One of the things we value at Vividly is continuous learning and providing an atmosphere for innovation and creativity. Having interns is one of the ways we do this both for our internal team’s development and to provide opportunities for students to get a taste of what it’s like to work at a seed stage startup in the CPG and SaaS space. I did a Q&A session with our most recent intern group to learn about their experiences with us so we can further enhance our internship program for next year’s winter interns.
Question: What did you expect going into the summer?
Tyler: I expected a typical startup environment where employees worked 14 hours a day and got paid with shares. I also expected to learn a lot about software engineering, startups, and what kind of career I wanted to pursue after graduation.
Ashley: Going into the summer, I had little to no expectations about what my summer would be like. I had no prior work experience as a software engineering intern, and it was my first time working for a startup company. I didn’t know if I would be tweaking a few lines of code here and there, writing new components from scratch, or if my code would even make it to production while I was there. I also had no idea what the work environment would be like, and I wondered whether I’d be working a traditional 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job every day. All in all, I had minimal expectations for my summer and thus was very pleasantly surprised by my experience.
Ronald: I didn’t really expect much, just to be working on the trade promotion management software. I was a little worried I would not be able to pick it up quickly, but that was far from the case, as everyone was extremely friendly and willing to help. There are some things I did not expect though – being a remote company, I thought Vividly would not be as engaging or have the same level of camaraderie as an in-person company. However, all of the events and weekly/daily social gatherings proved me wrong. Throughout the summer, the level of engagement did not dwindle, and work remained social as ever.
Question: How was your experience with Vividly as a whole?
Tyler: I found that Vividly offered a friendly, caring, and helpful atmosphere. The hours were flexible, and I was encouraged to move around my work hours so I could spend some time outside during the day. So sometimes I would go to the beach in the middle of the day. I also did a lot of traveling during my summer here, and I was still able to get the startup experience. I was challenged with difficult problems and given as much work as I wanted. And the work that I did was a contribution to the product. Bugs I fixed and features I added were applied to the product just days after I completed them. I was able to choose which project I would work on as my main summer undertaking and worked both backend and frontend on my smaller tasks, also with my preferences in mind. Besides software development, I was able to learn about many of the inner workings of a software company, because our organization was so small. All in all, my experience with Vividly was wonderful.
Ashley: At Vividly, I had a very positive experience where I was able to explore and develop my skills in writing code and at the same time see my direct contributions to the Vividly trade promotion platform. I completed a variety of different tasks in both the frontend and backend, both fixing bugs in the software and adding new features and enhancements. I felt like I was able to discover more of my preferences regarding coding, and figure out what types of projects I enjoyed working on. I also joined the kick-off for the reconciliation project, where I got to work with a variety of team members on wireframes and planning for the project. I found it super exciting that in a startup you can work with almost everyone, and the amount of collaboration and quick communication that went back and forth across the Vividly team was very engaging and supportive. A highlight of my experience was also the flexibility of working at Vividly, because I was able to work comfortable hours, collaborate with many different team members, and also work on projects that interested me the most.
Ronald: It was a very positive experience. Not only did I learn a ton on the software front, I made a lot of friends with unique people all across the globe. Also, the free food each week was great!
Question: How has this helped inform the future steps that you’d like to take in your career?
Tyler: Before this summer started, I knew I wanted to work for a software startup right after college and working at Vividly has not made me change my mind. I know that I want to work for a company that challenges me and gives me the opportunity to make an actual impact on the product as Vividly has. I want to work for a company that is making the world a better place and providing for a need. And I want to have flexible hours and work for a company that values me as a person. I have lots of things I want to do and places I want to go as a young adult, and I hope the company I start at after college helps me achieve those desires. And I realize that mental health can be improved immensely just by spending some time in the sun every day. If a company wants to fix a real problem in the world and value its employees, it should have a mixture of hard-working employees and flexibility with their time.
Ashley: Interning at Vividly has taught me the qualities I seek in a work position going forward. I enjoy working in a fast paced environment where code is constantly being changed and added as new features are developed. In my future work experiences, I hope to develop more skills in other languages and softwares built for new types of applications. Vividly has helped me grow a lot in many ways, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to intern there.