Meet 5 superstar interns from the next class of Boston tech

by Justine Hofherr
August 17, 2017

As many college students know, landing a summer internship is one of the best ways to gain real-world experience while increasing your odds of getting a kick-ass job after graduation.

Whether you aspire to be a software developer or a self-starting entrepreneur, spending a few months at one of Boston’s hottest tech companies is a surefire way to get your foot in the door. Here, we interviewed five members of Boston’s next tech class to learn more about the internship programs at fast-growing companies like CarGurus and Fuze.

cargurus
Photo via CarGurus

Superstar intern: Gardner Nash, dealer marketing

Describe the summer internship program at CarGurus.

The summer internship program at CarGurus is a deep dive into how a successful tech company operates. From the first day, interns get trained alongside full-time new hires and receive projects that will have an immediate impact on the company. Interns also have direct access to meetings with management and career development programs. This creates an incredible, well-rounded summer experience. 

What were some of the projects you worked on?

My primary focus during the internship was to create, launch and analyze domestic B2B marketing campaigns. These projects required me to write copy, develop marketing strategies and test my analysis skills on a daily basis.

Along with my campaigns, I also worked on other projects both inside and outside my department. Some of these included redesigning our brand messaging, auditing our content portfolio and working with the finance team.

What skills did you gain?

As a marketing intern, there were two primary skills that I focused on during the summer. My first goal was to improve my analytical skills. Being able to perform a comprehensive analysis of our campaigns was a crucial part of my job. It not only ensured proper performance tracking but also enabled us to improve future campaigns. My second goal was to improve my presenting skills. The presenting skills I gained enabled me to take what I learned from the analysis and share it with my team.

Favorite part of working at CarGurus?

Over the past few years, CarGurus has experienced incredible growth from a garage startup to a multinational company. Throughout this expansion, they have done a great job retaining an incredible culture fueled by ping pong, cold brew and free lunches. This growth also ensures that there are always innovative projects to take on, making every day new and exciting. 

fuze
Photo via Fuze

 Superstar intern: Starr Coughlin, content marketing

Describe the summer internship program at Fuze.

The summer internship program at Fuze is approximately 10 weeks long and each intern is assigned to a different department within Fuze. Besides just working with our teams, the interns were able to meet on a weekly basis with upper level executives and learn about their roles at Fuze. These weekly lunches were not only a valuable learning experience, but they also were a time where the entire group of interns could get together and talk about what we each were doing on our own teams.  

What were some of the projects you worked on?

This summer I have been interning in the content marketing department working on updating the blog/website, broadcasting relevant articles on LinkedIn to sales reps and monitoring social media activity. Other daily activities have been to proofread content and make any sort of graphics needed for internal communications.

What skills did you gain?

By being a part of the content marketing department this summer, I have gained a broader knowledge of the tech, specifically the UCaaS industry. Real-world experience has also allowed me to learn skills that could not be taught in a traditional classroom setting. Between guidance from members of my team or advice from our weekly lunch and learns, I believe I am going into my senior year with an enhanced skill set that allows me to be better prepared for the workforce post-graduation.

Favorite part of working at Fuze?

My favorite part about working at Fuze this summer has been the company culture. With a work from anywhere policy, Fuze embraces a flexible work schedule. All of the employees I have met at Fuze have been extremely welcoming and encouraging, and inspire me to give 100 percent every day. Our company socials have given me an opportunity to meet employees outside of my department that I otherwise may have not met. Because Fuze is growing so quickly, it was both exciting and rewarding to witness this development firsthand this summer and I look forward to watching Fuze’s progress.

cloudhealth
Photo via CloudHealth Technologies

Superstar intern: Sayak Chatterjee, engineering

Describe the summer internship program at CloudHealth.

The summer internship program at CloudHealth was an amazing opportunity. I learned a lot about interesting technologies as well as how to properly work in a constructive team environment.

What were some of the projects you worked on?

At the start of the internship, I identified areas in the platform which needed more end-to-end testing, and then built tests to cover the areas. This was a good introduction to the platform, as well as a good contribution to the company itself. I then moved on to projects where I worked on improvements to the billing framework.

What skills did you gain?

Technically I gained knowledge of Ruby on Rails as well as other technologies that go into supporting a web app that large. On a broader scope, I improved my skills of working in a collaborative team as well as taking responsibility for my own work.

Favorite part of working at CloudHealth?

My favorite part of working here was definitely all the CloudHealth people. Employees here are very helpful and will completely stop what they're doing to help even an intern. I got to meet many people from many of the departments, and the whole company is just so put together and collaborative.

 

Superstar intern: Bennett Parsons, engineering

Describe the summer internship program at CloudHealth.

The program at CloudHealth is fast-paced and immersive. My internship was split into two parts: I began by helping write end-to-end tests against the platform, and finished by implementing functionality that was released into production during the final week of my internship. This life cycle helped me appreciate many different aspects of SaaS development and gave me a well-rounded picture of how CloudHealth operates.

What were some of the projects you worked on?

The big project I worked on this summer was bringing in a particular AWS asset into the CloudHealth system. This was a great project because it gave me a chance to independently pursue work that was meaningful to the company and was a great learning experience for me. The project involved interacting with all parts of the Ruby on Rails architecture, from interacting directly with models and databases to implementing the front-end UI.

What skills did you gain?

While my college courses gave me a general sense of the programming paradigms used at CloudHealth, the actual engineering experience was vastly different. As such, I learned an immense amount about many different aspects of engineering, from the intricacies of Ruby and Rails, to the best practices in database migrations. Simply working closely with the great people at CloudHealth was a learning experience in itself.

Favorite part of working at CloudHealth?

My favorite part was just being a part of the day in and day out operations of a team at CloudHealth. The support network was tremendous: Whenever I would have a question, the first person I asked would either answer themselves, immediately dropping whatever they were doing, or direct me to a person who could explain it better. While I have had previous summer internships, this was by far the best because I was treated just like a normal engineer, given many responsibilities with high expectations.

masschallenge
Photo via MassChallenge

Superstar intern: Timothy Kung, PR/marketing

Describe the summer internship program at MassChallenge.

There were over 40 interns from all around the country taking part in the internship program at MassChallenge this summer! It was a lot of fun having so many other interns around to learn from and hang out with. Though we were all a part of the same program, I think each intern had a unique experience since we all joined different teams across MC such as marketing, partnerships, startup services, global operations and special projects, to name a few. I think this is what makes an internship at MC special. Not only do you get familiar with specific roles within MC, but you also learn so much just by hearing what your fellow interns are working on.

What were some of the projects you worked on?

As a PR/Marketing intern, I got the chance to see firsthand how MC positions itself as one of the top accelerators in the world. An important component of this is building and fostering communities that support innovation and entrepreneurship. One of the projects that I worked on this summer focused on finding ways to better understand our communities and determining how to best leverage the tools we have to engage with them. This was a big project for me because it forced me to think about what our overall goal was as a marketing team and plan out exactly how we could accomplish that goal.

What skills did you gain?

Working on a few large projects this summer helped me understand the importance of effective project management. From communicating with other team members, to planning for technical execution and taking initiative to move a project along, the challenges and opportunities of these projects allowed me to reflect on and learn valuable lessons every step of the way.

Favorite part of working at MassChallenge?

The atmosphere! Being at the center of innovation and entrepreneurship in Boston every day has been an amazing experience. I feel like I’ve become a part of a greater community that extends far beyond the MC office. There’s nothing like it!


 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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