot.IM: Reflections from Our Interns
By Derek Willie
Let’s be honest — most internships kind of suck. Interns generally find themselves grabbing coffee for the bosses or sitting around the office, bored out of their minds. Rarely do they get to take on serious responsibilities in the workplace, let alone add value to the company.
Not so at Spot.IM. Our interns have done just about everything. They’ve had face time with media partners. They’ve prepared materials for critical meetings, built dashboards and written game-changing competitive analyses. Not to mention that they’ve rescued this blog from dormancy and helped to make it a trusted source for people inside and outside the tech world.
We asked the interns to reflect on their time at Spot.IM. Their responses will probably not surprise you, but they will speak to the invaluable roles they’ve played at the company.
1. What’s one thing you got to do at Spot.IM that you wouldn’t expect an intern to be doing?
“Working on projects that were impactful to the company’s future was an experience that I don’t believe many interns get to do during their hours in the office. Working against the clock to put together a CBS deck that was then shown an hour later to CBS was super cool and rewarding for me.” — Adam Wilck, Business Development Intern
“I managed my own project and time with far more freedom than I ever expected. I also felt like my voice was actually heard in the company when I had something to say – something you wouldn’t normally find as an intern.” — Ethan Horing, Research & Development Intern
2. Has your internship experience told you anything more about what you want to do career-wise?
“It has really shown me how multi-faceted and ever changing the fields of computer science and software engineering are. Despite having programmed since high school, I had no experience with React or Redux because they were developed too recently for colleges to really take notice. It has driven home the point that career-wise, I’ll have to constantly be keeping tabs on new developments in order to improve.” — Jose Lemus, Research & Development Intern
“My internship experience has definitely shown me that I need to work in an adaptive environment, and that predictability in the office won’t work for me.” — Jack Elias, Business Development Intern
“It’s helped me narrow down which specific business functions I’m interested in (beforehand, my experience mostly consisted of academic/general intern work and recruiting for first-year consulting positions).” — Nancy Wu, Data Analyst Intern
3. What’s one, specific thing you learned at Spot.IM that will help you in your next professional or academic endeavor?
“I learned how to code in a much more practical sense (with practical programming languages)! This will be a huge advantage both at school and any future job.” — Ethan Horing, Research & Development Intern
“I feel like I’ve gained the confidence to execute on projects that I’m passionate about, even if it means taking a risk. Interning has taught me how to put good ideas into practice.” — Derek Willie, Marketing Development Intern
“I developed a framework for thinking about and addressing projects/problems. This has helped me to come to better and more creative solutions more quickly — something I will be able to bring to all kinds of future professional and academic endeavors.” — Michael Heilweil, Business Strategy Intern
4. What was the funniest/most unusual thing that happened in the office?
“Early morning shots around the gong.” — Jose Lemus, Research & Development Intern
“Definitely Jack coming in late super sweaty and saying that he needed a few minutes to compose himself and dry off.” — Brian Sandker, Data Strategy Intern
“One of the funnier moments in the office for me was when we sat around at a group lunch and discussed a variety of different topics, ranging from social habits to sports. It was funny for me to see everyone who I had only known in an office setting relax and become a different side of their own personality.” — Adam Wilck, Business Development Intern
“Watching Roy and Ron fight for the bathroom and break a wall was pretty great.” — Nancy Wu, Data Analyst Intern
5. If you could give your pre-internship self one piece of advice, what would it be? What advice would you give to future interns?
“To myself: be open to trying projects that you might not think you’re good at. You could discover something you didn’t know was there. To future interns: Talk to people. Absorb every bit of knowledge that you can. Interning at a startup is the best way to learn about business. No one can afford to miss the invaluable lessons that interning at a company like Spot.IM stands to offer.” — Derek Willie, Marketing Development Intern
“Always ask questions to people like Nadav and Roee because the insight you can gain from them is incredible. For future interns I would say to find the right balance between ambitious projects and something doable so that you can push yourself but at the end of the day actually contribute back to the company.” — Brian Sandker, Data Strategy Intern
“I would tell myself to view all of my projects not just in terms of how I can help the company, but how I can help myself. Every project I worked on required me to learn new things, but it took some time for me to acknowledge that I was actively developing my skillset. I would tell future interns to take time to really think about the specific skills they want to develop, and think about the projects that would enable this kind of growth.” — Michael Heilweil, Business Strategy Intern
It’s fair to say that every intern at Spot.IM had a different experience — in terms of the projects they worked on and their contributions to the company. Still, all of them will have left Spot.IM with a better sense of who they are, both professionally and personally. Cheers to a great summer!