Chegg introduced our summer interns over a month ago and has been showcasing who our interns are for the past month.
In this post you’ll meet the last 5 of our 24 interns: Marketing & Social Media Intern Jess Halter from Colgate University, Engineering Intern Omosola Odetunde from Stanford University, Engineering Intern Nivedh Mudaliar from University of California Santa Barbara, Email Marketing Intern MacKenzie Adamis from Chico State University, and Marketing & Consumer Insights Intern Lizzie Weisman from Harvard University. Enjoy!
We have a wide variety of majors here – how did each of you choose your majors?
Omosola: I just graduated with my undergrad degree in Computer Science from Stanford, and will be receiving my graduate degree in Computer Science in 2014. Stanford has a special program where you can start working on your Masters while working on your Bachelors, so that’s what I did. I think the first time I was really interested in Computer Science was when my parents got me into educational games on the computer when I was a child. I became really passionate about it, and still am. I thought it was really cool that you can make something that was so much fun and I wanted to make my own games. I was able to take a Computer Science class for the first time during my sophomore year in high school and it was just as fun as I thought it would be. I always was really goo at logic stuff and it worked really well for me there too. So basically it was fun, I was good at it, I liked what I did so I never stopped.
Jess: I just graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Behavioral NeuroScience. I picked that because liked to learn how people’s brains function and how the external world impacts how we think which impacts how we behave. It’s a whole cycle that never stops changing and everything around you always impacts how you behave and your personality, which is really fascinating to me.
Nivedh: I took AP Computer Science in High School because I needed an extra class my senior year, and it turned out to be a fairly easy class for me. People said it was a great career path. In college, I ended up doing really well in the classes and really liked them so it was a good fit for my major.
Lizzie: I originally started out with a concentration of Human Evolutionary Biology but I took an intro to Psychology and really enjoyed it. It turns out I like tying to understand why people do the things they do and think the way they think so I picked up Psychology for my major.
MacKenzie: I’m majoring in Communications with a focus on Organization with a minor in Business with a focus on Project Management. I went from PR and Project Management to feel each of those areas out but I feel like Project Management has more variety to it and more of a business focus.
Why did you choose Chegg for your internship?
Lizzie: I knew I wanted to do marketing this summer and get a good amount of experience in that field. Chegg interested me specifically because it’s all about education and the student, which is really appealing for me. Last summer I was in Tanzia teaching in a school and this summer it’s good to be in another area focusing on education still.
Omosola: I’m working through the KPCB Fellowship Program and Chegg was one of the portfolio companies within that program. I’m really interested in education and software as an intersection so it seemed like a good match. Out of all the companies and people I interviewed with, Chegg seemed to be the most enjoyable, nice and seemed to care about what I could work on so I felt it was going to be a really good culture fit.
Nivedh: It was really about the impact I could make. I didn’t want to be a small fish in a big pond. Plus, I get to work on a product that I (and my peers) use on a daily basis. Since I’m on the front-end engineering team, it is entirely possible for me to look at Chegg at the end of the summer and point out something I worked on.
What is the main thing you want to get out of your internship?
MacKenzie: To get more real world experience since there is only so much you can do in a classroom; to really apply what I’ve learned in school will be really great. Plus, I want to meet people, learn what they do and how they work together to make this company successful.
Nivedh: I want to make a permanent impact on the front-end team. I think the product I’m working on is something really useful to students so it’s exciting to me to make an impact on something that helps students.
Jess: To learn as much as I can! I want to have a lot of fun while picking up a lot of marketable skills and experience that will help me find a full time job in this area.
Omosola: Learning about new technologies is pretty much what I came to do. I’ll do anything as long as I can learn about new things I haven’t learned about before. Then I get to do cool things and try out something new.
Has anything surprised you so far about working here?
Jess: I can wear my chacos to work! The people here are really nice and welcoming. You hear a lot of jokes about being an intern, so it’s hard to think I’m really an intern when I truly part of a team and not treated in a demeaning way. I sit next to awesome people and am learning a lot. I’m also surprised at how it’s all arranged here – it is really an open and collaborative workspace.
Nivedh: I’ve been surprised about how helpful people are. I thought that engineers would be so busy and wouldn’t have time to help out the new intern, but all the engineers have been really helpful with anything I need.
Lizzie: The people are so welcoming and they really want to get to know you and talk with you! It seems like a good community here. Plus, all the interns are really close which is fun.
Why do you think internships are important for college students?
Omosola: It’s really important, especially if you plan on doing full time work after school, to get experience outside the classroom because it’s completely different. There are so many things being a computer scientist, or a software developer, in the industry that you just don’t get out of school, no matter how much your school may try to prepare you for it. Having to work with a large code base, working with legacy code, having to maintain code – these are all things you don’t get at school. It’s also important to figure out what works best for you. Things work differently for people and all through my internships I’ve always tried to test out different kinds of job opportunities, at small and large companies, doing research, straight software development, and even user experience and marketing. It’s good to try a lot and rule out the things that don’t work for you. It makes things clearer for what you want to do as a full time role.
Nivedh: It helps give you work experience. Employers may not really care what your GPA was in school, but they will care about the work experience you have, so getting experience before you graduate gives you a huge edge over other people.
Jess: They give you a taste on what you will possibly want to do and help you translate what you’ve learned in school into actual experience in the real world.
Since we are an education company, focused on learning – are any of you learning anything new these days?
MacKenzie: I’m learning a lot from my family right now. Right before I came here, I worked at my dad’s business and that helped me get exposure to accounting and some other programs. I’m learning new life skills right now, which is good
Lizzie: I am learning a lot about myself since I was elected captain of my soccer team at school last year so I had to learn to be a leader to the freshman and younger players on the team and that’s been a big growing experience from me.
Nivedh: I’m learning android application development on my own time and on the weekends I’m trying to build some applications on my own. It’s going pretty well so far.
What advice do you have for other college students looking for an internship?
Omosola: Don’t automatically assume that the ones everyone talks about are the best ones for you. A lot of the time, it is easy to get caught up with the possibility of going to an internship at some of the larger, well known brand name companies, and they may not be the best ones for you. You want to be careful you don’t miss out on great opportunities while you wait for one of those larger bigger brand opportunities to happen. Be open to finding out about the lesser-known opportunities.
MacKenzie: Start early and definitely see if there are any clubs on campus in the area in which you’re interested because you will hear about opportunities through them as well as meet people who were interested in the same things you were. It’s good to look at local opportunities so you have the chance to do an internship while in school, but you shouldn’t be afraid to cast a wide net as well and put yourself out there.
Jess: I used my school as a big resource and that was pretty powerful. So it’s a great network to tap into, but you have to do a lot of work and take action to get out there and network with people and companies.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience so far at Chegg?
Nivedh: Everyone is pretty passionate about what they’re doing. It is really easy to get excited about this field and the people here show that if you love what you do, it’s easy to do your job well and have fun.
Omosola: So far everyone is nice and friendly and laid back. There are a lot of activities for the interns. I’ve been able to bond with a lot of my office mates and it’s been really cool.
MacKenzie: It’s very welcoming and friendly – from when you first walk in. It’s a relaxed and flexible atmosphere where people seem to really want to do work here.
Jess: I’m just really excited because this is my first job where I sit at a desk all day so it’s pretty exciting for me. It’s been cool and everyone has been teaching me a lot; I’m excited to be part of an actual team that values what I’ve been doing.
Lizzie: The environment is really hip, welcoming and fun!