When Covid first appeared in 2020, it turned nearly everything within the business community upside down. Among the impacted practices were internships; many companies saw their programs halted entirely or shifted online in a last-minute attempt to salvage an opportunity for college students and up-and-coming business professionals.
Two years later, Ventera is delighted to announce that we have returned to (and improved) our internship program to help educate and prepare participants for careers in tech and innovation. The mission of this program is to provide a unique learning opportunity for interns that includes relevant job experience that can apply to future professional engagements.
The class of 2022 consisted of 8 future stars of the industry, Erica Weiss, Elliot Jimeno, Serene Lu, Jinit Shah, Connor Smith, Ahmed Malik, Amaan Raheen, and Sam Bowles. For their final project, the group designed and created a web app called V-Cuisine for all “foodies” far and wide. The idea behind V-Cuisine is to help people decide what they want to eat quicker, reducing the amount of time it takes to decide where to eat—a problem that we have all likely faced. By matching food preferences with nearby restaurants, V-Cuisine provides recommendations for where to eat and what menu options a user can expect.
As impressive as the final product is, the steps taken to get there speak volumes about what the group was able to absorb during their time at Ventera. The group created an Agile team with an elected Scrum Master (Erica Weiss) and Product Manager (Serene Lu). Others were assigned roles as business analysts, developers, or a position where they could explore both sides and the gaps between them. All interns gathered in daily stand-ups to discuss progress and future development to guide the direction of the app. Having our interns working together in a scrum team of their own making was a new feature introduced in the internship program for this year.
“This was the first time that I had worked on a team using a sprint structure. I gained so much experience in fostering continuous improvement while executing product goals,” said Ventera Business Analyst Intern Erica Weiss.
Covid’s presence was still felt, and due to the limitations and difficulties of a still Covid-ridden world, a more hybrid and dynamic experience was implemented for this year’s group, led by two graduates of Ventera’s internship program, Corrine Smith and Conner Caprio. They were eager to take the lead on the program for this year, with some necessary tweaks to the old model. In the past, interns were provided a point of contact on a Ventera project. That project’s flow dictated their experience, which led to varying experiences for each participant since the pace of each project varied across the organization. By placing interns all on the same team and allowing them to create their own project, the internship experience was more consistent and captivating for all.
“The group got along and became quite a productive team. The end project was great, and they seemed to have learned a lot from the experience,” said Ventera Developer Corrine Smith.
With the presented challenges and through some trial and error, the consensus from all participants was that their experience was a resounding success. The feedback we collected from our exit interview process will be used to guide the direction of the program for years to come.
Our group here at Ventera wishes all our interns good luck with the next school year and all the best with their future career paths, whatever may come!