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An Interview with Angela, C2C Alumna ‘18 and Summer 2018 RetailMeNot Intern


An Interview with Angela

C2C Alumna ‘18 and Summer 2018 RetailMeNot Intern

This past year, Angela G. participated in the Code2College program as a high school junior in Austin ISD. After successfully completing the program, she went on to become RetailMeNot’s first-ever high school software engineering intern. Last week, we sat down with her and asked about her experience in Code2College.

MS: Hey Angela! Thanks for taking the time to chat. So, what made you want to apply to Code2College?

AG: Yea, no problem. Well, I’ve been interested in coding and engineering since I was little. So I thought that Code2College would be a great way to get real experience in either of these fields.

MS: And how did you find out about C2C?

AG: My school AP, Mr. Jung, asked if I would be interested in applying for it and I was and applied.

MS: Do you remember anything in particular that seemed appealing to you about the opportunity?

AG: The internship seemed really appealing. Instead of working at a kayak rental shop all summer, I would have the chance to gain real world experience and essential skills that I couldn’t learn in a typical summer job.

MS: Which leads me to my next question, since you yourself were able to land an internship at RetailMeNot as their first-ever high school software engineering intern through our program. What was that experience like?

AG: It was great! The team had me working on actual projects that are still being used now. One of the main projects I worked on involved recreating an internal website for the entire company. So it’s amazing to think that hundreds of RetailMeNot employees are seeing and actually using something that I worked on every day.

MS: That’s really impressive. What were some of the technologies that you used during the internship?

AG: I started off developing in local files and then moved off to a more structured environment. The framework I used was React and the temporary store was MobX. And everything was written in JavaScript and CSS. For the data store, we used Firebase and different login providers.

MS: That sounds pretty intimidating. What would you say was your greatest fear going into this internship?

AG: That I wouldn’t know what to do. That I wouldn’t be a productive intern. I was really scared about what I knew and thought that I wouldn’t be able to apply it at work.

MS: So, what was the result?

AG: After some initial training and speaking with several colleagues, I got over the fear because I realized that I’m never going to know everything. But I can definitely learn quite a bit.

MS: What was the most exciting thing about working for RetailMeNot specifically?

AG: The atmosphere is amazing. RetailMeNot is so open and a true learning environment. Everyone was so willing to help. I’m incredibly grateful to have interned with them.

MS: Did you find the professionals that you worked with supportive?

AG: Yes! Everyone I worked with was supportive and offered great advice and helped me along the way.

MS: If there’s anyone at RetailMeNot who you’d like to shout out?

AG: Steven Swanson. He walked me through EVERYTHING. He was always there to review my code and give me critiques and different ways to think about the problem I was trying to solve. He was awesome.

MS: I’ll be sure to share that with him! Is there any advice that you would give to someone applying to Code2College?

AG: In class, you need to learn everything you can. If you have a question, ask because it’s essential that you get a better process for learning things. If you get stuck, without asking questions you’ll stay exactly where you are. Open-mindedness is also essential. When you approach a new problem, you’ve got to do so with an open mind.

MS: That’s some great advice – PERIOD. Any final words about the Code2College experience?

AG: I really feel like this program is life-changing. I don’t know anywhere else where I’d be able to learn the basics of coding and then get to apply them. I’m really thankful and grateful to have been a part of it.

MS: That’s great to hear, Angela. Thanks for your time!