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Three months as a Summer Intern at LinkedIn

As a member of the first graduating class of LinkedIn Interns, I am proud to say that this summer has far exceeded my expectations, and I came already with a high expectation after turning down a few other offers.

I remember when I first left my resume with Doris at the Berkeley spring career fair, I did not expect a follow up. Friday of that week, I received a call during CS 161 lecture. It was from Doris to set up a phone interview. After I hung up, I smiled to myself at how funny she sounded when she realized I was in class. (“ohh I’m so sorry! Go back to class! I’ll stop bothering you now!”) The phone interview with Jon went great. I took the opportunity to get to know a little about LinkedIn and the LED team, of which I would soon be a part.

My on-site interview was what really got me excited. At the time, I was already in love with Rails, and as soon as I heard how extensively LinkedIn uses Rails in Mobile and InApps, I was hooked. I figured from the way Nick spoke and the fact that Alejandro was eating cereal during the interview that the work atmosphere would be rather laid back and flexible. Of course, the free lunch moved LinkedIn to the top of my list.

On the first day of work, I was assigned to a window desk, and was given a beefy Mac Pro, two 24-inch screens, and an ergonomic office chair. Some of the key information I discovered were the locations of the game rooms (note the plural), lunch arrives at 11:30, and sushi every Tuesday. Since sushi is always so high in demand, I would have to line up early for it if I want more than California rolls. Lunch ranges from Dim Sum to Mediterranean and from wraps to Thai. There are also frozen boxes of food and random healthy snacks/bars in case lunch isn’t to taste. The ice cream stocks some amazing varieties too.

Besides delicious food and empowering work, the interns also had fun events. The summer included bowling, Giants game, Go-Karting, Minigolf, basketball games, softball games, Frisbee games, and a soccer match between Engineering and Operations. All events were paid by LinkedIn and were held during work hours!

On the professional growth front, LinkedIn outperforms. Every other week, Jeff, our CEO, would give a presentation to the entire staff on the current events of all aspects of LinkedIn as a company. These meetings were transparent and open to Q/A, which made learning about how a company is run much easier. Once in a while, speakers from other companies like Oracle, Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm hold interesting tech talks at LinkedIn as well. To top it all off, Interns had the opportunity to chat with a different company executive every other week. Each one of them gave insights in various fields and degree, and each one of them were highly enlightening.

Oh, and I almost forgot the Hackdays and the InDays! Thanks to Adam, hackdays are basically days where cross-functional groups are formed to compete for awesome prizes by creating a ‘hack’, or any type of software. The first hackday gave out iPhone 4s to each of the winners (a total of 7 teams won!), and a $100 Apple giftcard to everyone who participated!

Because of all this, I sometimes drive to Mountain View over the weekend to work on my projects (main project or hackday projects) because it’s just so fun to be at work.

I realize from the way I described my summer, it sounds like I’ve been paid to write this. I assure you that I am sitting on my bed typing on my laptop at 2 in the morning. No one is paying me. My internship ended last Friday, but I’m going back to the office for a one-hour meeting, because I volunteered.

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