Interning at Zulily

Hello, I’m Han. I am from Turkey but moved to the Greater Seattle area 5 years ago. I finished high school in Bellevue, went to Bellevue College, transferred to the University of Washington Computer Science department, and now going into my Senior year. This summer for 3 months, I worked as an intern in Zulily’s Member Engagement Platform (MEP) team. This post is about my internship journey.

This was my first internship, so I came to my first day of work with one goal; learning, but I didn’t know it was going to be something bigger. 

My first month I worked on a Java project in which I would download data from an outside source and use our customer data to map customers to their time-zones. During that time, I learned about AWS services, such as ECS, ECS, Lambda, Route53, Step Function, etc. I learned containerized deployments, created CI/CD and CloudFormation files.  

On my second month, I got into working with the UI. Before my internship, I have never worked on any front-end UI work. But during my second month, I learned how to work on a React app, and use JavaScript. I was working with engineering and Marketing to implement features to the MEP UI.  

Beginning of my third month I was working with our Facebook Messenger bot, implementing features that users were able to use in the Messenger App. I was then working on projects both in front and back-end, I was touching and getting my hands dirty in every part of the stack. I was learning, deploying and helping.  

In the beginning, either my manager or other engineers would assign me tasks. But after 2 months, I was picking up my own. I was picking tasks, working with engineers and marketing, going to design meetings, and helping other engineers.  

Before the start of the internship, my friends and my adviser told me that I should expect to be given one big project that I would work on somewhere in the corner by myself. They also warned me that my project would probably never be deployed or used. But here at Zulily that wasn’t the case at all. I was working with the team, as a part of the team, not as an outsider intern. I was deploying new features every week. Features I can look back at, show others and be proud of. I was coming to work every day with a goal to finish tasks and leaving with the feeling of accomplishment. I felt like I was part of a bigger family. In my team, everyone was helping each other, they were working together in order to succeed together, just like a team, just like a family.  

Now that I’m at the end of my internship, I’m leaving with a lot of accomplishments, a lot more knowledge, and going back to school to finish my last year. In conclusion, I believe interning at Zulily was the perfect internship. I, as an intern, learned about the company, the team, the workflow, the projects. I learned new engineering skills, learned how to work in a different environment with a team, accomplished a lot of tasks and finally contributed to the team and the company in general.