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Opportunities for Engineering Interns to Grow and Drive Real Impact

November 11, 2022
By Gus Torrey
Categories People

At Spotnana, our interns grow not only as professionals, but also as global citizens and curious learners. Three of our Engineering interns from Summer 2022 recently shared their internship stories, providing a first-person perspective into how Spotnana provides engineering interns with opportunities to grow and drive real impact.

Summer22EngInterns

Summer 2022 Engineering interns Abhika Mishra (left), Melanie Zhou (center), Raymond Yang (right)

Spotnana interns can expect a cross-functional learning experience that explores how they can apply their skills to new fields and drive collaboration with members of other teams.

“I worked on this really exciting project building out the responsiveness of our online booking tool,” said Melanie Zhou, an Engineering intern from Stanford University. “It was really cool being able to work with designers as well as engineers to maintain the look and feel of our current user experience and online booking tool when we moved onto mobile screens.”

Interns can expect that the impact of their Spotnana contributions will endure far beyond the summer. We have empowered our Spotnana interns to drive projects that build on existing components of our Travel-as-a-Service Platform, directly contributing to the overall customer and partner experience. 

“My favorite project was expanding and adapting our NDC component to support additional major airlines,” said Raymond Yang, an Engineering intern from Yale University. “It was a really rewarding experience because it directly contributes to our product by providing more flight options for the user. It allowed me to work with a wide cross section of our app, including the complete booking process the user goes through from shopping for flights to choosing seats to payment and even canceling.”

We challenge our engineering interns to think critically about how design elements on the customer side of our Travel-as-a-Service Platform are influenced by the supporting technology, and vice versa. 

“My main project was working on web app responsiveness, ensuring the web app adapted on tablet and mobile screens,” said Abhika Mishra, an Engineering intern from the University of Washington. “Creating a new status component which worked for hotel, car, and limo cards was probably my favorite part of this project since it challenged me to go beyond design components and see how information between our backend and frontend is exchanged.”

Supporting interns at every step of the program

Building technology to modernize the decades-old infrastructure of the industry is no easy feat. So, we’ve committed to providing our interns with a robust support system that they can rely on during their time at Spotnana.

Our Co-Pilot Program provides 1:1 support and personal guidance as interns complete complex projects. A Spotnana Co-Pilot is assigned to each intern to assist with their onboarding, offer project support and advice, and answer any questions about the company, our Travel-as-a-Service Platform, and the corporate travel industry. 

“My Co-Pilot was so friendly and was able to jump on calls with me, meet with me ad-hoc, and answer a ton of my Slack questions if things came up,” said Melanie. “This group-learning opportunity contributed to this great overall culture of learning, and that was actually something that really drew me to Spotnana in the beginning.”

With more than 250 Spotnana employees across multiple continents, it is imperative to foster team cohesion and provide immediate support. Interns learn from and participate in Spotnana’s proactive company culture.

“I once encountered a bug in the production app that seemed related to the NDC project, but I was very lost about what could be causing it,” said Raymond. “My mentor and several other engineers from different teams — who are all across different time zones — joined a call with me at a moment’s notice and were able to pinpoint the issue and drive a rapid resolution.”

Spotnana interns can count on Spotters to lend a helping hand and offer guidance, whether or not our engineers are directly involved with a project.

“The support I received from the team while tackling challenges was amazing,” said Abhika. “Everyone was willing to lend a hand, and some engineers at the office who weren’t even working on frontend work offered to help with any problems I faced.”

Building human connections in a hybrid world

The past few years have presented the challenge of building connections while maintaining physical distance. To best suit the needs of our global team of Spotters, we have adopted a hybrid work approach that optimizes both the time we have in person and the interactions that we share online.

Our #donut-buddy Slack channel allows interns to meet fellow Spotters from across the globe and discover the many mutual interests they may share. 

“Being a global company, Spotnana provided one of the first work experiences I’ve had where I thought there was a really conscious effort to build community while being remote,” said Melanie. “I was able to experience this through the Donut Buddies that we have internally, where you are randomly paired with someone every few weeks and you can coffee chat with many different individuals that you wouldn’t have had exposure to otherwise.”

While the expectation at Spotnana is to work hard, we always make time for fun. The Spotnana internship program is no different, and there is ample opportunity for interns to connect with their mentors and each other on a lighthearted basis.

“When I went down to the Palo Alto office, one of the other engineers, Shashank, planned a board game night for all of us which was super fun,” said Abhika. “He brought so many different board games and card games and the entire office ended up staying much later to join in on the fun.”

When considering the ultimate value of an internship program, we believe that value is measured in large part by the willingness of our interns to continue to engage with us at Spotnana long after the summer has ended.

“I’m trying to encourage so many people in my community to consider Spotnana as part of their journey in terms of building their career, launching into the company’s next phase, and contributing to this growth,” said Melanie.