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My Internship Story - Priscilla Ip, Cloud Developer Intern
Finding the right internship can prove to be challenging, with many leaving you without enough comprehensive experience to enter the workforce. At Gurus Solutions Inc. we understand this, and strive to make sure you leave your Cloud Developer internship feeling confident enough to take the next steps in your career.
As an intern at Gurus you have the opportunity to learn directly from our senior staff, VPs, and even our CEO. You will see projects from start to finish, and communicate directly with clients throughout the process. Stick around on Friday afternoons for our happy hours, and build relationships with your colleagues that will last long past the end of your internship!
Don’t take our word for it! We recently sat down with Priscilla Ip, one of our former Cloud Developer interns and recent McGill graduate, to chat about her experience at Gurus and what set her internship here apart from the rest.
Was there valuable information that you learned during your Cloud Developer Internship at Gurus that applies to your work or study life now?
Gurus was my first real technical internship, I would say. So I learned a lot of basic workplace skills, and the typical process for how work gets done. From requirements, to deploying (a project). It applies to my life now as coding and programming is the work I am currently doing.
How would you describe your role to your classmates?
It’s more of a full stack developer role. You’re developing on the front and back end, but it’s particular to NetSuite.
Was there any overlap between your internship and what you were learning at the time?
If you're looking for a software-oriented career, this is really great because the internship lasts 8 months and you get to really dive deep into the projects. Projects at Gurus span anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months, so you really get to see the whole process from start to finish. You can be the one to gather the requirements, do the design and deploy. You get to see the whole thing whereas, I feel like, if you work somewhere else that only does larger scale projects, you don’t really get to see or do everything.
Are there any lessons or memories that inform your current career path?
I think something that’s going to be really useful for the future is the exposure to clients. Interns have the same exposure as full-time employees, and our team leads trust us with dealing with clients directly. For me, that meant being on client calls, sending them emails, presenting demos to them, and explaining errors or why something isn’t as easy as they think it will be. I think that was really cool, and something that most interns don’t get exposed to. In the beginning I was super nervous about it, I would spend 30min writing an email and by the end, with particular clients, it would just be me on calls with them. I think it kind of broke down that barrier of being scared of clients, and taught me that they are just people and there’s nothing to be that uptight about.
Is there a technical challenge or accomplishment that you were particularly proud of?
A unique experience was a project I was on with two colleagues, and mid-project, the person with the most experience and longest relationship with the client left the company. My other colleague, who was also new to the project, was left picking up the pieces. We were kind of at a loss, but by the end, things went really well and we got great feedback from the client. That was great!
Was there anything about the culture at Gurus that stood out for you?
On my very first day, as I was being introduced to people, everyone was like “hi this is my name, this is what I do” and, basically, every single person said “if you have any questions or need any help with anything please come ask me. If I don’t know how to help I’ll help you find someone who does”. You think that everyone just says that, but at Gurus everyone actually meant it. (...) They were always super kind and would drop whatever they were doing to help, or refer me to the right person. (...) I felt comfortable there immediately.
Did you find building relationships was encouraged, and did you maintain any relationships after your internship ended?
People were just generally really friendly, so I don’t know if that equates to it being encouraged, it just seemed like part of the culture. I think that a lot of people at Gurus built lasting friendships. I still chat with a bunch of people from the office, and we would hang out outside of work.
Is there a memory of your internship that sticks out as a highlight?
Something that was really funny was at the Summer Hangout we were split into teams for a team building activity and I was put on a team with Dom (Dominique Frechette, VP of PS and HR). I kept hyping everyone up and saying, like, listen guys we’re going to win, this is going to happen! Dom said “I’ve worked here for five years, and haven’t won one of these things once”. I said, listen, today is the day, we’re going to crush this, and then we ACTUALLY won. Well, we kind of cheated...
Another memory is when, on April Fools Day, David (David Gosselin) went around the office and put stickers over the lasers of our mice, that was hilarious. Also in general people pranking each other's desks. In particular when Andrew came back from Hawaii and we decorated his desk with flowers, leis, and an inflatable shark.
Was there a colleague in particular that taught you something valuable?
Andrew (Andrew Kefalas) was my boss and Maggy (Maggy Pereia) was my buddy, and they really made my experience. Andrew was the best boss ever, he’s very calm and understanding. I honestly think he might be the best boss I’ll ever have. I know we all like to give him a hard time, but that’s sort of what’s great, having that really comfortable relationship. Maggy was really vital to my work experience at Gurus as she was the first person to help me, and introduce me to people. She’s so friendly, and has a relationship with so many people, which exposed me to that and made me more comfortable knowing that it’s ok to just chat with people.
What advice do you have for future interns at Gurus?
Relax! Don’t be stressed, and don’t be afraid to ask people questions. From a technical standpoint, if you have a basic knowledge from school you should be fine, you basically learn everything you need to know on the job.