When I received the invitation for an internship at Moser Consulting, I was enthralled. Here I was, a sophomore college student at Purdue University, with the opportunity to spend the summer working at a prestigious consulting agency, as well as one of the top-voted places to work in Indiana. This would be a prime opportunity to gain real-world experience and learn in a team environment. But what did those terms really mean? At that time, those concepts were just abstract ideas- vague terminology thrown around by counselors and professors. What did they really mean for a developing student like me? No matter what they could turn out to be, I was excited to jump in and find out.
Before You Begin…
At the time I started my internship in the Application Development team, I knew I would have to do some learning. Coming out of my freshman year of college, I had a basic knowledge of writing code, and I was expecting to jump right into deepening my understanding of C# and SQL and work with the team, but it would be almost a month of learning and watching before I began work on my first project. During that month, I learned a lot more than just writing code. Before anything else, I had to learn about working within a team. This included the agile framework as well as how the team relates to the client, and the relationship that exists between them. Once I had a solid understanding of how the team operates, only then was I ready to prepare to work alongside them. After another two weeks of reviewing and expanding my coding knowledge, I was finally set to work with the team on real projects for real clients. But the learning process was far from over.
Although I helped with numerous assorted tasks while working with my development team, most of my time was dedicated to the task of creating and sending daily report emails for one of our clients, Girls Inc. We decided that it would be best to use a third-party service called Sendgrid to create this functionality. A new service meant I had to take time to learn how it worked and how to use it effectively. After that I had to write code to pull the needed data from a database and generate an email with it, which once again required a good deal of researching, troubleshooting, and asking questions of my teammates to guide me on my way. Each step held new revelations, even when I was certain there was nothing there. My biggest accomplishment from this project was not its eventual completion, but rather my change in perspective towards what learning is.
The learning process is an ongoing one. While it may seem like learning is compartmentalized to certain areas of life, especially as a student, my time at Moser has shown me that learning is a constant process and that it can come from anywhere. Through this experience, I was able to not only expand my skills as a developer, but I have also learned how to solve problems, find answers, and think creatively. Most importantly though, I have learned how to keep an open mind and learn from every situation, because I believe the most valuable lessons cannot be taught in a classroom. I would like to thank Moser for giving me this wonderful experience which will affect my whole life moving forward.