The VMware Internship Prodigy (VIP) Program promotes and encourages student advocates to share VMware technology, culture and product knowledge with peers on campus. And this is only possible through dedicated, dynamic and inspiring people that make up our Internship Program. Take a look at Devin’s story as a VMware Intern, how he gives back as a VIP and what he’s looking forward to in the year ahead.
It was a real pleasure working at VMware during the summer of 2012. A combination of things made my experience so impactful – my intern project, the Management Platform Team that I worked on, the intern events and the overall upbeat environment.
On my first day at VMware, my team presented me with several choices of possible projects. After some discussion with my manager and mentor, we were able to take my skillsets and interests and pick a suitable project for me. My project was to develop an asynchronous AMQP-based transport layer for one of my team’s products.
While the beginning of my internship was definitely intimidating, adjusting to the environment was made easy because of the people around me who were extremely willing to share their expertise and experience when I got stuck on something. Everyone at VMware is really receptive to interns. I always felt included and, as a team, we ate lunch together and got to know each other pretty well over the course of the summer.
The VMware University Relations Team organizes some wonderful events for the interns to relax and socialize. Since I was local, I lived at home (as opposed to intern housing) so these events played a major role in getting to know my fellow interns. As a die-hard Giants fan, the Giants game with all the mentors and interns was definitely my favorite event. All the events encouraged teamwork and made us feel like a big family.
Taking on exciting challenges
Currently I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
In terms of projects, I've been working on a few different things. My friends and I are working on a social Tower Defense Android game - I'm hoping to get this out the door by this summer. I've also been poking around with some data visualization for a python project to see if I can find any patterns in data about books and their publishing location. My dataset for the analysis is every book contained in the Library of Congress.
One of my older projects is almost ready to publish - as a big baseball fan, I spent some free time last summer (after work) making a website that aggregates baseball metrics and datasets from different resources across the web. This website is aimed to be a one-stop-shop for the average fan to look up stats, rumors, tweets and biographical information on any player who has ever played professional baseball. As you can see, I tend to work on many projects at once during my free time, but I try to get them all done eventually!
Becoming a VIP and Giving Back
I decided to become a VIP because I wanted to impact and help grow the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) representation among VMware Interns. I knew for a fact that there were many talented people at UIUC that would be a great fit for working at VMware. All that was needed was a little more marketing and advertising of VMware.
When VMware was on campus, I helped out at the vFabric Workshop & Hackathon, the Women in Computer Science (WCS) Lunch, Corporate Connections After Hours, and the UIUC Fall & Spring Career Fairs. The Hackathon had a great turn out and was a lot of fun. Students showed up and learned about Groovy and Grails and then were asked to complete a challenge as quickly as possible. I helped advertise the event on Facebook in the CS@UIUC students group page and also helped out on the day of the event with set up and organization.
At the WCS Lunch, we had a round table style discussion with a group of Women in Computer Science members. I was one of three VMware representatives at the event; I helped answer students' questions about VMware internships. Both career fair events were very entertaining - the VMware booths were pretty busy so I helped out in collecting resumes from students and answering general questions about VMware and my internship experience.
VMware People and Culture
I have many reasons to come back to VMware. Not only is VMware a pioneer and leader in its field, but it is also one of the most innovative companies in the world. I love the environment - I was always challenged intellectually and enjoyed meeting the unique and innovative personalities that make up the culture.
However, one of the main factors for my return is the Management Platform Team that I interned with last summer. I really became attached to these people. They are fun and intelligent people to be around and I felt like my mentor and manager were looking out for me. They have given me great advice; even since my 2012 internship has ended.
The VMware culture is open and free, with people who are passionate about work. On numerous occasions my teammates and I took a break from work to go play Frisbee. These same people were also some of the most intelligent and hard-working people that I’ve ever met. This gives you a good idea of how work and fun factor in together at VMware.
Takeaways for Future Interns
Make sure to take the initiative to do projects on your own! Doing this shows that you're motivated and interested in what you're learning at school. You can have a great GPA, but not everyone is passionate enough to apply what he or she has learned at school during free time outside of class. I think companies tend to notice students more when they go above and beyond what is required of them.
Growth and Development in the Year Ahead
Over the next year, I'm planning on finishing up my degree and pursuing several upper division courses that have interested me. Up until this point, I've been taking the required upper division courses and have not been able to explore the vast number of other Computer Science (CS) classes offered at UIUC. I'm very interested in taking more courses that expand the reach of my knowledge in CS. I also plan on spending more time on my outside of class projects and getting more of them out the door - including those I mentioned above!
Devin is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). During the summer of 2012 he interned with the VMware Management Platform Team and worked on developing a asynchronous AMQP-based transport layer for one of his team’s products. He will be returning to VMware to intern with the Management Platform Team in 2013.
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