A little over two years ago, I found out that I’d landed a job as a marketing intern at a technology company. I have always been the more “tech-savvy” one out of all my friends. By that, I mean being able to install Microsoft on Mac, knowing keyboard shortcuts, and whatever skills I retained from an intro coding class. Nothing crazy, but it gave me some confidence about working in the tech industry. It wasn’t until my first day that I realized how much more there was to learn.

Throughout my day, I would overhear conversations that sounded like a completely different language. The numbers and symbols on the walls in conference rooms looked like hieroglyphics to me. As a marketing intern, I didn’t exactly need to understand everything completely to get my work done. I just needed to get the gist of things, which could even still be complex.

Sitting next to a group of industrial designers really allowed me to be immersed in new ideas and technologies. They seemed to be working on something new every day, I felt like a little kid in their parents’ office. “What’s this?”, “What does this do?”, “Can I touch it?”, “Can you explain that again?”. Rather than being annoyed with me, the industrial design team always answered all my questions with enthusiasm.

At the beginning of this year, I gained a new neighbor; a 3D printer! Most people would probably think sitting next to a 3D printer would be annoying because of the sound and movement. However, I was actually fascinated by it. I was ecstatic the first time it started printing until I realized that the product it was printing wouldn’t be complete for 18 hours! During that time, I would watch each thin layer get put right on top of another. It was astonishing to witness about how articulate this little machine was. Anytime I accidentally moved my desk, my first thought was to make sure I didn’t disrupt whatever was being printed. I knew that if I ruined some 20+ hour printing job, my new desk would be in the bathroom stall.

What I will remember…

Before working at IPS, I never really thought about how my phone connected to other devices. If someone asked me two years ago how that happened, the best answer I could have given was, “magic”. Now, I could give an entire slide show presentation about the different steps and what happens at each one. I also learn a lot from running the company’s social media pages. It has taught me about different changes, events and even problems in the tech world, specifically IoT security. This is something the common consumer may not be as worried about, but after reading about it almost every day, I have become a more involved and concerned tech user.

My favorite experience working at IPS so far has been when I got the chance to sit in on the first meeting with a prospective client. Other interns and I spent about a month beforehand researching different ideas and options for their product. After presenting this to our team, we were actually praised for our work and input and we were asked to join the big meeting with the client. We were excited because it was so unexpected, (also because we knew breakfast and lunch were being served!). In the meeting, the other interns and I were given the opportunity to speak to the clients directly and even convey our research and ideas. It was fascinating to see how the process works, and what goes into creating a brand new product from the beginning. It was my first real experience with a big business transaction that wasn’t just printed in a textbook.

Working in the tech industry is having the opportunity to jump into a time machine and get a glimpse of the future. It has made me more creative and given me so many ideas that I don’t even know what to do with them all. Being surrounded by new technologies and opportunities to learn everyday has taught me things that can’t be learned in a classroom.