Atmika ENG'21 | Electrical and Computer Engineering
I never could've imagined landing my dream internship the summer after sophomore year, but the Rutgers community gave me boatloads of the confidence and support I needed to believe in myself. As an aspiring software engineer, getting to work at Google in New York was something I always hoped and dreamed of. So, naturally, I took the first shot I could take when the application for the STEP (Student Training in Engineering Program) Internship opened up during the spring of my sophomore year. Technical interviews, on top of worrying that my resume was too skimpy, made the process of getting an internship seem daunting. However, being at a large engineering school meant that I had access to upperclassmen who had been in my exact shoes and have landed full-time roles at awesome tech companies. I took advantage of this and had people from the Women In Computer Science club and the Society of Women Engineers help me prep for my interviews. They also helped me practice talking about my accomplishments with the research I had done the previous summer at the Rutgers Wireless Information and Networking Lab. On top of that, organizations at Rutgers host tons of career fairs and networking events with companies, so I was able to attend those and become exposed to speaking to professionals and even get used to not being afraid to brag a little bit.
At Google, I had the opportunity to work on a team that produced AI-centric Android feature prototypes, and I was given complete ownership over my very own feature. I was paired up with another intern, and for three months we worked alongside each other, learning and coding as much as we could. Besides the free food cooking classes and office dogs, my most favorite part of the company was being surrounded by amazing minds. I made it my side-mission to meet employees from various teams and hear as many of their life stories as I could by scheduling 2-3 coffee chats per week. To anyone who's interested in interning somewhere, this is something I'd highly recommend doing, because it really opened up my eyes to the different paths people took to end up working at this one company. For instance, my manager, who is currently a senior software engineer, did his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Victorian Literature before teaching himself how to code! And I even met a former professional skateboarder, as well as people who worked as photographers and designers for several small agencies and startups. Meeting all these amazing people, and learning so much from them is what made my summer the best summer yet. I was able to go in with the people skills that I gained from going to a large school like Rutgers School of Engineering, and I came out with the confidence to recognize my own abilities and growth.