Technical Intern, Affiliate Marketing Team
YOU’RE COMPLETING YOUR COLLEGE INTERNSHIP HERE AT GROUPON, WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY STUDYING IN COLLEGE?
I’m currently in my 3rd year of a Bachelor of Science in Computing in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght. A 6 month internship is an optional component of the course and I was lucky to get placed with Groupon.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE TYPE OF INTERNSHIP YOU’RE ON AT GROUPON.
I have joined the Affiliate Marketing team as a Technical Intern. The team is responsible for displaying Groupon advertisements on third party websites and then ensuring any purchases generated from the partner’s website generates funds for them. It’s win-win!
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO FOR AN INTERNSHIP HERE?
Throughout my studies I have always been interested in web technologies, and I figured a large web based e-commerce site such as Groupon would allow me to really experience all aspects of web development. It turned out to be a good guess, as my experience so far has really allowed me to gain context regarding large scale web development. I find myself working best when I get thrown into the deep end and as a result my interest in web based technologies has been reinforced since joining Groupon.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY, IF SUCH A THING EXISTS, LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Thankfully my work here is varied and so I wouldn’t have a typical day. Despite that, I am typically being exposed to something I have never seen before and so I am constantly seeing new technologies and techniques. From backend development to web based user interfaces and quality assurance, I feel my skill set is growing day by day.
IS THE REALITY OF YOUR WORK HERE DIFFERENT IN ANY WAY TO WHAT YOU EXPECTED?
Absolutely yes. The main reason being that I had very little context about how all the things I learned from college textbooks was carried out in reality. While it’s important to learn the fundamentals and basic concepts in college, and it is taught well, I haven’t learned the reality of how it is implemented in real life systems. This is the main reason I felt an internship was so valuable: you learn so much more taking part instead of taking notes!
HAVE YOU LEARNED A LOT HERE AND DO YOU THINK IT WILL POSITIVELY IMPACT YOUR STUDIES AND CAREER?
As the internship is optional in my course, I had two choices. One was to find an internship, the other was to complete a “regular” semester in college with modules and lectures running as normal. I was concerned that by doing the work placement I would miss out on the traditional college experience and I feared falling behind in some core aspects. After talking with many of my lecturers they all shared the same sentiment, you will learn so much more by doing a placement than you will in a lecture hall. After 2 months into my work placement, I have to agree with them. The exposure to real life experience is priceless and will allow me to approach the rest of my course with a new insight and interest.
I always felt that the weakest part of my CV was the lack of experience. When looking for the first job I always worried that this would hold me back. Taking part in an internship with such a large and well known brand will surely stand to me once I graduate.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WORKING HERE?
Well aside from the amount I am learning, it’s hard not to mention the atmosphere around the office. I say office lightly, as the building itself is far from what you expect an office to be like. With foosball tables, ping-pong tables and a general relaxed approach, it never feels like you are in work. While you might have a deadline to meet, and of course you are expected to get your work done, there is no problem taking a break, grabbing a racket and missing some forehand smashes playing table tennis. I hope to get better by the end of the internship!
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND AN INTERNSHIP HERE?
Absolutely. I really feel like I have been given a great opportunity by getting placed here. Very few places give someone with no experience, such as myself, such a chance to get some valuable hands on time and a real insight into the industry. I feel it will really help me going forward.
FINALLY – ARE YOU ENJOYING YOURSELF?
While writing this I was conscious about sounding like an advertisement for Groupon, but so far it has been a hugely enjoyable experience. As well as the enjoyable work, there is always something happening in or around the office which let’s you get to know everyone in the office better.