Internship Advice from Past Great Interns

The Engineering team at Datalogics will have the pleasure of offering internships to students at various universities in and near Chicago once again in 2018. We’re happy to have our marketing department joining in, and inviting interns to join their team for the summer as well! A couple of years ago I wrote an article for this blog on what we look for when we’re talking to interns to join our development team. Later on in December, we’ll have some advice from past interns who are currently working with us full-time. Today, I’d like to share some advice from three great people who joined us for previous summers – Datalogics internship alumni, each of whom went on to join us full-time after graduating from school.
Colleen Stock, currently Release Manager at Relativity in Chicago, interned with us in 2013 and re-joined Datalogics after her graduation at the end of the year. Here is the most important advice Colleen has to pass along:

“Being a great intern has nothing to do with knowing more than everyone else or doing the most work on a project. Being a great intern is about learning. Learn how to collaborate with your teammates and be open to new ideas. That willingness to listen and change is the much harder task, but will help you exceed on the project at hand and ultimately grow in your career.”

Brandon Haugen came through our 2009 engineering internship program and worked with Datalogics from his graduation in 2010 through this year, in both our engineering and later our product management groups. Now working with the startup Talkroute as Product Manager, Brandon had the following to say when he and I caught up on the subject of what makes for a great intern:

“Patience is key to being a member of any team; as an intern, though, it is extremely important as everyone on the team will have come from different schools and learned computer science/programming differently. Everyone will have had different experiences and worked with different languages/paradigms. Some of what you have learned in school may apply and other bits may not help you. Have patience with yourself (you are still learning) and with your teammates (help them out when you can, and ask them for help when you need it).”

Donna Tom joined us for the summer of 2008, and then for several years after her graduation. Now living and working in the SF bay area, Donna offers the following observations:

“The hardest problems in software engineering are often human problems. Software engineering is a team sport and successful collaboration will yield a better product. So, enhance your collaboration skills and cultivate empathy for your coworkers. Freely offer help to others; don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself. When you do ask for help, provide enough context to help others help you. Let them know what you’re trying to accomplish, and what you’ve already tried that didn’t work. You’ll always get better help when you’re able to help others help you.”

We’re still planning our 2018 recruiting schedule and plans. But, if you’re interested in talking to us about an internship, please reach out!

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