Jungle Disk + Triniterns: A Summer to Grow

By Caroline Haggard

At the beginning of sophomore year, I knew I wanted to do something with myself the summer after. I had spent the previous summer at home the entire time and felt uneasy. I needed to do something, but at that time summer jobs were taken. This time, I was determined to find a summer internship for 2018.

I first learned about Students + Startups during a Tech Bloc Rally event during the fall semester 2017. While I was there, my friends and I ran into Dr. Luis Martinez. He mentioned Students + Startups as a way to get involved with the tech industry in San Antonio. He gave me his business card and told me to email him about the program if I had questions. The next time I saw a booth set up for Students + Startups, I walked over and signed up for the required info session to learn more about the program. I slowly made it through the process of applying and then getting accepted into the program.

Each step of the way was nerve-racking. On the night of the speed interview, I felt like I screwed up. I had a few good interviews, but none went through. As the deadline for internships drew closer, I began to worry that I wasn’t going to get one. I had contacted many companies that were still looking for interns but each one fell through. It wasn’t until the last week of accepting internships that Jungle Disk reached out for an interview. I was ecstatic! This was my last chance to be able to participate in the program.

The interview process for Jungle Disk consisted of two phases. The first, a phone interview, then an in-person interview. I was a ball of nerves for each step. The phone interview had taken place right after one of my classes. I rushed back to my dorm room and frantically got my stuff together for the phone call. Once Grant Herbon called, I sat up straight and at attention. I did not want to mess this up one bit. Despite my nerves, it went well and we had set up the in-person interview to be at Local Coffee at the Pearl, this time to meet both Grant and Michael DeFelice.

When deciding what to wear for the in-person interview I wanted to make sure that they could find me. So, of course, I dressed the same as my profile picture on LinkedIn at the time. Once we found each other at Local, the interview began. First were basic questions and explanations on what the internship would include. The conversation then drifted from the company to a more casual conversation. It was a relief once they offered me a position. I was set to have an internship for the summer. As an intern at Jungle Disk, I will be working as a data science associate focusing mainly on the development of a chatbot for customer service. I hope to use this experience to expand my understanding of the computer science industry.

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