Strong businesses depend on talent, smarts and grit from all quarters, and in many cases–ours, at least–some of the steam that pushes our engines comes from our bright group of summer interns. These computer science and engineering-savvy individuals joined Waterline Data from some of the best schools in the country to give all they’ve got, to learn all they can, and to walk away with a new leg up in an industry teeming with opportunity. And so far, that’s what each and every intern we’ve ever had has done. I’ve been impressed with every single one of them.
But that’s my feedback. Since I was also curious about how the Waterline Data experience is working out for them, I thought I’d ask. Here are some of the responses I got.
What is a moment in your internship experience that stands out as highlight in your learning?
The company has been holding intern training sessions with the engineers, as well as lunch sessions with the executives. These have been so useful. They’ve taught me lot about basic concepts in big data, front end development, management, and sales, bettering my understanding of how a startup works and why each person’s role matters.
How did your experience working at a startup compare to other jobs you’ve had in the past (if you have had other jobs in the past)?
My past experience has been in scientific research. I’ve interned at university research departments that did work in astronomy and computer science. Unlike working at a university, at a startup such as Waterline, you gain a better understanding of the impact of your work. For example, I did some work on making video tutorials for our smart data catalog sandbox. Immediately after we finished, we got word that potential customers were downloading our sandbox and using our videos. Our CMO told us about how the sandbox has been a leading way of gaining customers in the past. Thus, I was able to see how my work affected the company as a whole.
In what ways did the internship fulfill your expectations?
This internship fulfilled my experience in the sense that I got the experience in the field that I was looking for. I was able to implement the tools that I had learned in school, into the real world. Waterline Data employees were so eager to help interns out whenever we had questions, which really stuck with me. I never felt scared to ask questions and was gifted with an abundance of knowledge.
Did you learn as much or more than you thought you would about your area of interest?
I learned more than I thought I would in both areas of my interest (data science) and areas outside of my interest (from internet protocols and security to product specifications). I thought I would help to develop and test a specific algorithm for a narrow task in Natural Language Processing, but later realized that I would need to explore methods to actually get to a point where we could perform NLP, and I learned a lot from the process of building a pipeline. There is still more I hope to learn in the coming weeks!
What, if anything, did you especially enjoy about being in the office during the course of your internship?
Everyone here is so passionate about what they do, and it’s hard not to have that bleed off on the interns, too. The energy here has been great. I like how accessible everyone is to talk to and learn from.
What did you learn from your co-workers about working with a team?
I learned that many achievements are group efforts. Despite the importance of individual specialization, a coordinated team is more capable than isolated heroes. It is through the collaboration of everyone and a good channel of communication within the team that makes a project successful.
How did your experience at Waterline Data inform your understanding of the technology, marketing, or your area of internship focus?
I learned how important sales and design are to the success of a product and company. I got a much better understanding of the lifecycle and feature integration of products and services in technology. I didn’t have a clear understanding of how a company is structured when I started, and this experience has taught me about the role of each department, and what kinds of skills each employee has.
Do you plan to further pursue your area of interest after this internship experience?
Due to this experience, I have grown as a computer scientist and as a person. There was so much knowledge to be learned, and I believe that Waterline Data did all they could to transfer that knowledge to the interns. After this internship experience, I will surely pursue a career in computer science. This internship was so valuable to me.
The summer is almost over, and our interns will be leaving us soon. But, if you are interested in an internship during the school year, just let us know by filling out the form at on the Contact Us Page on the Waterline Data website (www.waterlinedata.com ).