Interning At Postmates — Destiny & Karen
Over the summer holidays, Postmates employed our first-ever high school and college interns. From the finance department to the marketing department, 23 interns graced the halls of our Postmates San Francisco office to learn about the inner workings of a major tech company.
Spanning the months of May through August, interns spent time with each of their teams to learn the ins and outs of Postmates and what makes us tick. Two high school interns from the engineering department sat down with us to tell us a little about their experience.
What brought you to intern at Postmates?
Destiny: We were able to intern at Postmates through a program called Code Nation, which is a nonprofit program that helps under-resourced high schools. We wanted to explore the field of computer science as well as learn more about company culture to see if either of us might enjoy a career in the tech field.
What was the best part about interning at Postmates?
Destiny: The best part was the people. There were a lot of times where I felt intimidated by the idea of getting to know people, but everyone was so nice and always helped me out whenever I needed clarification or direction.
Karen: I got to learn a lot of backend engineering and open source, and the Postmates app gave me the opportunity to try new restaurants, like Sushirrito.
I also got to learn about colleges from the college interns, which was super helpful to me as I head into college applications.
What was the most challenging part about interning with Postmates?
Destiny: Since the day-to-day is so flexible, and everyone has independent projects they’re working on, it was difficult for me to adjust. However, I was able to cope by setting goals and learning more about my work ethic, as well as how to balance my work and free time.
Who is someone at Postmates who inspired you?
Karen: I was incredibly inspired by Sean Plaice, the CTO of Postmates. Even after many start-up misses, he kept working hard to be able to build the company that he wanted to. That is something that I really admire. He inspires me to work hard on myself so I can do what I want to with my career.
Destiny: Someone at Postmates who really inspired me was the Public Policy Lead, Vikrum Aiyer. The interns and I were able to meet him during a lunchtime event, where he told us about his team and what they do. His talk made me more interested in public policy.
What have you learned from your experience at Postmates?
Destiny: I learned that you are the one who has to ask people for assistance or follow up on projects because nobody knows more about your project than you. So if you need help, ask. If you want to achieve a goal, start. Not only will you at least have something going, but people will follow you all the way.
Karen: The people are nice. Standups are interesting because I get to know about what other people on the team are doing.
What were your favorite projects to work on?
Karen: The Tic-tac-toe project. I built one using if-statements and functions before, and that version of it ran on a website. This version of the game ran in the terminal and was made using loops (for loops, while loops, forEach loops). I used to be very afraid of loops since I ran into infinite loops all the time, but this project helped me overcome that challenge by forcing me to use loops in order to make the size of the game board sizable, which I thought was very cool.
Destiny: My favorite projects to work on was a Postman Tutorial section on the Developer Documentation page and a Node client package, as they were both open source projects. This meant that I was able to give back to my community and actually see them published and deployed.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Karen: Hopefully, I have graduated from college and have started working for a tech company somewhere in San Francisco. If Postmates is hiring at that time, I would love to come back!
Destiny: In five years I hope to have a career in the tech or design field, with a position in a company or job that I love, and to have completed some of the personal goals and dreams that I have now. Most of all, however, I hope to have a stable and positive lifestyle and be in a place where I would be able to give back to others.
What would you like to do with your career in the future? Do you know what schools you hope to attend after high school?
Karen: I want to be a software engineer and work with artificial intelligence if possible. As the college application season is approaching, I have been looking into both public and private schools that are strong in the STEM field. I am not entirely sure which school I want to attend yet.
Destiny: I would like to be in the tech or design field. Both paths are interesting to me because they allow me to express myself and allow me to create things. Even though I have a few in mind, I’m still deciding on schools. For sure, I want to stay local or within California, although I do want to try to travel abroad programs when I am older.
Is there anything else about your experience you’d like to add?
Karen: It was an awesome learning experience for me! I will miss seeing dogs roaming around the office like the place is theirs.
Destiny: I am glad to have had my internship at Postmates. I really have learned a lot and am grateful for my manager, my team, all the interns, and all the other people I have met. I am sad to have to say goodbye, but this experience was something I will take with me and remember. So to Postmates: a big thank you!