When I was in high school, a teacher once asked my class, “what do you think the secret to getting a job is? Internships, internships, internships!” And every summer in college I would apply for an internship, confident and hopeful in landing one. After almost four consecutive summers of applying, I finally achieved it. The stars finally seemed to be aligning for me. Was I finally seeing my teacher’s generic advice come to fruition? One could only hope.
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern as a software engineer at Killer Snails LLC. I applied for this opportunity through the Tech Talent Pipeline residency program at my school, CUNY Lehman College. I remember right before the interview hearing my name being called and then the company name. “..You’re up next..with…Killer Snails!” I went in unsure of the challenge but also confident and as myself. None of my peers mentioned if they interviewed with this company. I had no idea what I was in for. But it was there I met my future bosses, the lead developer Chris, and the CEO and co-founder Jessica. Our interview lasted for around forty minutes to an hour. Everything I learned about the company made me interested and hopeful to work there. They mentioned games for education, bringing science to kids outside of the classroom, virtual reality. I was sold. But did I sell myself well enough to them? A few weeks later, my co-intern Starlyn and I got an email from the CEO Jessica, “We are so thrilled to have you interning with us!” I was ecstatic. I got my first tech internship.
These past three months have developed not only my technical and soft skillsets, but also paved a clearer career path for myself. Every Tuesday I attended team meetings at the Weill Cornell Medical College in the office of Dr. Mandë Holford, an amazing scientist and member of the team. I attended Games for Change, a conference where I learned about games with positive-impact and how to apply for grants in tech (and attended Jess’ talk on the game startup industry); and MineFaire, where I demoed the new Killer Snails VR game to kids and families at MineFaire, where I networked with other game developers and teachers in the industry.