Name: Faryal Khan
Class Year: 2022
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan
Internship Organization: eSentire
Job Title: Software Engineering Intern
Location: Seattle, Wash. (turned remote due to COVID-19)
What’s happening at your internship?
I am working on adding new components for data processing. I am also learning a lot more about Amazon Web Services!
Why did you apply for this internship?
I found that it was related to my major of computer science and also is in the field of cybersecurity, which I have always been interested in.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
Working remotely has been challenging in many ways. One thing that I have struggled with is making sure that I have solid demarcations between work time and my own personal time.
When you are working out of a space which you associate with leisure, it is easy for work time to seep over into your personal time and to overwork yourself. I found myself working or looking over work materials even after my working hours were over, which meant that I was pretty much exhausted by the end of my day.
Some useful tips from coworkers (many who actually were working remotely before the pandemic) helped me overcome some problems I experience with remote work. I learned that having a strict schedule was vital. It made sure that I knew exactly what hours I would be working and what time was meant to be spent away from work. I was able to convey this to my manager, who respected my schedule and made sure not to impose on my time during breaks or after work hours. I was working with a three-hour time difference to most of my coworkers but we were able to manage around it and ensure that I followed my regular working schedule on most days.
I think that scheduling leisure activities is also very important. For example, I included time in my schedule to read, relax, or watch a TV show, so that I ensured I was not overworking myself and making time for things I enjoy outside of work.
Overall, I felt incredibly grateful to still have my internship and it really aided me in structuring my summer and keeping myself busy with learning important skills.
Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?
The skills I am learning at my internship center around software development and engineering. They are important to me in many ways. I have always dreamed about studying computer science and learning more about software engineering, so in that regard this opportunity is very important to me. Many aspects of my internship involved software, principles, and systems that are rarely (if ever) covered in a classroom setting.
Working on software, whether it is open source or for a company, requires a baseline of knowledge in many things (e.g., Git) that I had little to no exposure to in my courses. That’s why I feel like this internship experience is so important to set me up for my career and to equip me with the vital skills for software development.
I was also very grateful to learn from my coworkers, who are incredibly supportive and had so much experience and valuable insight to give me. This really helped me grow and direct me in the right areas to further my career.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.