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Summer 2016: In the Words of Our Interns

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As summer (sadly) comes to an end, we caught up with our Sonoma interns (Amanda, Josiah, and Paul) to discuss their thoughts on the summer, their experience at Sonoma, and how they’ve enjoyed #sonomanlife. Here’s what they had to say:

What has been your favorite part of #sonomanlife?

Amanda: For me, it is the work culture. Everyone here is so friendly and laid back, and the environment is easy going and relaxed.

Amanda

Josiah: My favorite part has been the support I’ve found. I truly feel that my coworkers have my back. Everyone is willing to offer support, and I have no reservations in asking questions because I know they will be willing to help out. I also love the casual atmosphere – I can wear what I’m most comfortable in and that just further allows me to do my best work.

Josiah

What did you expect coming into your internship at Sonoma, and how did that compare to what it was really like to work here?

Paul: Coming into this role, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard a lot about the culture, but I didn’t really know what that meant. But immediately, I felt a relaxed atmosphere. I feel trusted and respected by those I work with, and there is a freedom to operate autonomously because of that. Plus, all the food in the kitchen was a very pleasant surprise!

Paul

Josiah: This has been my first internship working full-time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect either. What surprises me the most in this experience is that I truly enjoy coming into work. There is never a day when I dread coming in. I find myself incredibly passionate about the work, too. I am able to make a real impact for our clients and the project managers I work with. It has been highly rewarding.

Amanda: This is my first internship as well, and I actually turned down another opportunity at a bigger company to come work here for the summer. At the other opportunity, I felt as if they were trying to make work such a comfortable environment that you wouldn’t want to/be able to leave. Instead, Sonoma offers plenty of luxuries around the office, but they respect a work/life balance. Plus, no one here is breathing down your neck to get your work done. They trust that you’ll do your best, and that you’ll speak up when you have questions. If we set fire to something, they trust that we’ll tell them before the building burns down.

Complete this sentence: You would be a good Sonoma intern if you ___________ .

Amanda: Take yourself seriously. If you’re not driven or self-motivated, it’s going to be hard for you to stay focused. Don’t be afraid to be wrong either. There’s no way you can be right all the time.

Josiah: Take initiative. You can’t just sit around and wait for something to be assigned to you directly. There’s always stuff you can be working on. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for more.

Paul: Are a fast and good learner. I came into this internship not knowing many of the development languages we would be using, but I found with Sonoma’s direction, it was really easy to pick up on everything. Stay adaptable and open-minded, and you’ll be just fine.

What did you find to be the most challenging part about being an intern at Sonoma?

Amanda: Getting acclimated to a working environment where you can ask questions. No one looks down on you here for speaking up, but embracing that was a bit challenging at first. There’s a tendency to want to just push through a problem on your own, but know that there are plenty of people willing to lend a hand.

Josiah: For me, it was learning to manage expectations. It’s very easy to want to answer “yes” whenever someone asks, “Is that thing I asked for done?” I learned quickly that it’s far better to own up to a problem and be honest if something is taking longer than expected than mislead people. This is a skill I’ve learned well here and will absolutely take with me.

What is your favorite memory of your internship?

Amanda: Laser tag at the Sonoma Summer Outing! It was so fun to see people come out of their shells and play.

Josiah: The Intern Outing at the Escape Room. We had to problem solve in a set amount of time as a team before the zombie ate us – we had such a great time. And 2 minutes away from record-setting time!

Paul: Whirlyball at the Sonoma Summer Outing was my favorite. It was really fun to be on a team with people who I hadn’t gotten a chance to work with yet.

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Topics: Careers at Sonoma