Meet the Nerdlings, NerdWallet Interns
This article was written by Kirsten Armstrong of the People Ops team at NerdWallet.
Each summer, NerdWallet welcomes “Nerdlings,” interns from across the country who join us for hands-on experience and career preparation. During their internships, our Nerdlings become full members of the NerdWallet community, bringing new ideas and perspectives to our work. In return, we are committed to providing them with the space and resources for self-discovery and professional growth, while ensuring that they all have a positive Nerdy experience.
This year we were joined by seven Nerdlings. They were each placed into teams based on their goals for the summer – what they most wanted to learn, how they wanted to develop – and within those teams they were matched with a mentor and two. cultural friends to help them live their experience. .
In addition to working with their teams, all Nerdlings participate in a number of special programs, ranging from professional development workshops to introductions to different areas of NerdWallet’s business. For example, this year they attended seminars on tech presentations and blogging, while our VP of Product and VP of Design shared deep dives into the work of their teams.
Our hope is that all Nerdlings end the summer feeling prepared for future career opportunities and with a comprehensive understanding of how NerdWallet works. To make sure they get the most out of their internships, we work with their managers to set clear expectations early on and provide them with regular feedback on their work. Feedback is essential to relentless self-improvement, one of NerdWallet’s Five Core Values, which we know will serve our Nerdlings long after their stint with us.
This is not all work! Just as the NerdWallet teams plan outdoor venues to celebrate accomplishments and get to know each other better, our Nerdlings also enjoy activities like Escape Rooms and outings to SF Giants games. They also have the chance to meet one-on-one with our Founder and CEO, Tim Chen, who is always interested in hearing the Nerdlings talk about their experience.
The summer ends with a special farewell event, where the Nerdlings present the final projects in a science fair-like setting to the rest of the company. These projects aren’t just for the show: our interns all work on meaningful projects in support of our mission to clarify all of life’s financial decisions.
You can meet some of our 2019 Nerdlings and learn more about their experience below. Interested in joining NerdWallet for a summer? We are hiring interns for the summer, fall and winter seasons and you can find more information here.
Annie Nguyen, University of California, Berkeley
Nerdy fun fact: One summer I lived on a farm in Hawaii.
NerdWallet Intern Experience: I was an intern in the loans team, which deals with everything related to mortgages, personal loans and student loans. My project was the onboarding flow where users entered their data, goals, and mortgage quotes so they could get personalized quotes or compare offers when buying a home or refinancing a loan. mortgage.
Your biggest takeaways or learning meals: My project was the first step towards a cohesive on-site integration flow, so I learned a lot by working with other engineers. I participated in many discussions to make sure that my code would lead to greater efficiency to iterate, evolve and persist.
Favorite Nerd Souvenir: My favorite Nerd Memory is the Pride Happy Hour where I got to see the VP of Engineering and two other VPs competing against each other in lip-sync.
David Margolin, University of the City of New York – Hunter College
Nerdy fun fact: When I was younger my dream job was a fire truck (yes, the vehicle).
NerdWallet Intern Experience: This summer, I had the pleasure of joining the Frontend Infrastructure team at NerdWallet, where we develop tools and set standards for enterprise-wide frontend application development. My project was a Google Docs based website builder that connects directly to our documentation portal. This removes the developers from the lengthy process of updating documentation, encouraging designers to act faster and thus increasing the adoption / iteration of the design for our front-end applications. As a Nerdling, I got to meet many amazing Nerds, attend corporate events, and learn a lot about personal finance. There were workshops, happy hours, technical discussions and weekly events for interns. All of this plus the recurring 1: 1s with my manager, mentor, cultural buddies and recruiter meant that my schedule was always full of opportunities to enjoy, learn and grow from an incredibly rewarding internship experience. .
Your biggest takeaways or learning meals: I think my best asset is learning how to work with other people / teams effectively. When a project involves more than the engineers on my team, there is a lot more need for better planning and organization. I learned how to size the individual components of a project and organize them so that I have work to complete while waiting for another component elsewhere. I improved to work more efficiently.
Favorite Nerd Souvenir: My favorite memory was discussing my project at a NerdWallet engineering tech conference. I have never been comfortable with public speaking, and it was a good opportunity to challenge myself without any risk. I spoke too fast and delved into some of my talking points, but I went through it and learned a lot about how I can improve myself. It was a necessary evil that will help me make a better presentation next time.
Ming Horn, Mills College
Nerdy fun fact: I have a black belt at Kuk Sool Won.
NerdWallet Intern Experience: I worked on Mobile Core this summer working mainly with Apollo GraphQL. I wrote a GraphQL schema for identity profiles and did some client side work integrating queries and mutations. I also worked on building an internal development tool to make working with GraphQL easier for developers. GraphQL is useful because the client side doesn’t need to know how the data is organized in the backend. If a data source changes, the client does not need to change, and the request for that data should only change in the GraphQL schema rather than anywhere it is fetched on the client side.
Being a Nerdling was great, my team were very supportive and willing to answer any questions I had. I liked being able to come up with my own projects, like building devtooling. Besides working there were so many fun activities and I always felt welcome!
Your biggest takeaways or learning meals: Asking lots of questions early on is the best way to progress quickly. Plus, you have the power to make your experience enjoyable and no one will blame you for asking questions about something that interests you!
Favorite Nerd Souvenir: Definitely see the VP of Engineering in drag.
Daniel Mao, University of California, Berkeley
Nerdy fun fact: I am browsing r / battlestations on reddit for ideas for nerdy desktop setups.
NerdWallet Intern Experience: For 12 rewarding weeks, I had the opportunity to work with the Content Platform team at NerdWallet using React at scale to help bridge the gap in our migration from PHP to Structured Content and React. My project was to work with RSS and structured content, in particular maintaining the syndication capabilities of NerdWallet by ensuring the RSS feeds render correctly in our new technology stack. The impact of this project included removing the overhead of the PHP rendering interface inherited from NerdWallet, which is essential for future component support and crucial for maintaining NerdWallet’s syndication capabilities via RSS feeds.
Your biggest takeaways or learning meals: Having a great team that cares about your development is invaluable.
Your favorite Nerd memory: Happy themed hours!
Ilona Bodnar, University of Southern California
Nerdy fun fact: I attended the White House Tech Jam in 2015 under the Obama administration!
NerdWallet Intern Experience: I worked in the Product Platform team this summer, using Python and React to build APIs and pages so engineers and product managers can better manage all of the products and offerings that NerdWallet has (and always has had ) for our users. It was great to be able to work on a project that has a strong impact on the different stakeholders of the company, and I really appreciated the opportunity to get involved in a fullstack project. I’ve also had the opportunity to pick up on some fun little tasks along the way, like redesigning the way we do our API documentation and fixing random bugs in our internal systems, and enjoyed the variety of things I had to do during my summer here. Being a Nerdling outside of work was also a lot of fun; the other interns were very down to earth, and we were able to participate in events like our annual Pride Happy Hour (where people in our C-suite dressed thanks to donations to LGBTQ + organizations!) and worked to help the community around us through a volunteer event at St. Anthony’s in the Tenderloin. I highly value companies and employees who are aware of their environment and communities in addition to their technical work, and I feel like I found that here at NerdWallet.
Your biggest takeaways or learning meals: My biggest takeaways are that people are more willing to answer questions than you might think; running and testing your code locally with many different input types means less work down the road; and naming variables is always a fun time in reviewing code: P. It is also very helpful to take good notes while people talk to you or explain very detailed processes to you, so that you can remember what you are doing. ‘they said later and better understand the systems you interact with.
Your favorite Nerd memory: My favorite nerd memory was having the opportunity to volunteer at St. Anthony’s. I really enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community and to better understand the economy and the people of San Francisco.
Top photo: NerdWallet Trainee Summer Course, 2019.