An internship is a wonderful way to gain experience and insight into the working world, acting as an introduction to greater responsibility, with a range of tasks and set amount of time to address each to meet the needs of the business.
While it can be tempting to put your nose to the grindstone and ignore everything outside your role as you adjust to professional life, you’ll miss out on some of the most important aspects of an internship. Really, you need balance.
Here are 3 things that you can do to get the most out of your internship at Veritas Technologies:
Ask for help
Sometimes the solutions to your problems are a simple web search away. However, sometimes additional assistance is what you truly need. In these moments, you can and should take advantage of the incredible breadth of staff at the company – Veritas is full of engaged, helpful individuals.
At the beginning of my internship, I was afraid to ask for help because I didn’t want to bother anyone. I was often able to make progress and fix things independently, but at a painfully slow pace. After a few days, I realized I couldn’t do everything by myself and asked my mentor for help. From then on, almost every time I asked for assistance he had a way to solve my problem or knew someone who did.
Over the course of the internship, reaching out to others when I felt truly stuck likely saved me three or four weeks’ worth of time I would have otherwise spent troubleshooting.
Learn about the business
An important aspect of an internship is learning details of the business at hand. My manager told me something at the beginning of my internship that stuck with me: “There are a lot of people that are very good at the technical aspect of their jobs, but the ones who have moved up in their organizations all have a strong understanding of the business.”
Even as an engineer, understanding the business is important. Appreciating the issues you’re addressing and the customers who experience them will help you tailor the software to meet their needs. If you don’t understand your customer, you may spend days writing code for a feature nobody wants.
Talk to People
One of my favorite things about interning at Veritas is the smart and thoughtful people. If you’re like me, you’re seeking to build professional relationships; the Veritas University team hosts engaging events where you can meet other interns and Veritas staff; from social opportunities to technical talks, you’ll have the ability to truly get to know the whole of Veritas Technologies.
As a software engineer, I didn’t know much about those outside the engineering areas of the business – the daily demands of their roles, for example. To provide insight to other areas of the business, my internship group set up informational interviews with a director of program management, sales engineer, product manager, technical director, and many others. This experience was eye-opening, offering a view into the different career paths within a technology company, and an appreciation for how much work goes into designing, developing, marketing, and selling hardware and software.