What’s it like to be a Ridgeline intern? Who better to tell us than the interns themselves. Thanks to Rebekah Westerlind, Rob Scott, Matt Cuento, Urvashi Mahto, Will Fuchs, and Jimmy Lee for their participation! (Lightly edited for clarity.)
What drew you to want to spend your summer with Ridgeline?
Matt: The startup culture and ability to contribute massive amounts in the early history of a company! Not to mention a beautiful location to do so in!
What did you like best about your experience here?
Rob: The effort that everyone made to make these 10 weeks a jam-packed experience. Whether that was events that HR put on, full-timers bringing us to play basketball and Pickleball, or just go to the beach. Everyone was invested in our experience.
Jimmy: The amount of support I received from the people on my team as well as the whole company was astounding. Everybody at Ridgeline was ready to dive into any problem I faced, and it made me feel like I really had a family here. Moreover, I credit a lot of the personal growth I’ve had this summer to my direct team and manager; everyone was patient, understanding, and gave me the right pieces of advice and feedback to really mature, think about how I can be the best me, and continue doing awesome things!
What was the hardest part of your internship?
Urvashi: The hardest part of the internship was building the habit of taking initiative. My team had the privilege of shaping our project as we saw fit, but we had to do the research and start the conversations that would help us visualize the end product. I had all the support I needed, but I had to at least initiate the conversation to ask for it.
Matt: The start! My project, the stats warehouse (aka “the pantry”), was so open-ended as to what it could be and limitless in scope. This was the opposite of our experiences in school! Being a part of the decision-making process in the main-use cases and architecture was scary but a huge learning experience that I loved.
What was the most surprising part of your internship?
Will: I was a little surprised at how much creative control we are given over our projects.
Rebekah: The most surprising part of the internship was how integrated we were with the full-time team and the real work that was going on for the product. We were pulled into projects with tight deadlines that were vital for customers, helped set up infrastructure the entire team would use, and were treated like real, useful, contributing members of the company.
What’s one thing you learned this summer that you feel confident you’ll use in the future?
Urvashi: I feel confident that I’ll expose myself to unique opportunities and experiences. This summer, I was able to experience so much inside and outside of the office. Career-wise, I got the opportunity to learn about so much new technology, coding practices, and professionalism. Outside the office, I had so many firsts (jet skiing, cliff jumping, etc!). This summer has taught me that more experiences = more knowledge and a richer life.
Jimmy: I was never really an outdoorsy person before coming to Ridgeline … but I’ve been dragging my friends out to walk and get coffee or hike much more frequently now. Technically, I think I’ve gained a lot more conviction over my work. I’m confident in what I build, especially after taking ownership of two product features this summer with my team, and I’m ready to go up to bat for the fruits of my labor. I didn’t really feel all that confident about my code before, and I think I’ll carry this skill with me throughout my career.
What was it like living in Ridgeline’s Lake Tahoe headquarters?
Rob: In the best way possible, it felt like summer camp. We were in a beautiful place with a bunch of fast friends enjoying everything we did both inside and outside of work.
What impact did the pandemic have on your internship experience?
Rebekah: We were able to be in the office most of the summer, which was really valuable. Because of the pandemic, there is a flexible work-from-home policy, and people are comfortable collaborating over Zoom which made people in all of Ridgeline’s offices accessible.
Describe Ridgeline’s culture in four words!
Rob: Bring your whole self!
If you could pack any one thing from the Ridgeline office in your suitcase as a keepsake, what would it be?
Will: Probably Lillian the puppy. [Editor note: Ridgeline’s offices are all dog-friendly!]
What do you think you’ll be doing in 10 years?
Urvashi: Having a 10-year reunion with my intern class :’)
Jimmy: I don’t even know what I’ll do for dinner today!