Sabrina Wicker: My High-Tech Internship

Life is not all about digital technology though. Above, enjoying nature!

My internship at Chengdu, China, was my first internship in my academic career. It was difficult to get, as G-MEO’s internship providers mainly focused on law firms and schools. G-MEO went out of its way to find me an internship that matched with my Computer Science major. Eventually they managed to get me a position at a company in the “Hi-Tech Zone” in Chengdu, a mobile advertising company.

The commute was 40 minutes by Metro Line 1. On my way there I had to push my way into the people-packed subway car for a stuffy ride. My time at the internship ended at 10pm, and the metro rides back were always devoid of crowds and relatively quiet and peaceful. I worked long hours, maxing out the limit for internship hours at G-MEO, but to me, it was all worth it.

I was lucky enough to get a mentor at the company who helped me learn Android app development using Android Studio. I learned a lot in the weeks I was there. I also learned about Chinese tech work culture. After dinner many employees would socialize by going out to the badminton courts outside the building. I would sit in the smaller side office where the 6 programmers the company had worked, doing my best to understand what the other programmers were talking about as they rattled off in Chinese. Some of the men were experts in PHP, others Java, others Android (which is based off of Java).

My mentor guided me through the basics of developing Android mobile applications. A lot of the time he was too busy doing his actual job for the company, so I was left alone with Stack Overflow to help solve my problems. Not many coding problems are so obscure that some googling cannot fix them. I accomplished a lot in the time I was with them, and I’m thankful for the G-MEO staff who worked so hard to get me a place there when it was all new for them.

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