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Engineering Intern, Wally

My First Few Months as an Engineering Intern

As a Senior in college, my worries begin to shift away from school and turn to my professional career. Internships play a large role in the preparation of entering the workforce and I am finding it more of a relevant concern. Information Technology is my major, and I wanted to find something related to software engineering. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint what it is I want out of an internship and know exactly where to look to apply as an engineering intern.

Interview Process at Punch Through

I applied to Punch Through after seeing a job posting for a Software Engineering Intern on LinkedIn. At that point, I’d been actively looking and applying for a few different internship positions. After a week or so, I received an email from Erin at Punch Through to schedule a phone interview — this began my interview process. 

The phone interview was like a brief “get-to-know-you” session, where I was asked a series of informational, hypothetical, and behavioral questions. Soon after, I was invited to come into the office for an in-person interview. It was a straightforward and transparent process, and they didn’t keep me waiting very long before a follow-up. The next phone call was to inform me that I got the engineering intern position! I was nervous and excited and began to work out the details of my first day and some on-boarding items.

Engineering Intern Expectations

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’d heard from friends that their internships mainly focused on internal projects and that they didn’t get to work on anything that would be used in production. That’s usually how it goes, though. Interns work on internal stuff. And with my past internships in college, this was always the case. I also knew that I’d feel tense and nervous working alongside all these professionals as that was the case with my past internships.

Of course, all that started to change midway through the interview process. Punch Through felt different than other companies. I began to get a feel for its vibe and culture, making me hopeful that this internship would sort of break the mold. I started to feel more comfortable and those feelings of anxiety began to ease up.

Reality (Here’s What Really Happened)

On my first day, I was warmly greeted by everyone, and even had a little welcome gift box sitting at my desk. It was a nice surprise and set the tone for the rest of the day. After getting settled in, I was up and at it right away. I met up with my mentor, Alec, and he immediately began to get me up to speed and familiar with the project I’d be working on and tools I’d be using. On my first day, I was ready to start working on client projects, which was something that I didn’t expect at all.

Projects I’ve Worked On

The work I do at Punch Through is interesting and diverse. I’ve had a chance to work on a variety of different projects with a variety of different team leaders. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a lot of different technologies: AWS, VMWare ESXi, Linux, BLE, Swift and XCode, Objective-C and C++, JavaScript, and QT. What I work with depends on the project I’m working on but up to this point, my usual work is iOS app development. It’s important to give mention to BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), which is involved in every project at Punch Through. It’s not something traditionally taught in school, so it’s been a cool learning experience for me to work with it thus far.

What’s the Culture Like?

The culture at Punch Through is something that should be noted. There are a few things that I’ve taken away from my time here so far: taking ownership, collaboration, learning, and having fun while you’re at it. On a day-to-day basis, I’ve noticed that everyone takes ownership of their work, stays on top of their projects, and enjoys themselves at the same time. 

Collaboration is also a huge part of the culture at Punch Through. People work together to tackle challenging problems and learn from one another. And finally, learning and having fun while you’re at it–in fact, I was told by my mentor that learning is what most of the job is when you’re an engineer. We’re constantly problem-solving and thinking of creative solutions. There’s a strong sense of accomplishment when you solve the problem and by that point, you’ve learned a new thing or two.

Personal Thoughts

I’ve been an engineering intern at Punch Through for a few months now and I’m really looking forward to working with the team for the rest of my internship. From the get-go, I was greeted very warmly by the team. I feel comfortable and had numerous opportunities to work on both client projects and internal projects. I feel that I’m getting exposure to a wide variety of disciplines in the field, which helps me narrow down what I want to do after college. A personal goal of mine is to find ways to apply what I’ve learned at school in a more meaningful way, and Punch  Through is letting me do just that.

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