Meet the Interns of Intersection!
Ever wonder what it’s like to intern at Intersection? From robots to creative pitches to playing Tic Tac Toe, there wasn’t a dull moment to be had for this summer’s class of rockstar interns. We sat down with them to get their lessons learned, highlights, and plans for the future.
Say hello to our 2016 Summer Interns:
What team are you on?
KT: I’m working in the Research and Development department under the always awesome Chas Mastin!
VD: Design and Technology
AA: Sales and Client Strategy
What did you work on this summer? Any projects that particularly surprised, challenged, or excited you?
KT: I have been working on a machine learning and natural language processing SMS chatbot this summer. I have learned so much from how the developers here utilize the Agile method to honing my Python skills. Being able to think about and work on projects that will help define life in cities as we move into the 21st century is endlessly inspiring. I also enjoyed being able to play around with emerging technologies such as the HoloLens.
BB: I worked on a lot of different projects, from creating maps, to research, to develop concept decks for Intersection clients and customers. I liked that each morning when I came into the office I never knew entirely what my day would consist of. I enjoyed the collaborative process of the final concept decks, when sales, marketing, and design all come together to craft a story for a client.
VD: With Katie, I also worked on the SMS-based chatbot. The whole project was exciting and challenging at the same time. Building a sellable product from scratch is what got me most excited. Using different yet simple tools like Yelp, Twilio, and Google’s Natural Language APIs to build a complex machine was exciting.
What is your biggest takeaway from working with your team?
BB: I really enjoyed working with my team in the office’s open floor plan. The biggest takeaway I learned was to ask questions as they come up. The close seating arrangement made it easy to collaborate and check-in during projects to make sure I was on track in what I was delivering.
AA: Working with the Link Ladies, sales, and client strategists has been a great experience. Probably my biggest takeaway is that attracting new clients and deepening current relationships requires constant creativity; you have to always be thinking of new angles to help customers achieve their desired results.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at Intersection?
KT: Picking one thing is too hard so here are a few. Always put the user first when designing and developing a technology — otherwise, what is the point?; never be afraid to ask questions — but first consult Stack Overflow; maintain a positive attitude; be endlessly curious.
BB: The most valuable piece of advice I could pass on is to take the time early on to get to know the roles of colleagues outside your specific team. Just a 10 minute meeting gives a much more holistic view of the company and its operations. I also found it helped me understand why I was doing what I was doing, and gave me additional resources to turn to when I had questions.
VD: Persistence is the key to building anything exciting, and being open to new ideas from different individuals and personalities. Katie and I worked on this project together and we both learned teamwork is one of the most essential parts of building awesome things.
AA: The most valuable lesson I learned is to always keep going no matter what. If you feel confident in your product and the relationship, positive things will happen in the end.
What do you plan to explore once your internship is over?
KT: I want to take the skills I have gained and continue to explore how technology can be used to influence the urban experience.
BB: When I’m looking for a job, I’ll look for a similar environment and a role similar: in a comfortable but productive environment doing work that mixes creativity, organization, research, brainstorming. A role that marries aspects of the psychology behind marketing that inspired me to pursue this field with the organization and logic of data-driven research.
VD: I would love to work and explore more in machine learning and algorithms, and apply them to building cool technologies which solve real-life problems.
AA: After my internship is over I plan to continue to explore options in sales and accounting. I may lean more towards sales as I really enjoyed working in this environment; being out and meeting with clients, learning about other businesses and learning more about how to sell my product more effectively.