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#1 lasiyo   User is offline

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My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 04:59 PM

I'd like to write a lengthy post about my experience at this internship. A lot of stuff happened during my time there, but it's not all on them, I'm also responsible for this experience resulting in a negative way.

The internship was at a finance firm, the team was small; 3 developers and myself, an intern. The first week one dev was on vacation and I was assigned a small task. I had a lot of questions that I fired at my boss (the head of development) but I could tell got flustered since he had shit to do. Once John was back, I sought out to him for questions and he essentially became my mentor.

Now, a lot of the work involved in this dev team goes past coding and doing a lot of support for other departments. My issue was trying to understand how the business works. You can't really work properly here unless you know how financial reports work, how the benchmarks are produced, where the information is coming from, etc. There's a lot of stuff that I just have no idea what it meant.I felt most comfortable when I was given a project to code, or to write an automation script. But beside that, I felt out of my element. Which is normal, but still ovewhelming.

Moreover, I really disliked the work culture. I was the only intern there and I simply couldn't get used to the corporate environment. All websites blocked, eating at your desk and working from 9:00-6:30. I know that this is normal and I shouldn't be looking to be spoiled with ping pong tables, it was just hard to get used to.

Two weeks in, a senior dev quits and the team is reduced to 2 people, and me. The head of tech ,let's call him Sam, hasn't got the best reputation as a manager (I eventually found out this was one of the reasons he quit). So initially, I was gonna be given a long-term project to do during my internship here but since the senior dev quit, the team has no time to prep anything for me. So I'm given some nice-to-haves and random tasks. John is a great teacher and taught me some great stuff about Python, but I still had a massive gap in understanding how to navigate everything. I can't say that there was lack of training to be honest, cause John was there and he was helpful with specific stuff, but when it came to the business itself and when requests like "Can you please run BHS_US for current positions? " came in, I really had no idea what they were talking about.

Once Sam checked out, I was basically a ghost to him. He rarely took a look at what I did and pushed. Only John was willing to put in an effort to help me. At this point, I lost motivation to work there. I felt like I wasn't good at all and a massive burden to John and Sam. If I was done with a task, I wouldn't ask for more work out of fear that I couldn't do it. I felt stupid, and felt like a burden.

Overtime, Sam started coming in late constantly and not showing up. Things were going down hill, he stopped looking at my pull requests and seemed to have checked out. Few days later I hear through the grapevine that he either quit/got fired and is leaving in the next few weeks.

Today, John is in a conference out of state and Sam did not show up today. I'm the only person from the team here and trying to deal with all these support requests and I barely know what half mean let alone how to deliver.

I'm 90% sure I'm not gonna get an offer and even if I did, I wouldn't accept it. I dread coming here every morning and I'm counting the days for it to be over. I learned that I don't want to work at a company where software/tech isn't its primary product. I have zero interest in finance and as much as I wish I did better, I'm glad it's almost over.

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 05:05 PM

That is certainly.. ah.. interesting first post.
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#3 lasiyo   User is offline

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 05:06 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 01 August 2018 - 05:05 PM, said:

That is certainly.. ah.. interesting first post.


I needed to vent somewhere :sweatdrop:
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#4 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 05:09 PM

Certainly. Thanks for sharing!

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#5 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 06:00 PM

So - what's next? If you don't intend to entertain an offer from this firm, it's probably a good idea to get your feelers out for the next thing. What would you like that to be?
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#6 lasiyo   User is offline

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 01 August 2018 - 06:52 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 August 2018 - 06:00 PM, said:

So - what's next? If you don't intend to entertain an offer from this firm, it's probably a good idea to get your feelers out for the next thing. What would you like that to be?


I would like to try another internship at a company that treats software/tech as their product. Somewhere more focused on web development perhaps. I would like to learn new technologies as well (I only used vanilla python and ms:sql for this internship). Maybe entertain the idea of a FT position, but I think I might be better off with another internship.
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#7 andrewsw   User is offline

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 02 August 2018 - 01:21 AM

I am sorry that you had (are having) such a bad experience, but I am also glad to hear that it is not putting you off another internship.
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#8 no2pencil   User is online

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 02 August 2018 - 09:50 AM

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

I had a lot of questions that I fired at my boss (the head of development) but I could tell got flustered since he had shit to do.

When I had my computer repair shop, on separate occasions I brought in an intern. Part of the agreement is they were not to be assigned their own tasks that required them to work without my supervision. I was explicitly not allowed to use them as 'free labor'.

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

and I shouldn't be looking to be spoiled with ping pong tables, it was just hard to get used to.

I worked at a place with a ping-pong table. It was just for show, we never used it. Ever.

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

Once Sam checked out, I was basically a ghost to him. He rarely took a look at what I did and pushed. Only John was willing to put in an effort to help me.

IMO, which you didn't really ask for, they should have let you go at this point. They really need to get their shit together with regards to their dev team, & don't need added weight. No offense to you, but the two 'wants' out of your existence there don't seem in any alignment. You're getting great experience in the work place, btw.

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

Overtime, Sam started coming in late constantly and not showing up. Things were going down hill, he stopped looking at my pull requests and seemed to have checked out. Few days later I hear through the grapevine that he either quit/got fired and is leaving in the next few weeks.

He shouldn't have been allowed to work out that time. Not with how that behavior reflects his attitude.

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

I'm 90% sure I'm not gonna get an offer and even if I did, I wouldn't accept it.

This is perfect, you're already learning. I truly hope that your next opportunity is better suited to your skillset, & you have a pleasant experience.
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#9 jon.kiparsky   User is online

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:01 AM

View Postlasiyo, on 01 August 2018 - 08:52 PM, said:

I would like to try another internship at a company that treats software/tech as their product. Somewhere more focused on web development perhaps. I would like to learn new technologies as well (I only used vanilla python and ms:sql for this internship).


Excellent. It's good to see that you have some concrete goals in mind. Knowing what you want and being able to communicate it will get you a long way towards getting what you want.

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Maybe entertain the idea of a FT position, but I think I might be better off with another internship.


Thinking in terms of Dunning-Kruger, this might indicate that you're ready for a FT role. :)
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#10 lasiyo   User is offline

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Re: My negative experience at an internship

Posted 02 August 2018 - 01:34 PM

Thanks for all the replies. Despite it being a bad experience, I still learned a lot in terms of how businesses operate, and what direction i'm interested in heading towards to. I really do enjoy coding (my most enjoyable parts of this internship were when I could zone-in and code a script or something), and want that to be a main focus of my next position. I'm looking forward to what's to come, and if anyone has any more suggestions, or what I should've done better at this internship please feel free to throw them in!
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