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Talking Tech: Real Stories From Real Interns

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by Matthew Huang

For computer science students, working at a tech company over the summer is a great way to become familiar with the technical industry. Here are some of the experiences that Harvard undergraduates had at various tech companies this summer.

Willy Xiao interned at Facebook this past summer, and worked on a Browser Partnerships Task Force. Willy’s project involved optimizing Facebook push notifications across multiple platforms. Like many other companies, at Facebook all interns are assigned a team based on a pre-survey that they fill out, and interns can select from essentially any team they are interested in. But one of the more unique highlights of Willy’s experience at Facebook was the proximity that interns have with Mark Zuckerberg himself—there are even weekly Q&A sessions where Zuckerberg very openly answers any questions related to the company.

One element that junior Monica Mishra emphasizes is the social aspect of her experience at Microsoft. The company emphasizes the interaction of interns from all varieties of engineering teams, fostering a very tight-knit community. This social experience allows interns to learn about the company and about engineering through conversations with peers. Monica of course also enjoyed her project experience at Microsoft—she worked on the Office365 Team, and had the opportunity to develop and execute her own project from scratch, and Microsoft still uses her project today.
Freshman Jesse Zhang worked at Intel over the summer. For Jesse, one factor that stood out was having the experience of living autonomously with a few roommates. Further, he enjoyed the planned activities that Intel had for its workers—ranging from basketball to escape the room to board games. Jesse worked on the Design Automation team, where he pointed out how capable and professional everyone was at Intel. The atmosphere is both diverse and supportive, and allows interns to fit in very comfortably.

All three of these tech companies are great ways for college students to spend an enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding summer.