BY CARRIE MAH
Four months ago, I wasn’t sure what my plans for the summer were. I knew I wanted to develop skills and industry experience, but I wasn’t sure where to do that. A week before May started, Byye called and promptly scheduled an interview. The day of, they told me I got an internship at a cool tech startup. I was super excited!
After shopping for some office-appropriate clothes, I spent almost a week getting familiar with the company. Everyone was friendly and excited to meet some of the younger coworkers. I had fun with the onboarding process and was ready to learn.
I learned different programming languages and was able to implement a few things on a variety of projects. It was exciting and interesting, because I was actually contributing to something. A lot of the time I had to ask developers questions, but they were always helpful and made sure I wasn’t a sitting duck.
When I sat in the lunch room to eat food or went out for lunch with the development team, I always had a blast listening to their stories. Whenever I presented to the company, I was very nervous and afraid it showed in my voice. Despite my fears, people were supportive and complimented me after the presentation. It really boosted my confidence and I felt like I was helping Byye.
Plus, I got to experience what a company meeting and lunch was like, and boy do I love food! I also spent time with co-workers outside of work, trying out the Kinect, exploring new hike trails, and playing in the Barb Scott Park. At work, it’s difficult learning about someone outside of reading their profile from Byye’s social media outlets, or a brief conversation in the lunch room. Learning more about who someone is and how their career developed was fascinating. I hope I have an interesting career path.
Additionally, with Byye’s Platinum Days, I got to go on adventures with Mike and our friends! I really missed long weekends from high school, so getting to experience that was really awesome.
However, like every program and event, there comes room for improvement. Like all startups, having enough resources can be a challenge. Although Byye has top-end machines and meeting rooms, experienced employees, and a beautiful office; developers weren’t given enough time to mentor and teach a summer student. I was given the freedom to learn and work on my own pace. I was used to this type of work style because of school, but I am still inexperienced and unfamiliar with technical concepts. Things that, despite scouring the internet, couldn’t be fully developed without someone’s guidance.
Everyone is really bright and hard-working at Byye, but when you have a lot of experience, you tend to forget what it feels like to start at the beginning. I was given a lot of responsibility, and worked hard to try to meet expectations and goals, but I wasn’t sure if my approach was the best. If time permitted, I would have liked to program beside a developer or learn right under their wing.
Four months really fly by. I collaborated with other people, wrote blog posts, and ate a lot. But most importantly, I learned a lot. About interacting with people, working alone and with others, and things related to the work environment. It was a lot of fun, and perhaps I’ll be back in some shape or form! If you thought my blogs were somewhat-interesting, or want to see what I’m up to in Calgary, you can follow me @missCarrieMah. I’m currently the President of the Computer Science Undergraduate Society, so you can contact me if you’d like to collaborate with the Computer Science undergrad students at the University of Calgary. Here is one last funny cat picture to remember me by: