For the first time in our company’s history, Productive Edge was able to provide a memorable internship experience via a 100% remote program. While the virtual format was an unforeseen challenge coming into this summer’s internship season, we are extremely proud of what our Intern Team was able to accomplish through their hard work and dedication to the program.
Every summer, our interns are given the opportunity to work directly with one of our delivery teams while also engaging on an intern team project with the goal of further developing their skills through hands-on work with emerging technologies. As an added bonus for this year’s internship, the Client Relations Team was also involved in setting up a 3-week Industry Challenge to expose the interns to working with clients on brainstorming industry-specific solutions.
Below, find out all the details from this summer’s internship experience, directly from our interns themselves!
Christopher Lee – University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Computer Science
Chris George – University of Wisconsin-Madison, Computer Science
Maitri Amin – Indiana University, Information Systems & Business Analytics
Jacob Slutzky – Purdue, Computer Science
Hajara-Yasmin Isa – the University of Illinois at Chicago, Computer Science
Magdalena Martinez – National Louis University, Computer Science & Information Systems
What has been your favorite part about interning at Productive Edge?
Chris George: I liked how the internship involved a lot of different experiences: working with the other interns on our Intern Project, while also working on other projects with the delivery teams and researching for the Industry Challenge.
Christopher Lee: Being able to work alongside people who share a wide breadth of knowledge about different technologies/business practices.
Jacob Slutzky: My favorite part about interning at Productive Edge is how enthusiastic and eager every employee has been to help me with any questions/concerns that I have had. Everyone that I have encountered has been extremely insightful and understanding and care a lot about teaching me and guiding me along my career path.
Hajara-Yasmin Isa: I could not have asked for a more enriching, filling, stimulating summer than what Productive Edge has offered me this past 12 weeks. One of my favorite quotes is “The more you know, the more you know you do not know anything” and without failure, this statement has proven its validity again. I find joy in immersing myself in new technologies and this summer the internship team led us to just that.
Maitri Amin: My favorite part would be getting hands-on experience with different programs and projects. Also being able to learn about and interact with different teams.
Magdalena Martinez: My favorite part about the internship was learning about the product management role and what makes a great product manager. I have enjoyed being part of meetings with other product managers and learn how they work and their thinking process. Also, knowing there is always someone willing to help and offer expert advice.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned?
Christopher Lee: How fun/efficient making a project can be when working with a team.
Maitri Amin: Making word clouds in specific shapes in Power BI.
Magdalena Martinez: For me, it was learning the importance of making connections and asking for help from those who are more experienced. I learned how each team and project could significantly differ from each other—also, the importance of learning from others.
Why did you choose to intern at Productive Edge?
Jacob Slutzky: I chose to intern at Productive Edge because I wanted to work at a company that has a positive impact on society and is a place where I can learn about computer science and business which are my two main interests.
Hajara-Yasmin Isa: Productive Edge is what I consider an all in one. From the peaceful atmosphere it emanates, to the state of the art solutions it provides, and finally the welcoming teams it fosters. I chose PE because I wanted to enhance my skills, grow my understanding, and experience working in a professional environment all with a company/company-mission that resonates with me.
Magdalena Martinez: I chose PE because I was interested in working for a consulting company, and I enjoyed the interview process. I looked forward to working with the people who interviewed me.
What team did you intern for? Did you learn anything new from helping out with specific projects from that team? What challenges did you face?
Jacob Slutzky: I interned for the D3 team. Over the course of the internship, I worked with my mentor to make a shooter game in C#. This was my first time working with C# and I learned a lot about object-oriented programming, writing clean code, and creating tests for my code. It was challenging to create a project while learning the language I was using to code it, however, my mentor helped me a lot throughout the process and it ultimately made me a much better programmer.
Hajara-Yasmin Isa: I worked with the Mobile Kombat Team. A few things I learned from working with the team is the importance of structure in a project such as the one we worked on and a piece of technology called Xamarin. One challenge I faced, though very stimulating, while working with the team was learning this new technology and simultaneously implementing it in the project.
Maitri Amin: I interned for Digital Strategy. I learned about the many aspects that go into researching and compiling information/data in order to make a marketable solution for a client. It was challenging at first to address the specific needs of a client however my mentor and team were able to give plenty of examples.
What are some key takeaways that you have gained from this internship?
Chris George: I feel like I developed a lot of useful skills in areas I hadn’t explored before, like data analysis and front-end development. FED work was new to me, so I had a lot to get used to, but the team helped me work through challenges. Also, I learned a lot about working on a team as a software developer, which isn’t really covered in school.
Hajara-Yasmin Isa: One thing I have learned this summer and will continue to adhere to is to not shy away from what I deem as unfamiliar. This internship has taught me that though it may seem daunting at first I for one become more comfortable with things I started with very little knowledge of because it leads me to ask questions and to fully understand from the foundation. One other point is the importance of daily check-ins because sometimes you only realize potential problems and better solutions when you say it out loud.
Maitri Amin: I learned about common data practices, how to enforce clean code, Power BI/Tableau, creating marketable slide decks, etc. Overall, I am fortunate to have been able to get experience and lessons on many practices in a tech firm.
Have you learned anything new from the intern team project or the industry challenge?
Chris George: In the intern project I learned a lot about using Google Cloud Platform, and in the industry challenge I learned about different processes in the banking and finance industry, which I knew very little about before.
Christopher Lee: I learned more about data pipe-lining from the intern team project, and various ways to analyze data better.
Magdalena Martinez: What I have learned from the intern team challenge is the importance of having a strong introduction, getting to know whom you are working with, and establishing each other’s strengths early on. The industry challenge taught me how beneficial it is to provide feedback to your team during and after the project because the goal is always to improve.
Does the internship differ at all from what your teachers/mentors have prepared you for?
Chris George: The internship was a lot different from my courses because the courses focus more on concepts and theory, but this internship was all about the application of those concepts and programming practices that I learned in school.
Christopher Lee: Yes, as many projects in the past have been essentially individual. This internship humbled me and allowed me to work better as a team player.
Jacob Slutzky: This internship differs a lot from what my teachers/mentors have prepared me for. I have taken a few computer science courses, but I have never been taught the importance of writing clean code. Another thing I learned is how to write good tests that cover all of my code.
How were you able to stay connected with your team while being completely remote?
Chris George: Frequent Google Hangout meetings and communicating on Slack really helped us all stay on the same page.
Jacob Slutzky: My team was able to stay connected while being completely remote by having daily stand-up meetings and by messaging each other throughout the day in Intern Slack channels.
Magdalena Martinez: We were able to stay connected by using Slack, and I created an additional channel where we could talk about anything related or unrelated to our project. Also, we used video calls such as Hangouts, and I helped facilitate some ‘just-for-fun’ meetings.
After what you have experienced this summer, do you have any tips for anyone who is starting a remote position or internship in the future?
Christopher Lee: For a remote position – try to make conversation with everyone, even if it might seem annoying. Social interaction has been limited enough by the quarantine. For internship – ask a lot of questions, and keep your head up.
Hajara-Yasmin Isa: Google is your best friend, and the plethora of information that lives on the internet is at your fingertips. Success at working/learning remotely heavily lies in knowing how you learn and how you work best and to plan accordingly. This new work style opens another door for new experiences, so take advantage of it and use it to the fullest.
Maitri Amin: It can be difficult to adjust to a remote position or internship in the beginning, however, if you keep constant communication with your teammates and colleagues it makes the process and reaching out for help much easier.
It has been a pleasure having you all join us this summer! Good luck in your future endeavors, We look forward to seeing how you continue to grow and impact the technology field!