Name: Tommy Carrascal
Hometown: Miami, Florida
What is your major? Computer science
Where did you intern? What did you do there? I interned as a software engineer at GoDaddy, a web hosting company that has more than 18.8 million customers worldwide. I developed web applications and tools used by other developers at the company.
How did you get your internship? I applied online at the company website and then went through various interviews to get the position.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Apply everywhere you can and reach out to people you know who work in the industry for referrals and general guidance. For software engineering positions, you should prepare for technical interviews that require practice to pass successfully. Interviewers give you a specific problem to solve within a given time frame to evaluate your coding skills. I highly recommend the book “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell for those who are planning on pursuing an internship. This book helped me to prepare for technical interviews and obtain a better understanding of what questions I’d be asked.
What projects did you work on? I focused on software development projects, specifically in the area of full-stack web development, meaning I’ve worked on the interfaces that the user interacts with as well as the servers and things that happen behind the scenes of a website. I also have done a few mobile apps.
How did your internship connect back to your coursework? I used various computer science fundamentals such as data structures and object-oriented programming in my work. During the interview process, I was tested on these fundamentals as well.
What was the coolest thing about your internship or that happened during your internship? The company flew out all the interns from various offices across the country for a week to the headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, which is where I was based. We had lots of social outings and fun activities— going to dinners, gaming at arcades and riding go-karts.
What did you like most about your experience? I liked that I was treated as an actual member of a development team. I was handed critical work and collaborated with senior engineers who sometimes came to me for my input.
What did you learn about yourself? After working at a large company and becoming an integral part of the team, I learned that I have really valuable skills as a developer and can make a positive impact at a company.
How did the position increase your professional confidence? I am learning many valuable industry skills, like technical and interpersonal skills. I work with a team of 10 people and every two weeks we present our work to leadership. This helps me communicate more effectively. I feel all these skills I’ve obtained I can take with me to my next opportunity. I can also speak with confidence about the work I've done and how much value I bring to a team.
How did you expand your professional network? I met many other interns at GoDaddy and from other companies and made new friends. I also talked a lot to other developers at the company and connected with them on LinkedIn.
How did it help you prove yourself in the “real-world?” I did real work that affects millions of people by developing the platforms customers use to build their websites and other business services. This was also the first time I lived by myself for a few months without my parents. It has helped me become more independent and I have grown as a person.