The Latest Internship Exit Interview at Patriot Software

We recently said goodbye to two very talented interns at Patriot.Recently we said goodbye to a pair of very talented interns here at Patriot, Rebecca Steele and Tim Bagnola. They’re both going off to new companies who were impressed with their experience and credentials. At Patriot Software, we love
hiring young employees. Naturally we are sad to see our young tech talent leave the nest, but we’re proud to have equipped them with real-world skills that other companies find valuable.

We care about what all our employees think of their time at Patriot, and that includes our interns. We don’t see interns as lowly coffee fetchers, but talented contributors that are ready and willing to make an impact under our guidance. Here is what Tim and Rebecca had to say in the internship exit interview about their time with us:

Tim’s internship exit interview:

How has your experience here been?

I love it here, to be perfectly honest. It’s nice being at a tech company in my Canton, Ohio backyard. I’m from here, so this is great.

What have you learned?

I learned a ton here. I learned a lot of web development; Javascript, HTML, and CSS tips. So, that was an awakening. I also never worked in a small company. My last internship was at a big company so working in small, family community was a good experience for me as well.

How were those two experiences different?

I felt more valuable here at Patriot, because I got to make an impact and contribute to a product. In my last internship, the place was so big that my job was essentially just another IT tech. I felt more like a liability than a worker.

[At Patriot] I got to work on a project that allowed our customers to put in their number of employees and see their pricing adjust in real time, like the tool at the top right of Patriot’s payroll software page. That was cool for me because I got to incorporate all the stuff that I’d learned so far. I got to apply my CSS, HTML and coding all in one place. And now people are using it!

Is there anything we could do better?

I don’t think that Patriot could have done anything better. The building is great, the people are great, I had a good place to work, and the work was meaningful. I liked it.

Did you accomplish what you wanted here?

I didn’t have a preconceived notion of what I’d be doing. So I just wanted to learn as much as I could and do great work. I feel like I got a chance to do that. I have something to show future employers that demonstrates what makes me valuable. So, yes.

Patriot felt like that big, senior capstone project that you do at the end of your college track except on a much larger scale, and I get to walk away with proof that I can make an impact with my skillset.

Rebecca’s internship exit interview:

Did you enjoy your time here at Patriot Software?

I did! I learned a lot of things that I know will help me in the future. For example, I learned a lot about how to use Git and Github, which was something I didn’t learn about in college, but had a lot of hands-on time with here.

What do you like about your job here?

Patriot made it possible for me to intern during my last year of school, which I thought was important because then I could take the stuff that I didn’t understand to my professors for clarification.

I think, going forward, having the ability to experience the use of computer science in the real world is valuable. Even just knowing how to act in a business environment is important. I was an intern in other places before I came here and I learned a lot of new stuff.

Can you compare and contrast this internship with your last?

The other place that I interned at was bigger, and I wasn’t specifically a software developer. I worked in the engineering department, and I made programs that made the workflow. I wrote a program that would rename files instead of having to do it all manually. So, clearly it was different from what I was doing here at Patriot, where I was working on parts of a product that real customers interact with.

Would you tell others to intern at Patriot?

I would definitely tell people to do an internship at Patriot because you’ll learn a lot.

I wish I could have spent more time here. I was only here for about 6 hours a week, 3 hours a day for two days a week. My schedule at school made it tough, but I still learned so much.

I got to do a project here in Javascript, and I’d not had any experience in that before I got here. I had someone walk me through it and help me with it. So I got some experience with that language, which is in big demand. That was helpful.

I also learned how to work in paired scenarios. I got paired with one of the senior developers here, and that was also helpful.

Overall takeaway

Large products like payroll and accounting software can be very daunting for fresh grads, so it’s great to have some people here working with you and helping you understand all the complex interactions. You can change something in the software and not know exactly how it will touch or interact with the rest of the system. As I said before, learning how to apply all this, plus the chance to build with Git and Github has been great.

Do you think being an intern has been a valuable experience?

Landing all the experience you can before you graduate is fantastic. There is an ongoing joke about how companies want people with four-year degrees and five years of experience. How do you get all this experience if you’re trying to get the degrees? That said, getting any experience like this before you graduate is super important.

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