SendGrid Spotlight: Intern Edition Kate Schmeisser September 18, 2013 Company, Guest Post // SUMMARIES ?> What It’s Like to Be a Summer Engineering Intern at SendGrid SendGrid’s Intern Program is relatively new… scratch that, very new. This summer was the inaugural season for the 16 interns we proudly introduced into our SendGrid ecosystem. An eclectic bunch (regarding experience) overall—some were just beginning college, while others were right in the middle or recent grads, and others were grad students—but each of them contributed their unique talents and skills towards making this program such a success. Today, we want to take the time to highlight one of our amazing engineering interns, Monica Mishra, on her time here at SendGrid. What attracted you to apply for an internship at SendGrid? Actually I found SendGrid through NCWIT—the National Center for Women in Technology. I reached out and explained that I just graduated high school and I wanted to use my coding skills and get some experience. After that, I received a call from SendGrid that I had an interview! What sparked your interest in Computer Science? I took a few classes in high school and found I had a natural aptitude for it. I also discovered it was applicable to so many real world uses. Those classes really busted the stereotypes I had in mind for Computer Science, and now I see it as a tool to help me make a positive impact in the world. Three words to explain your SendGrid experience? Lots of food! Most unexpected thing about your time at SendGrid? Oh, it was definitely the fact that I was treated just as a regular developer. It was so much real-world experience I was blindsided by it. As an intern I thought I may get some coding done, like clearing other developers’ backlogs (doing trivial things), but I never imagined how much responsibility I’d be given. It’s amazing how supportive the team has been—everyone values my opinion even though I’m not technically as qualified as they are. Do you have any projects you specifically have been working on the last few months? Because I was acting as a normal developer I would work on engineering sprints in 2 week cycles. Essentially lots of little things! But most recently I was working on some health checks. They say the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. You helped out with our internal coding class, what was that like and did you get anything out of it as well? The class is mainly based on foundational things but luckily they were things I had learned just 3 weeks before, so it also reinforced my own understanding. What I liked best was that it was all people from different departments, who would normally never even touch Ruby on Rails, all coming together to learn it because they wanted to. People at SendGrid share the “life-long learning” mentality. What were your main takeaways? Technically I would say I learned about: Testing development A whole new programming language—Ruby on Rails (to hear what language developers from SendGrid and beyond suggest for new programmers, check out this recent blog post.) Agile developments How engineering companies work internally and about their processes GitHub How to collaborate with others in terms of coding But as far as my biggest, more personal, takeaway I’d say I learned the importance of “culture fit” companies. Here at SendGrid there isn’t any weird friction between departments and I’d say that’s because of the culture we have here. When you have the right people in the right spots, the work will follow, and success is inevitable. At first I was impressed by bigger corporate internships, but I now realize I would much rather be at a small company like SendGrid with such a great culture and people. What’s next? I’ll be headed to Harvard in the fall where I will pursue a degree in computer science with a minor in either economics or statistics. I know I will stay in a technical industry and hopefully I’ll come back to SendGrid next summer because I really, really liked it here! And what’s your life goal? As cliché as it sounds, I want to change the world. I have been given SO many opportunities and tools to make a difference somehow. I want to make the world better for at least one person, if not as many people as I can. Good Luck Monica! We are sad to see Monica go, but we are very pleased she chose SendGrid as a pit stop before Harvard. We are all sure she is off to do some great things and wish her the absolute best! SendGrid had such a successful round with interns this summer we can’t wait to see who will apply next! For more information on openings within our Engineering Department check out our Careers Page.