My internship at Square starts on July 6th, and I arrived at San Francisco on July 4th(!!)
Other interns start around May-June, and I’m the last incoming summer intern. Why am I so late? Well, to be an international intern at the United States of America, you need to be at least 18 years old, and I was born on June 26th, 1997. My internship almost got canceled because of my age, but my awesome recruiter, Veronica, devised a plan for a later start date exclusively for me just as I was about to bury my dream :’) I sent her a big thanks email on the last day of my internship, sadly we never did talk in person 😦
So, let’s start from the beginning! I traveled to San Francisco with Emirates Airlines, with a transit in Dubai. The flights were 8 hours and 16 hours long. Even though Emirates is a really nice airline, I wouldn’t recommend anybody from Indonesia taking this route. It was EXHAUSTING! But it was kind of a cool experience too, because the plane route passes North Pole. So you can brag to your friends about being on top of the world (?)
When I arrived, I was picked up by Zaky, Irvin, Cakra, and Tri! (terus dibilangin anak manja :v) Because it’s 4th of July, we decided to go see the fireworks at Pier 39. That was a bad move because I barely slept on my flight :))
It was summertime in San Francisco, but it was really cold. For reference, the average daily temperature around the hottest time of the day was 16 degrees Celcius. Naturally it is way colder at night, so we were freezing cold and wrapped up in our hoodies. Cakra bought a blanket.
A famous quote I got from Tri:
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
– Oscar Wilde
The temperature remains the same most of the summer but got better around the start of autumn. Weird, right?
The next day, I started preparing to fast for Ramadhan. I went to a nearby Safeway to buy groceries. I mostly avoid meat-based products because I can’t be sure if they’re Halal or not. I ended up buying fruits, microwaveable rice, mac and cheese, and lots of milk. I brought corned beef, sausage, Indomie, condiments and other stuff from Indonesia so I’m pretty much covered 😉
After that, we have: Orientation! I arrived at Square a little early and was greeted by the simple feel of the office. I was the only intern on orientation so I didn’t really socialize much. There are two other engineers that day and they were nice 🙂
Did I mention that my commute to work was awesome? San Francisco has a lot of steep roads, so commuting by the light rail train somehow feels like going on a roller coaster (literally). The view that I got everyday is amazing!
That day I was given Square swags (bags, books chosen by Jack Dorsey, the Square reader, notebooks) and my work laptop: a 15″ Macbook Pro. It was my first time using an Apple product :’)
I also met Yunjing, my mentor for the next three months, and Abhay, my manager! They’re both really nice people. Yunjing even helped me talk to HR to find other people at Square who also fasts during Ramadhan (couldn’t find any, though :P)
After orientation ends the next few days, I got to work! Yunjing and I set up my work environment, and I got my very first task: a very easy bugfix 😛 I fixed it that day, and it was live on production within a few hours 😀
Pretty awesome when interns ship code to production on day three. Would be day one if it wasn’t for orientation. Good job, @rakinazata!
— Abhay Kumar (@abhay) July 8, 2015
That day, there was a team outing for engineers. The engineers in our team went to a Go-Kart place and raced there. I was almost in the last place if not for Brian, another intern from Texas, who drives really carefully 😛 I also indirectly caused a crash between two engineers, Harris and James. Thankfully all goes well and nobody’s harmed but that day I deemed myself as not destined to be a Go-Kart racer 😦
The weekend after that, I got to hang out with other Square interns 😀 We went on a trip to Angel Island, an island formerly used to place immigrants (?) It was a hiking trip, and thankfully I wasn’t fasting that day. I immediately realized that I’m really out of shape and made the others rest a lot, LOL. Sorry guys 😛 I gained new friends that day and got a little less shy (?) to talk to people. Special thanks to Nupur, Tim, Paul, and Raymond who are really nice to me :’)
The other interns come from a lot of different schools, such as MIT, UT Austin, Stanford, Cal Poly, UWaterloo etc. I found out that day that I’m the only intern from outside of USA & Canada. I was quite shocked and grateful at the same time. Square was really awesome for having me as their intern!
As this post is long enough now, I’ll end it here and continue my story on another post. Thanks for reading! 🙂