Intern Stories: A Summer at Amazon
By Katie Thompson, the Career Design Center
Elynn Lee is a Software Development Engineering (SDE) intern at Amazon on the Kindle Reader Framework team. This is her second internship, her first one being at Facebook in Palo Alto, California. She is simultaneously doing research on a SRC-URO fellowship in Computational Epidemiology.
How did you hear about the internship/research fellowship?
I found my internship by attending the career expo and talking to recruiters, as well as going to on-campus events where I would network and meet recruiters and engineers.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to trying something different this year. I’m excited to learn something new this year and to gain new experiences. Working on Kindle presents a slew of interesting problems; along with working on a product, we’re also looking towards the future of e-readers and how that can change the industry and even just how people read in general. It’s amazing to see how technology touches people!
What has your experience like so far?
It’s been incredible. I absolutely love my mentor; he’s incredible. He’s always making sure that I have all of the information that I need to do my job. Additionally, my team is made up of a bunch of really funny individuals from different parts of the world. We’ve set up “Team Lunch Fridays,” and we go out to eat and just tell funny stories for an hour or so. Some other interns and I love exploring Seattle. I think that working is important in an internship, but going out and exploring the city that you’re in for a summer is part of it too!
Based on your experience(s), would you recommend this to other students?
I would definitely recommend doing an internship (or multiple!) while you’re still in college. It’s a great way to figure out what you want to work on for the future as well as to work in different parts of the country. Whether it be doing research or working for a company in the industry, any experience you get will be valuable. I can tell you from doing industry and research, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the work that I could potentially be doing in the future.
What kind of influence will this experience have on your future?
I think this internship especially will help me get a different view of the industry. Instead of working for a purely web-based company, I deliberately chose to work on a product so that I could get a completely different experience. Resume building isn’t one of the things I think about when I look for opportunites — I think more about what I want to learn and what seems interesting to me.
If you had the opportunity to do this again, would you?
Oh, most definitely. I think I learn so much during the summers that I work. Even in this short time, I’ve seen how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learned. I went from always pestering my mentor to being able to stand on my own and navigate through the codebase to figure out my problems. He’s so proud of me!
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