Meet engineering intern, coffee chat enthusiast, and matchmaker Ileana Valdez

Many things have changed about how our internships at Dropbox are structured this summer, but one thing hasn’t: how cool our interns are. We caught up with intern Ileana Valdez about her passion for engineering, boba, and helping college students find love during quarantine.

Where do you call home?

It honestly depends on what time of the year it is! During the school year, I call Yale my home. Now, Texas is my home. Last summer, I felt that Dropbox was like my home.

What encouraged you to return to Dropbox for a second internship?

During last summer’s recruiting season, I realized that I really valued the ability to explore different aspects of computer science and wanted a place where I felt supported to learn. I felt like Dropbox was one of the only places that had everything. After my first summer with Dropbox, when looking for summer 2020 internships, I knew I wanted to explore both NYC and backend roles. Dropbox promised and subsequently delivered both. Even now, my mentor constantly asks me if I’m learning, if I’m enjoying what I’m doing, and what he can do to help me grow even more.

2019 interns at the gemini launch celebration
2019 interns

What have you been up to during SIP?

My friends and I noticed a huge trend on Facebook: so many of our peers were disheartened by the fact that they wouldn’t be able to find love before graduation. So we rallied together and started OKZoomer to help college kids keep their romantic dreams alive. As quarantine extended, we’ve pivoted to working on an app to help keep college culture alive even when we return to hybrid campuses next semester. It’s been a load of fun and nothing beats having an incoming first-year or upperclassmen thank you for helping them find love and new friends!

How did you first become interested in engineering?

I like to joke that it all started in the womb. My mom was pregnant with me while she was attending her own engineering classes. She ended up becoming a teacher, but she and my dad always encouraged me to be creative and think outside of the box.

Ileana and her family

From your experience so far, what has been the most pleasant surprise about interning at Dropbox?

I can’t believe how much everyone cares about interns’ futures and best interests. The fact that Dropbox employees are so willing to support and mentor us through our careers speaks volumes to the fact that Dropbox truly cares about its employees’ well-beings. Plus, as a social person, this often translates into a million and one excuses to ask Dropbox employees on coffee chats, and I think that’s pretty cool.

What are you most excited for this summer?

I’m just really excited to be working on a high-impact project while simultaneously learning more about what it means to be a backend engineer. Also, my mentor and teammates are a lot of fun, so I’m always excited to hear about their shenanigans.

What perk of being an intern do you love the most?

On a not serious note, my favorite perk is Boba Fridays, because I love boba and I love meeting new people! However, on a more serious note, I love that interns get to participate in Hack Week. Last summer, I spent a week modding a Roomba to be controllable from anywhere in the world in order to facilitate remote work. Hack Week is just a great opportunity to innovate and test your engineering power!

Want to learn more about the team supporting our Interns and University Grads? Check out our teams page here.

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Get to know the people of Dropbox and the stories of how we’re making the world work better. Want to learn more about current opportunities? Check out: https://www.dropbox.com/jobs

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