Investing in Interns

In summers past, I often found myself increasingly excited as the beginning of a new year of school approached, bringing with it new opportunities, new classes, and new experiences. For the first time in my life, I’m reluctant to admit to myself that the summer—and by extension, my time as an iOS Engineering Intern at Raizlabs—is coming to an end.

I had no idea what to expect when I first arrived at 50 Milk Street in early June. As a Northeastern University student, the importance of work experience through internships and co-ops has been instilled in me since I began college, along with plans and strategies for learning as much as possible while working. However, it’s well understood among the Northeastern community that not every internship is designed for students to develop their professional skills; often, the role can be more accurately described as “coffee boy” or “paper filer”. With that said, it’s safe to say that my experience at Raizlabs absolutely didn’t conform to the role of a traditional internship: it exceeded that far beyond my wildest expectations.

When I began the internship, I was inexperienced as an iOS developer, having worked with Swift only a handful of times. Rather than learning on my own time, or working on less interesting tasks that I would have been able to accomplish more easily, I was shocked to find myself immediately assigned to a product team that was responsible for creating the mobile app for Wagz Inc. What really separates Raizlabs from the countless other opportunities for computer science students, however, is the way that they view the internship: as an investment in students, rather than a temporary employee. Rather than being immediately thrown into the work (a disconcerting concept, considering my lack of experience with iOS development), I was given as much time as I needed to familiarize myself with the application, the language and IDE, and the incredible Raizlabs development process. In addition to this, I was assigned a mentor, who took time out of his own schedule to assign me lectures and projects, review my work, and answer my endless stream of questions. All of this personalized instruction allowed me to learn more in a single summer than I ever thought possible.

Raizlabs did more than just spending resources and valuable time turning me into an iOS developer. They gave me the tools and instruction that I needed to make serious contributions to the Wagz app. I had the opportunity to write suites of tests, fix bugs, and as I progressively became more capable over the course of the summer, develop entire features for the application. These accomplishments are things that I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the summer, and I still have trouble looking at how far I’ve progressed objectively. However, one thing is absolutely safe to say: Raizlabs took it upon itself to instill me with a set of invaluable skills and significant experience, both of which have profoundly impacted me personally and professionally.

I view my impending departure with a sense of bittersweet satisfaction; I am sad to leave, considering the incredible rate at which I have advanced in my abilities. However, I’m excited to go back to Northeastern and continue learning and putting my new skills to use. I am incredibly grateful to Raizlabs for everything they have done for me, and I commend them for sharing their expertise so generously with the next generation of software engineers.


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