For the past two months, I’ve had the pleasure of interning at Audible as a Software Development Engineer. It feels like I started just yesterday, but with all the opportunities and learning experiences I’ve had, I feel ready to take on the world. I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the internship, but looking back now, I couldn’t be happier.
Before starting, I knew little about what I would be doing. After exploring everything Audible engineers work with every day, I was finally able to begin work on my project. It was related to accounts and updating their configuration when Audible launches to a new country. I was very excited to get started because my work would be pushed into production and directly impacting customer experience.
This level of responsibility and ownership, along with having to attend standup and sprint planning meetings, made me feel like a full-time developer.
Throughout the planning and design stages of my project, I was surprised at how much freedom I had. I was given general guidelines for my project, but had to make a lot of the decisions by myself. This was a great learning experience for me because in order to be successful, I had to know the ins and outs of various solutions and be able to defend my design choices. This level of responsibility and ownership, along with having to attend standup and sprint planning meetings, made me feel like a full-time developer.
Even though I was given lots of responsibility, I still had plenty of support and help if I needed it. I was assigned a mentor before my internship started and he helped guide me through the whole project process from designing to producing production-ready code. I had daily check-ins with him and regardless of how much work he had, he made himself available whenever I had any questions, whether it be regarding large-scale design or help with git. I also had biweekly meetings with my manager Drew, where we discussed the progress I was making on my project and whether my goals and expectations for the internship were being met.
One thing I really appreciated was how much both Drew and my mentor Lawrence were invested in my project and my intern experience as a whole. They were extremely receptive to my ideas and suggestions and made it possible for me to accomplish what I wanted to—in my project and in my internship experience as a whole. Thanks to you both!
I am very grateful for the project and technical experience I got during my internship, but the best part of my experience was Audible’s culture, and that started with the people.
Even though the majority of my time at Audible was spent working on my project, that wasn’t the only thing I did! There were many intern and company-wide events for me to participate in. All the interns got to go to a New York Red Bulls soccer game and bowling on National Intern Appreciation Day! One of my favorite company-wide events was Audible’s Summer Fest, where Audible used the Newark Museum as the backdrop for a wonderful evening, full of exciting exhibits, fancy food, and carnival games.
I am very grateful for the project and technical experience I got during my internship, but the best part of my experience was Audible’s culture, and that started with the people. Everyone I met was extremely nice and very responsive to any questions I had. People with no relation to my project were happy to chat with me about their roles and careers. This may sound cheesy, but to me, Audible seemed like one big, happy family.
One important thing about family is that it cares for the community around it. One of Audible’s People Principles is “Activate Caring.” Of course, I love building great products for customers to enjoy, but what really inspired me while working at Audible was the amount of good Audible does for its community in Newark. From supporting local restaurants to creating an accelerator/incubator for local businesses to even giving out free audiobooks to Newark high school students, the amount of impact Audible has had is astounding. We interns had the opportunity to activate our caring at an Audible Cares event by helping conduct workshops for kids at a local elementary school. These things really made me feel proud about working at Audible and made me feel like I was working for a company that was doing good in the world, a company that really cares about the community in which it lives.
Right now, I’m wrapping up my project, getting ready for my final presentation, and in two weeks, I’ll be catching my return flight home. I’ll really miss all of the fantastic people I’ve met, but I’m grateful for all of the learning experiences. Thanks to everyone at Audible for a wonderful summer!