Truman Capote once said, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” I certainly had a mix of failures and successes at my internship. Never having had an office job before now, I didn’t really know what to expect when I came in on my first day. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be anything like The Office with its complete lack of actual work, or 30 Rock seeing as I wasn’t working with crazy celebrities. I learned several things from working at BlueFletch and I probably would be more successful if I could do it a second time around.
The first few weeks were a flurry of trying to wrap my head around the very basics of different aspects and tools of coding. After getting settled in, I started to actually work on the project I had been given. One of the things I wish I knew was that I should’ve never hesitated to ask for help from anybody. Of course, it seems like that should’ve been obvious from the beginning, but I was trying to be as least bothersome to real workers as I could. I really didn’t want to interrupt their real work with questions about the most basic elements of computer science. When I eventually got over that, it was clear that everybody was willing and happy to help me with whatever problems I was encountering. I think I could’ve definitely tried to talk to people more. When I finally got over my shyness, I had some pretty interesting discussions about Game of Thrones.
The project I was working on this summer entailed establishing a home security-like system using a raspberry pi to detect nearby Bluetooth devices. It was supposed to scan for Bluetooth devices every minute or so and would eventually use Amazon Machine Learning to know which devices were “safe” (like the home owner’s phone or maybe a mailman) and which devices were unusual and could be a robber. Although I never got the scanning done correctly, I think I could’ve with more time!
I wish I had anticipated how long the work day would feel after only ever going to school. It helped to stay busy and switch what I was learning about anytime I felt my attention drifting. I probably shouldn’t have planned such ambitious summer goals. I was simultaneously taking a summer online class, working at an internship, and doing summer work for all my AP classes. I decided to focus most of my energy on the internship which allowed me to learn a lot about coding (but probably weakened my schoolwork.) One thing I regret is getting so used to sitting upstairs in a corner desk. The upstairs office is usually deserted and has a very different vibe than the always busy downstairs space. After becoming so comfortable in the quiet, it was quite hard to bring myself to move downstairs and actually socialize like a normal human being.
An experience I really appreciated was the weekly stand-up meetings. It was fascinating to hear what others were working on and learned that week. These meetings also taught me a lot of random but interesting facts. While stand-up meetings aren’t the typical office meeting, it was really fun to be involved in something with the rest of the workplace.
Overall, this summer internship taught me a lot of things. I now am more prepared to function well in an office environment. I also have a strong foundation of the simpler aspects of computer science, which will help me a lot if I ever want to learn even more about coding, not to mention a solid intro to IoT. While I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to this summer, I still learned so much.
About the Author
Anna is a rising Senior at Grady High School. She is interested in programs in STEM/STEAM and would love to have a career that combines engineering and art. She hopes to attend Georgia Tech when she graduates this spring.
Favorite restaurant: Cafe Bombay