Sunday, June 11, 2017

This is Your Intern Life in Silicon Valley

You wake up at 7 am after an insomnia-induced sleep. So much on your mind about how you are going to finish your projects, impress the full time engineers, and manage to visit Google or Facebook before your internship ends. Last night’s tech networking event was kind of lame but you forced yourself to stay and “make connections” or just gather more swag or free beer.


You’ve heard rumors about Silicon Valley and this summer is your chance to see if any of it was true. You’re somewhat disappointed but are determined to find the gold in the mine. At the tech event, you met some people and talked about your work at your cool internship. The guest speaker’s website made them seem like big time celebrities in the tech world but, you realize that they wrote their own bios and that they are their Hype Team (hey, not jealous of the hustle).

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 To make up for the time you are losing to catch up on OITNB, you drink your times worth in free booze and food. Professionals at these events keep talking about how we, “millennials”, are disrupting X and Y industries... It’s entertaining because you have come to realize that the definition of “millennials” in Silicon Valley is not young college programmers (Like the HBO show Silicon Valley depicted), it’s 27-40 year old professionals. As a 21 year old, you are basically a 12 year old in the room, yet the 40 year old is considered a “millennial”… interesting :D.


You came out to this internship with an ambitious list of side projects that you wanted to complete but keep getting distracted with intern events, tech workshops, and company HQ visits. You realize that you aren’t the next Mark Zuckerberg that is going to discover the next big thing just because you live right near Pinterest, Twitter, eBay, Google, etc.

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Back to your daily schedule, you either take the MUNI to work, BART (if you are unlucky), Uber (if you are privileged), or walk. You don’t bother grabbing or making breakfast because your company provides breakfast and has free snacks/fruit available all day. You eat breakfast, chat up some other interns or coworkers and head to your desk. You have 2 hours till the morning standup so you check emails, fill in some code from yesterday’s project, make a to do list for the day, and read some encouraging articles about young entrepreneurs and new tech in the industry (wow everything is moving so fast in the outside world). A coworker walks by and you quickly close the article and continue to do productive contributions to your internship project.


The business manager calls together the software engineers for the stand up and everyone gives updates on their progress. Last night on the Slack channel, you see that the team completed a ton of releases and today is going to be focused on fixing any production code problems. Did you catch that? I said they complete this work LAST NIGHT! Which means, after your internship life is over and you enter the full time world, there will be no more back to back nights of networking events and intern outings.  


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The meeting is over and you have 4 hours till your next meeting so, you set out to complete some more code to get closer to having a complete package to review with your mentor. In reality, you spend a lot of your time googling acronyms and guides on how to use the framework and tools your teams effortlessly handle.


It’s time for that afternoon coffee to keep you awake at your desk. Since it’s week 4, you’re body has become accustomed to the free office lattes so, you head to Philz with some other interns. You pick a coffee flavor that you know you will love and head back to the office with a newfound motivation to get’r’done! The coffee high ends around 4pm and you are counting down till you get to leave and enjoy your evening. Many coworkers have already left or are popping wine bottles in the office to celebrate…. Everything? at this point there are so many celebrations, they all blend in.


The day has ended and you’re on your commute home. OMG the feeling of walking out of the office and feeling fresh air is rejuvenating, plus the San Francisco sun shining at 6PM makes you feel like you can start a whole new day. You browse Facebook on the bus and are determined to keep a humble social media demeanor about your cool summer internship because you don’t want to seem braggy. Some friends post about their trip to Greece or Paris, you like it  but wished you were on the beach tanning instead of figuring out how to be super productive during an 8 hour work day. The super chill CEO that travels all over the world (Picture Jack Dorsey) has called a Town Hall meeting for next week and you wonder what steps you need to take to get to that position. The opportunity to basically advocate for the company and travel all over the world, “enhancing your cultural experience and adding value to the company” seems like an amazing place to be.


You have the opportunity to order groceries on this new app or have a robot make you salad at Eatsa but you opt to walk to Trader Joes yourself and slum it with the soccer moms while you figure out what you can make for dinner for the next few days.

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You get home and gym with other young people that may be interns but you are too shy to ask. So you guys all just lift and run in silence… all of you wondering what company does everyone intern at. Darn nerds and their lack of social skills. You make dinner while watching a movie to get your mind on anything other than the methods and classes you need to add to your code (but you make a side note to google how to do this job quicker and maybe someone on StackOverflow already did it).


You take a bath and get comfy in bed with your laptop and put a book on the night stand for when you opt to make better pre-bed reading decisions. In reality, you end up on your laptop till midnight and close it before laying down for the night. You are way less stressed than the school year and have a brief moment of gratitude for the privileged position you are in right now before laying down and having your mind haunt you with stuff you have to do, have yet  to do, or stuff your failing in.


Good night Silicon Valley Intern


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