I have been really enjoying my internship at HP Headquarters this summer. And I feel I am going to walk away with so many new experiences and resources by coming to the Bay Area. I am so glad I did not stay home in Idaho!
There 5 things that could help in the way of having an incredible internship story when it comes time to go back to school. As it is I am going to have to break up my story into digestible chunks so people will believe me afterwards.
While at your internship you should not be afraid to meet new people. Meet your coworkers, and you managers and your manager’s manager. And meet coworkers from other teams who work in different technology that you might be interested in. Anyone that wants to make a connection you should meet! This summer I got to hang out with Chief Diversity officer Lesley Slaton Brown and then I also snapped a picture with CTO Shane Wall. On top of that there are the other interns that have some cool stories and experiences that I can learn from.
Try new things
Don’t be afraid to volunteer to do other tasks outside of your ‘job’. For example, today I am going to participate in a user experience test for the HTC Vive and get a $25 gift card. Being willing to take on simple and not to complicated side tasks might lead you to discover what you were put on this Earth for. You never know!
I just talked about trying new things but don’t forget to focus on the job too! Sometimes, I stay late if I am verging on a breakthrough. I want to make sure that I come out of this summer with a really well researched project that my manager can be proud of. So my hope for you is that you put your heart and soul into your project because it shows at the end.
After I finish at work, I have a lot of fun exploring. My very first Saturday in the Bay Area I volunteered with Black Girls Code and got to visit the new Salesforce building in San Francisco. And since then I have been all over, really taking in the sights and the people. If there is a chance to explore the area and meet people outside the company that is just as good as any form of networking. You never know what could come out of that!
Bring it home
At some point in the summer I start thinking about how I can bring my new experiences back to school. I have seen some creative solutions out here and I plan to take those suggestions to my school. But another thing we can do as interns is be willing to share our stories to inspire other students to follow in our footsteps. As someone who has completed an internship I know dub you a leader in STEM so be that leader and bring some more people in!