Working at Disney Land

This past summer I interned at Disney Land.

Well, not really. I interned at a place called Detroit Labs—still a very fun and magical place where culture, innovation, collaboration, and reward are developed and encouraged in every facet of its business.

detroit_labs_office_snapshot

Detroit Labs is more than just a software development company—its a launchpad for success for employees and clients alike. As I posted before, Detroit Labs is a one-of-a-kind company. I can say that it has been a privilege to be an intern at this company and I’m looking forward to joining their team when I graduate.

Topic 4 – Mentorship

Detroit Labs has created a mentorship program where employees can teach other employees new skills one-on-one. Whether it is a new Javascript framework, virtual reality technology, etc. you can usually find someone else on the ~100-person team who knows what’s up.

Coming into the internship program with little experience with mobile development, I was very fortunate—along with my fellow interns—to have a solid group of mentors who aided us with iOS and Android programming. Since I was primarily and iOS developer, my main mentors were two guys named John and Dan. Let it be known that these two are legends in their own right and are gurus of iOS app development.

John and Dan both have a rich knowledge of making iOS apps so they were a major help in debugging my code, finding better solutions to issues, and overall just making everything just work.

Topic 6 – Definitive Image

horse_face

As I mentioned before, Detroit Labs is a very fun and inspiring place. Make no mistake—we get our work done, but our culture is such that we never take ourselves too seriously and always strive to make the best of our environment. Some people may see software development as a desk job, but the person in the bottom right sees it as an opportunity to solve crazy hard problems with genius solutions while wearing a horse mask on their head.

You probably wouldn’t be able to do that on Wall Street.

Topic 8 – Overcoming Obstacles

An obstacle I overcame during my internship was mitigating my Imposter Syndrome—a term which basically means that I didn’t feel like I was as equipped or skilled enough to do the job I was expected to do. Surprisingly, this is a very common phenomenon in the tech industry. For a while, I thought I was an imposter—a fraud.

Although I’m in the School of Information, I largely taught myself how to make fully-featured applications. I never thought I had learned enough or that I was prepared enough to make the cut, but I did. As my internship progressed, I was able to realize more and more that I was, in fact, capable of performing the tasks expected of me and that I had a large enough skill set to make me a very strong employee in the industry.

Final Topic – The Impact

What can I say that I already haven’t said?

This internship will leave a lasting impression on me in terms of how I view companies, fellow employees, and even my work. I have developed a lot of skills that are applicable in various areas of my personal, academic, and work life. They’ve taught me that transparency, communication, and understanding is a must for an organization to be successful (not just monetarily).

Lastly, their emphasis on diversity, community service, and wanting the best for their employees will alter the way I view company standards and affect how I potentially look for jobs in the future.

My internship experience was an amazing one. But like all good things, it has come to an end. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world.

I don’t think I’m ready to go back to school.

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