As 2013 ends, it also signals the end of another internship period for jStart. Before he left, we took a moment to chat with Justin Sova, an undergraduate from Penn State University, and who was with jStart from May 2013 - December 2013. Justin worked extensively on IBM's next generation XaaS cloud platform, Bluemix, and participated in our Bluemix Hackathon.
Justin Sova: In his Own Words
Q: Any particular reason why you chose jStart for your internship?
A: Largely, it was The nature of what jStart does--working on up and coming techs and getting to mess around with a wide variety of techologies, it was very attractive to me. I like to tinker with things, which when you think about it, is basically what jStart is all about. So that attracted my attention initially...and the best part is that I actually got to do just that..
Q: Did you have any specific goals that you wanted to get out of the internship?
A: I wanted get some real experience in corporate America and use that experience to gauge where I wanted to go in the future. I also wanted development experience in a large, established company, as well as to get exposed to things I didn’t have a chance to experience in school.
Q: In the end, did you accomplish those goals?
A: Yes, I did. I got all of the experiences that I wanted to get out of the internship--that’s something that I've been very pleased with. Now I can look back and say I got what I wanted out of the internship, which is about all you could ask for.
Q: In your view, what was most challenging about the internship?
A: At the beginning, when I wasn't that familiar with some of the technologies, I was only given a week to get started...so it was a challenge to dive into those technologies and be as productive as I wanted to be. That said, it's something that I appreciate now, because I discovered that I can learn pretty fast.
Q: Out of your internship experience, what would you say is the thing you’re most proud of?
A: My ability to build things fast and learn things fast--that's something that I have a deep sense of accomplishment about. The internship kind of proved to me that I can do whatever is given to me. Oh, and I’m definitely proud of the fact that I can effectively communicate well.
Q: When do you graduate?
A: Spring 2015.
Q: Once you get your degree, what's the plan? Thought that far ahead yet?
A: Well...I had a plan...now I'm rethinking things, trying to figure out where I want to go. (laughs) Now, after the internship, I see a lot of different options. I definitely want to have an impact in whatever I do.
Q: We’re at the end of your internship...so just between us--and the rest of the web--what's your opinion of jStart?
A: I really liked the atmosphere at jStart...it was refreshing, especially in comparison to what some of my other friends told me about their co-ops. It was something that I definitely appreciated, and the team made me actually feel like I was part of the team. I also liked the wide variety of projects I got to work on....just the fact that jStart is a proof-of-concept group. The only thing that I did miss out on was working in an environment with a structured and real software development process--the nature of emerging technologies sometimes means you write code to get things to work, and worry about the details later. Overall, I think jStart is a great environment because of the unity of the team and the nature of the projects they work on. How was that? (laughs)
Q: Would you do the internship again?
A: Yes, I'd probably do it again--mostly because I know I'd always be working on something new and different. I wouldn't have learned as much if I had chosen another option for my internship, options that weren’t as interesting or as useful as what I got out of the jStart experience.
Q: Any advice for future jStart interns--or interns in general?
A: What I've learned at jStart: be open with your opinions, don’t be afraid to share your ideas. I think I’ve realized that the team actually values all opinions--even opinions from interns. When you’re the only one who’s been working on a project, keep in mind that you are likely the expert for that project--and your thoughts and ideas are just as valid--if not more so--than everyone else's. Hopefully you'll be interning with a team like jStart where they value that expertise...don't be afraid voice your thoughts..
Justin will be graduating Spring 2015 from Penn State.
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