When I initially read the SVP internship description on the Reed Internship Advantage page, my first reaction was, “That looks like a really interesting project!” My second reaction was, “I’m definitely not qualified to do any of that.”
The internship popped out at me because the project was based around Salesforce.com, a CRM tool that Reed alum Luke Kanies '95, had advised me to become familiar with. I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to get familiar with the platform, but I had trouble imagining myself actually doing it. I applied anyway, mainly because I get some kind of perverse joy from writing cover letters explaining why I’m perfect for jobs I know I’ll never get. By the time I got the email to set up the interview, I had pretty much forgotten that I applied. I had already resigned myself to a summer of waiting tables to cover my rent, so needless to say, I was overjoyed when I was offered the position.
Now that I’m a bit settled in (Everybody here is so helpful and welcoming! The office is so pretty! Seattle is so cool! But not quite as cool as Portland) and I’ve gotten started working on the project, I’ve surprised myself with how capable I feel. I’ve been able to draw on skills learned in class projects, like the field research we did in Intro to Sociolinguistics (analyzing data from multiple perspectives, until a pattern pops) and Hum 110 (sifting through the evidence, noting questions that it raises, and investigating answers). I also reconnected with Bram Wessel, a Reedie that I met with during the one-on-one sessions at Working Weekend ’13. He’s the chief experience strategist at his user-centered design firm, Factor, and he gave me some awesome resources for tackling this project, which is all about user research, contextual inquiry, and workflow analysis.
Even though this job seemed somewhat overwhelming and intimidating from a distance, now that I’m actually engaged with it, I’m having fun and learning a lot. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to apply my educational training towards marketable skills, meet intelligent and awesome people, and enjoy summertime in Seattle. Wherever you are, dear reader, I hope you’re having a great summer, too!
Tags: internship advantage