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My Internship Experience at Intuit India

Having interned at Intuit for 10 weeks, I've got multiple things to share about my Internship experience. And NO, this is not going to be a technical blog post that documents my internship "work". Rather, it's about almost everything except that.

Here is Athitya Kumar in first-person.

DAY1: INTRODUCTION

Our group of 10 interns, were the first batch of interns to start the Summer Internship on 7th May 2018. We were provided with a temporary accommodation at Nagarjuna Suites for 1 week.

We had an all-day orientation session on 7th May 2018. This included a complete tour around the building, security measures, sessions from various other teams and IT induction among other things. We were then taken to lunch by our respective buddies (ie, mentor) and also got shown our cubicles. But more about that, in the next section.

By the end of the day, we had really received a LOT of information from the onboarding sessions - more than what we could comprehend. Well, that's what we felt on the 1st day. Looking back at it now, I think it's actually pretty easy to cope-up with so much information: just give yourself a week!

And oh, the best part about day 1. We got a LOT of things to take back to our hotel rooms:

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- Badge
- Locker key (yes, there's a locker for each cubicle)
- Bag
- Apple MacBook Pro (with slider)
- USB Mouse
- 2 x chargers
- A couple of port converters (like, HDMI-to-USB)
- Headphone

Clearly, the heavy influx of information given in the onboarding sessions didn't make it to that list.

GOODIES AND WORKSPACEG

I interned with the Pro-Connect Group (PCG) and sat with the rest of the team on the 4th floor. The workspace is pretty awesome, as you can see from the picture below. Oh, also - Intuit loves giving goodies coupled with surprise.

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- Bag
- Bottle
- T-shirt
- Cap
- Rope Bag
- Hand-band

THE CASE OF THE MYSTERIOUS HAND-BAND

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25th May was supposed to be just another day, but clearly, it wasn't normal. I came to my cubicle after having breakfast, to find a mysterious hand-band (along with the bottle) lying on my table. It's just a normal hand-band like the ones people usually wear, am I right?

NOPE. Plot-twist. It rather turned out to be a USB phone charging cable, disguised as a hand-band to deceive unsuspecting interns. It turned out to be a hot topic of discussion for about an hour or two, amongst the interns.

INTERNSHIP PROJECT

My internship project was a stand-alone one, that would be pluggable into one of the existing products of our group. As a result, I got to work with fairly modern tech stack: mostly JavaScript, nodeJS and web-sockets. In fact, the project turned out to be pretty generic, that we're now pushing to open-source it.

This definitely wouldn't have been so easy and seamless, if it weren't for my teammates (Shashank and Pavithra) who guided me closely through the project. And of course, a huge token of thanks to Peter (Architect) and Raghu (Manager) for assigning me this interesting project in the first place!

TEAM ACTIVITIES

INNOVATION WEEK

The very 2nd week of my internship turned out to coincide with the "Innovation week" of our group. This is basically a week where anyone can solely concentrate and work on a specific innovative idea. I teamed up with Venkatesh (an FTE) to build a blockchain application that would make consent verification more secure and fraud detection easier. It was a great feeling when I came to know that our project had gotten selected to be presented to the senior leadership of our group.

In fact, when Cece Morken (EVP & GM, PCG) visited our group on 21st June, Venkatesh and I were able to demo our innovation week project and my internship project respectively. For some reason, our desktops started to go crazy (loose HDMI cables maybe?) - right when it's cooperation was required the most. But, we were luckily able to counter it with some on-the-spot humour and it all turned out well.

Team Outing #1 at Serai Resorts

The whole PCG team went out for an outing at Serai resorts on 1st & 2nd June. In short, we played Dumb-Charades, Mafia, Swimming / Water Polo and a couple of indoor games.

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Team Outing #2 at Something's cooking

As a part of a team-bonding activity, we went to the "Something's cooking" outlet at Koramangala on 2nd July. The ambience there was pretty much like MasterChef, and we split into 2 teams to prepare veg & non-veg Italian dishes.

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Well, I made a couple of my team members (Srikanth, Kusum and Namrata) cry by peeling onion. And of course, we all unit-tested the (tasty) brownie we had prepared - until it almost got over before being served.

AND THE NUMEROUS EAT-OUTS

The food here was really a welcome relief to people like me, who had survived on eating years of hostel food. But by the 2nd month, the food flare kinda started getting saturated. So, we had to eat outside at least once a week, just to break the monotony.

Thanks for all the free food - Srikanth, Sharath, Naveen, Divakar, Noorul and literally almost the entire team. Perks of being an intern, am I right?

INTERNS DAY OUT AT DISCOVERY VILLAGE RESORT

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On 15th June, we (interns) went on an outing to Discovery Village Resort. Here, we had a couple of team building activities, rope climbing, paintball and indoor games. In between, we were also able to fit in Dumb-Charades and Mafia before starting to disperse by the evening.

INTERNS HACKATHON

This overnight hackathon was held on 21st & 22nd June, wherein interns grouped into teams of 2/3/4. My team worked on a recommendation system, and the other teams worked on a very diverse range of fields: Alexa integration, Tweet classification, NFC tap-based application, Face unlocking for websites, etc.

And of course, the creativity of the interns was reflected by the very project names. Basically, they were all puns. There's a product called Mint, and all Mint-related projects were named as Mintor, MintCentives, ProxiMinty, etc.

Well, we're all Mintelligent and Mintastic Minterns. Okay, sorry - the Mint puns are never going to stop.

MEETING WITH LEADERS

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We got to meet Intuit India's SVP (Vijay Anand) and VP (Sanket Atal) over an interactive session on 19th June, where they shared their life stories and we discussed our journey with Intuit so far. A week later, we had lunch with a couple of experienced leaders - where they shared their journey so far and we talked about what we're working on.

PRODUCT MASH-UPS

Product mash-ups happened as individual sessions for each product (Mint, QuickBooks and TurboTax), wherein the managers met with all the interns. Such mash-ups consisted of both: presentation and a hands-on session, so that we could try out the demo product.

FINAL REVIEW & GALLERY WALK

With the internship tenure coming to an end, we had a final review wherein 1/2 reviewer(s) is/are called from a different group to evaluate our work. With 15 minutes to present and demo, this was more of a collaborative session where the reviewer also understood what's going on with the project and how it could probably be used and be improved.

But, what's the fun in demonstrating your 2 months of work to just 1/2 reviewer(s)? That's why we had something known as a "Gallery Walk", where you set a "stall" for your project and demo it to the FTEs who come during lunch.

Well, it wasn't just the FTEs who came to the stalls. As the gallery walk happened in batches, the rest of the interns would also come and ask the current batch of gallery walk interns to present their project. And listen intently, while also simultaneously maintaining a poker face the whole time.

CONCLUSION

Overall, the span of 10 weeks spent interning at Intuit was really fun and enjoyable. This definitely wouldn't be possible if it weren't for all the awesome people around: PCG team members and the fellow interns.

Last but definitely NOT the least, the connecting piece - the HR folks (Naina, Zubin, Blossom and Leena) - thanks a lot for organizing a lot of events for the interns and keeping us all as engaged as possible.

Thanks again!

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