I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first started my job this summer. At a virtual reality startup, I knew I would be working with cool technology. At a company with 8 employees, I hoped that I would like everyone and that I would get to know them all. After a month, I feel like it’s safe to say that those things have happened, along with some other pleasant surprises:
- Kenneth, the software engineer who helps me with everything, loves
- Sometimes, when I make a bad pun, someone in a VR headset will “boo” me when I didn’t even know they were listening! It’s nice to be appreciated.
- Kenneth will occasionally make even worse puns than I do…somehow.
- 2012 gamer slang is bandied about. Mike, the chief product officer and a 34-year-old man, said the following phrase verbatim: “I’m gonna school all you noobs!”
At the beginning of my internship, I was worried that I would be super unhelpful and unable to accomplish anything on my own. For about the first two weeks, that was true, but that seems to be a universal intern experience–after all, since when are concepts we learn in class applicable to real life? Eventually, after trying to absorb a firehose of information and then stumbling around in the dark for a while, I was able to make a functional button in an augmented reality app for an iPad! Yes, I may have pieced it together by copying working bits and pieces from other parts of the app, and sure, it may have taken me several hours while someone like Kenneth could have done it in 20 minutes, but the important part is that I figured it out on my own! It was a very insignificant feature if I’m being honest, but it gave me the confidence to tackle other, larger problems, and it convinced me that I actually am learning things by cluelessly bumbling around, even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time.
There are downsides to being able to work independently, though. Now that I don’t have to ask Kenneth for help every 30 seconds, I can listen to music while I work. This is usually good, except when I listen to Adele and I feel like I need to be staring dramatically out a window, soulfully gazing into the distance as a single tear falls down my cheek, instead of fixing a bug in my code. Nevertheless, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.