Name: Guillermo Garrido
Major: Computer Engineering
Where did you intern? Alpine, an ITW Company
What did you do there? As a software engineering intern, I worked on implementing and unit-testing new licensing features for the company's computer-aided design software. I used C++, C# and .NET Framework to complete my tasks.
How did you get your internship? I applied for the internship on LinkedIn. Then I went through ITW's interview process.
What projects did you work on? I designed a dynamic link library (DLL) licensing application to be used by at least two software programs, which are written in different programming languages. The licensing application provides those software programs with extra security features.
What was the coolest thing that happened during your internship? Demoing my finished project in front of various ITW and Alpine executives to a positive reception.
What did you like most about your experience? Everyone was pretty friendly and willing to provide feedback for my work. The occasional free food was nice, too.
What did you learn about yourself? I learned that I am able to adapt to technologies that I am unfamiliar with (e.g. .NET Framework) and utilize them effectively in my projects.
How did you expand your professional network? By regularly talking and networking with nearly every developer and manager in the building. It was easier to do this early in the morning or during lunch hours.
How does your internship connect back to your coursework? Some of the interviewers were particularly interested in my ARCH project, which I completed through the Honors College. My ARCH project involved developing a Learning Management System. I'd like to think it improved my odds of landing the internship.
How did it help you prove yourself in the “real world”? Well, I'd say I have the potential to be a successful engineer in the "real-world", given that I was able to network with my colleagues effectively and complete the tasks assigned to me. That said, I don't think I've proved to be one yet, but some evidence for it has certainly been presented after this internship. I'll be sure to keep adding more evidence over time.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Start applying to internships as soon as possible. Apply to them even if you don't believe you're qualified for the positions yet. Go through your internship with the mindset of learning. Be humble; don't be afraid to ask your mentors for help.