Name: Nitisha Bhandari
Class Year: 2022
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Internship Organization: NeuroLeap Corporation
Job Title: Software Engineering Intern
Endowed Internship Funding Award: Loftus-Lawler Family Internship Fund
What’s happening at your internship?
I worked as an iOS developer and my major tasks were fixing bugs within the existing features of the app and also designing and developing new features to improve the functionality of the app.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I have always been interested in app development; I also took an online iOS development class last semester. This internship would give me the opportunity to significantly improve my iOS development skills. Furthermore, this company is working towards building apps to help correctly diagnose learning difficulties in children, which is something very valuable to the community and I wanted to be a part of a project like this.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
The experience of working in a startup, in general, was what I really enjoyed about this internship. I got to learn many more things than I had expected. The iOS team was a tight-knit group and we occasionally got to meet people from other teams and collaborate with them. The relationships I built with the people in the company are invaluable. Although I didn’t get to work together on the same tasks with my peers, we always came together to help each other out when needed. My supervisor, who was the lead developer for the iOS team, was the absolute best. He was always only a ping away and would look out for us and take the time out of his day to teach us some concepts in detail. It was not a part of his job, but he built a small project for us to complete in the beginning so that we could get familiar with a professional iOS workflow. This amount of effort from a supervisor/mentor would probably not be possible at a big company with huge teams. We also had meetings with the CEO every week where we shared our progress for the week and he gave us updates about what was new in the company. I got to share my ideas with him and would also just Slack/Zoom him if I had any questions. This is why I loved my time working at this startup.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
Working remotely was both challenging and exciting at the same time. It was challenging just because I was usually working from my room, occasionally from other spots on campus and it not only felt very monotonous but it was also difficult to keep up with the work sometimes. It was extremely difficult to keep focused the entire day, but I got the hang of it after some time. The working experience was obviously extraordinarily different from last summer. Having code reviews and weekly meetings through Zoom for very long hours and communicating with my mentor mostly on Slack was not ideal but it was just as effective because we were all excited to work on the app.
On the flip side, working remotely also has its advantages. I am not a morning person, so it was really great to be able to start my day a little later and work late. My supervisor and I would sometimes be up really late because he was a night owl too and he would still answer my questions at 2 a.m. Our schedules were not strictly 9 to 5 and it was really flexible as long as we got the work done on time. I once had a code review with a senior developer until 1 a.m. because that was the only time he was free. The combination of working at a startup and working remotely can get really exhausting, but I made sure to take proper breaks, not work on weekends unless extremely necessary, and have fixed working hours to avoid staying up late. Overall, the experience would have been very different if it was not remote, but nonetheless I really enjoyed it and made the most out of it.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.