Stigmas attached to internships usually involve coffee runs and mindless data entry. My experience this summer was anything but mindless. LeafTech went above and beyond to make my internship with them this summer amazing. My name is Sheldon Ray, and I was the first-ever LeafTech intern. I currently live in Boulder Colorado, during the school year I attend the University of Colorado Boulder. When I entered college I wanted to be an electrical engineer. However, I found I had no passion for the work, and the concepts were not interesting to me. Late into my first semester of college, I saw my hallmate doing his computer science homework and I was amazed how engaging and complex it was. I loved watching him do his homework so much that I forgot to do my own. The next semester I took the introductory computer science course and fell in love. I no longer dread my school work. Rather, I look forward to doing my homework, and see it as a mental challenge.
So why did I spend my entire summer interning at LeafTech? To be brief, there are many areas in the field of computer science to discover. There are specialists in Network, Servers, Backend Software, Frontend Software, Integration Software, Hardware, and more. At LeafTech I was able to learn and be involved in many of those areas. Having experience in a large breadth of computer science will help with narrowing down my career field of choice. LeafTech offered the perfect opportunity to see many different areas of computer science. With LeafTech working in so many areas of technical support, there was no concept of a normal day. Every day I would wake up around 4:50 am and drive to LeafTech HQ. The office space was nice enough to have a gym, so when I got to work around 5:50-6:00 I would get a quick workout in. Then I started my day around 7 with enough coffee to kill a grown horse and passed on my morning greetings to the entirety of the staff. Once my day had started I could be doing anything. For example, I developed backup scripts, took down client servers, installed servers for clients, installed Cat5E cabling, updated wireless access point firmware, wrote a blog, and plenty more. Inevitably my day concluded with some goodbyes around 4PM.
Interning at LeafTech has been an incredibly enjoyable and beneficial experience. The employees at LeafTech are extraordinarily friendly, kind, and respectful. Not once in my 3 months here did I feel demeaned or disrespected. I found that I fit in very well with the staff. Everyone at LeafTech has a little bit of nerd within and that helped me fit in further. My experience with this company was amazing and will be incredibly valuable for my career. Not only has LeafTech taught me how to be a part of their business, but they also taught me how to not give up and think outside the box.
The team wanted me to succeed and was always throwing me into the heart of projects. These were projects where I was working directly with clients, developing software, and replacing computer hardware. Engaging with clients and working with a real business was an outstanding work experience. The experience gained at LeafTech was more than I could have asked for from an internship or even university. LeafTech has been a marvelous stepping stone for my life long career in computer science.
“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”
Written by Sheldon Ray