Internship Title: Software Engineering Intern
Employer and location: Innovative Defense Technologies - Arlington, VA
Describe your duties:
During my internship, I tested the GUI actions of IDT's ATRT (Automated Test and ReTest) software using ATRT, spent some time developing for ATRT, and wrote hundreds of tests for IDT's NAVAIR team to verify the actions functioned as expected. I also participated in weekly Skype meetings to discuss accomplishments, problems, and upcoming tasks.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
The ability to work alongside the skilled and intelligent employees of IDT was a great opportunity. Before I came in, I expected to do some "grunt-work" that would be reserved for the interns' duties. This was not the case at all-I felt like I actually contributed something meaningful to the company each day I worked. I was treated as an equal working in a team, testing and writing alongside IDT employees. Everyone I came into contact with was very friendly, accessible, and willing to help, which made my transition into the internship very smooth. It was also nice getting to learn about the employees' lives outside of work during our lunch hours.
What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
Being thrown into an unfamiliar environment is never easy at first. Washington, DC is very different from Central Pennsylvania, and it took some time to become accustomed to living in a city. Everything was very new to me, but I quickly learned the nuances of DC's public transportation and dealt with other obstacles during the summer. Aside from life outside the office, it took a little bit of time learning the tech jargon, and I had to spend some time familiarizing myself with IDT's applications.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship? How did your internship prepare you for a career?
Bucknell has provided me with a great education that has taught me how to think critically and with an open mind. It has given me a great set of skills that I will be able to build upon after I leave the University. My experience at Bucknell has also introduced me to many different people, and my social skills have improved as a result. My internship at IDT gave me real-world experience and a glimpse of what it would be like to work for a software company. I think that all students should be an intern for a company in their field to discover what life after Bucknell will be like.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Find your summer internship as soon as possible-don't procrastinate! I think the best way to get an internship is to attend one of the many career fairs the CDC provides and represent yourself well while there. It is important to get your résumé in the hands of the recruiters and make a good first impression if you want to get their internship. My experience was simple-I found IDT's table, spoke with the representative for some time, gave him my résumé, and about a week later was asked to come in for an interview! If I could go back and time and do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing.