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Intern Perspectives: Building a professional skill set with a foundation of company culture

Level 1

When I began my search for a software engineering internship, I was focused almost exclusively on the technical experience I could gain. Fortunately, as I took on my summer internship with Veritas Technologies, I quickly realized the role of other factors in bolstering one’s professional skills.

 Building a cultural foundation
My interview with Veritas came the day after a particularly brutal March Minnesotan blizzard dumped half a foot of snow and ice on the state. Despite my best preparatory efforts with a shovel, my car didn’t even make it to the end of my street before getting stuck on a particularly slippery patch of ice. Following a phone call seeking help and a few pushes of some helpful neighbors, I arrived at Veritas offices nervous of how I would be received. I was immediately put at ease, met with understanding upon my first handshake.

linkedin-In-Stream_Wide__Austin_Backes_1.jpgThis positivity continued as I began working as a software engineering intern. Whether it was a question about the software at hand, or simply asking the best place to grab lunch nearby, each time I had a question someone was eager to help. Soon I was working on developing software with technologies I hardly knew existed days prior.

Though I have only been an employee at Veritas for 6 weeks, every day I am met with familiar faces—each one a reminder of the collective wealth of knowledge and expertise the employees at the company hold.  Discovering the value of networking firsthand by working with those around me is likely just as valuable as any technical skills I have grasped.

And this positive impression of Veritas is reflected across the organization; I was surprised by the number of employees who have spent a large portion of their careers at the company. Engaging work and developing industry leading technology are listed as compelling factors, but the overwhelming reason for their motivation is “the people.”

Guidance for incoming interns

The culture of a company is incredibly important—positive work environment provides employees with the foundation for success. The supportive culture Veritas maintains has made my time as an intern undeniably rewarding.

Taking on an internship, you will likely have many questions. And there are many digital public resources to help you set expectations and proceed with confidence. This said, communicating with a colleague, manager, or mentor can help provide clear, targeted guidance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as there are many systems in place to help you succeed. Like me, you may even discover asking for help does a lot to support the development of productive professional relationships!linkedin-In-Stream_Wide__Austin_Backes_2.jpg