I’m grateful to have worked with some incredible people this summer. This blog post serves as a reflection of my experience at Credera and an honest review of Credera’s internship program. For prospective interns reading this, I’ve also provided some tips for how to make the most of your internship experience.
I’ve always envisioned myself at the intersection of business and technology. After all, what’s the point of knowing how to build something if you don’t know who you’re building it for? This summer I wanted to gain some experience in both areas, so when I found a position as a technology consultant with Credera on the job search tool Handshake, I thought I had hit the jackpot.
The Recruitment Process
Throughout the recruitment process, I kept hearing about Credera’s “culture and talent bar.” Every Credera team member I spoke with raved about the company’s culture and values; but I have to admit—I was a little skeptical. I thought to myself, ‘They are probably just trying really hard to sell the company.’ Despite a rocky start to the on-site interview process—having initially missed my flight to Dallas—the day of interviews went quite well. I came in expecting a more holistic evaluation process than if I applied to a purely technical role, and that is exactly the experience I had. I love that I got the chance to speak with Credera staff in different stages of their careers. It gave me the opportunity to inquire about what culture meant to a variety of people.
After looking at all the hard skills listed as requirements in so many different job descriptions and worrying about not having enough experience in X, Y, and Z, it was refreshing to go through a recruitment process that also focused on my ability to learn quickly and think critically. A company is great when its people are great, both in what they do and who they are as individuals. This is why when the day of interviews finished and everyone who interacted with prospective interns gathered to deliberate who would get an offer, I don’t doubt that the way the candidates carried and presented themselves was considered just as much as their abilities as developers. Credera needed to see that we hit both the “culture bar” and “talent bar.” Thankfully, a few months later I found myself sitting in Credera’s boardroom full of nervous energy and ready to begin my internship.
In the beginning, I struggled to be productive. It was difficult to get into the flow of things (learning the workflow, getting permissions set up, reading constantly about different technologies), but my team did a great job getting me started on smaller tasks first to ease my way into the project. Every day at Credera I wrote code that was actually pushed to production. This made me care about the quality of the code I was writing and strive to find the best approach to solve a problem. I loved that.
In terms of developing hard skills and general knowledge about technology, I’ve honestly learned an incredible amount about agile development, web architecture, and front-end development—all of which I’ve had no exposure to in my time at Rice University. Due to the nature of the project and the stage it was in, I didn’t have a lot of face time with the client until the very end of my internship; however, working in an agile development team, participating in daily scrums, and being at a consulting firm in general provided ample opportunity to develop my soft skills.
Tip: Write down everything you do each day so that at the end of internship review process, you’ll have a clear list of what you’ve accomplished over the summer.
In my particular project, there was a brief period where work was scarce. This gave me the opportunity to work on small items from the backlog of tasks, and toward the end I was handed more complex tasks that required a deeper dive into the project. I developed a new feature that was intimately woven into the flow of the ecommerce site. It handled stale cart transactions on the site, which involved adding a data field in the back-end service, handling that on the front-end service, and creating a GUI from scratch to display changes to the cart. I also led the integration of a new service into the account management portal by writing extensible code that would make it easier for future developers to add additional services. It felt rewarding to see the tasks through from start to finish even though they were somewhat overwhelming in the beginning. Initially I felt as if I had been dropped into the deep end, but I had constant help throughout. My team members were always patient with answering my questions, willing to chime in about different approaches, and informing me about best practices.
Tip: Think before you ask questions! Batch your questions together to avoid disruptions and reducing productivity. Also, always do a quick search online before asking.
I learned that in consulting, your work depends heavily on what team you are on and the stage of the project. There may be times where work is slower than others. During those times, it is important to speak up and take initiative to help where you can.
Tip: Speak up and let Credera know! They want you to have a great experience and it is important to take ownership of your internship experience.
Final Internship Thoughts
Overall, I really had a great experience this summer at Credera. Considering this was the biggest intern class ever at Credera, I think the internship was well structured with ample opportunities to grow and learn more about both the consulting industry as well as where Credera stands in the consulting landscape. Something I really appreciated throughout the internship was that I was given the privilege of a choice in what I wanted to learn. My team encouraged me to speak up, stand firm in expressing what areas I wanted to develop in, and take ownership of my internship experience. Granted, there are limits to this freedom, but it was great to see others take interest in my personal development. Culture is an elusive, intangible attribute, and I don’t know how to fully define it yet; but, what I can say for sure is that there are some incredibly bright, kind people here at Credera who care about the work they are doing and the people they are doing it with.
*Big shoutout to Haley Gerik for organizing all the intern events and being a key resource for all the interns. All the Lunch n’ Learns, Brown Bag lunches, and other social events such as the baseball game, whirlyball/laser tag, and dinner at Rob’s house (Credera’s CEO) contributed greatly to my internship experience this summer**.
If you’re interested in learning more about Credera’s Internship Program, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.