My Last Day at NVIDIA

Keenan Zucker
Oct 12, 2015 · 3 min read

Written August 14th, 2015

My Internship is Over!

Wow, twelve weeks can go by fast! And so can a summer… I just plopped on the couch after another 8 hour day, exhausted yet again. I thought that maybe I would develop a greater endurance to working a full day over the last twelve weeks, but no, I’m still tired. Although I did have a full day.

I had to say all of my goodbyes today, which took some time, but also finish up a pretty big scripting project that I had been struggling on. But I finished it! Despite some bugs, one of my coworkers sat down with me for some of the last hours of my internship, and we cranked through it! What a relief, as I would have hated leaving a big project unfinished. Allright, now that I’m looking back, what did I learn?

  1. I don’t want to work at a big company. Right out of the gate, already a negative? I consider this positive learning experience for me though. I loved my internship for the most part, but I always had the fact in the back on my mind that it was only twelve weeks. If this was my permanent job with no ending, date, I don’t know how long I would have lasted.
  2. I learned so much! But not in the way I thought I would. I unfortunately didn’t gain as many software technical skills as I would have liked. The job I occupied just didn’t fill those specifications. But I learned a lot about computer hardware and more importantly, learned invaluable debugging skills, as tests, platforms, and almost everything I worked with broke at some point!
  3. Emails and meetings in a corporate environment is a whole new beast. I think the greatest skill I actually learned was how to communicate effectively. Sending an email to an engineer vs a marketing person has to be surprisingly different, I learned. Both have a different background and expertise, so I had to cater my voice in a way that would be respectful as well as efficient in the information I was sharing.
  4. People swear a lot in the corporate world. But in a casual way. Shit, am I allowed to say that?
  5. Teams within companies are like social cliques in school. I worked in the Performance Lab, which is basically a small cult within NVIDIA. Most people ate together and hung out together all of the time. I didn’t meet anyone outside of the PerfLab besides some marketing people I was doing business with. We even had a PerfLab soccer league where we played indoor soccer during work hours on Wednesdays. That was awesome!
  6. Old companies still use their old software! I was programming using Perl, a very outdated scritpting language. Our version control and software sharing was done in Perforce, another outdated piece of software. Why couldn’t we use Python and Git? Struggles.
  7. Eight hour work days, everyday, are tiring! Have I mentioned that?

It was a great internship! My boss was awesome, supportive, and a great mentor and person in general to talk to. My lab turned into my extended family for those twelve weeks. But now I’m going back to school to learn new and exciting things. Will I be going back to NVIDIA? Maybe, but I suspect I’ll want to branch out and work in a more agile company.

Thank you NVIDIA!

Now, to enjoy the last week I have of summer left!

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