Career Clusters Stories + Advice

Internship Spotlight: Talia Kaplanian ‘22

Talia Kaplanian is a junior Computer Science major who interned this past summer at Red Hat, a multinational software company that provides open source software products to enterprises. Learn more about Talia’s experience as a quality engineering intern below.

Talia Kaplanian, MCAS ’22

How did you find your internship at Red Hat?

I found this role on LinkedIn! I didn’t have any connections at Red Hat so I feel extremely lucky to have gotten the position. I think that my past experience definitely helped me get through the application and interview process!

What was a typical week like for you at your internship?

Typically, I started my week off with stand-up where we got together as a team to quickly run through where we’re at in our work and if there were any blockers. I also met with my mentor to catch up and chat about any concerns I had. Around mid-week I had my 1×1 with my manager where we talked about how the project and internship were going, how the entire team dynamic was going, and what changes we might try to implement for the future. Every week we would have some kind of an intern event as part of the intern program, whether that be trivia, a tech talk, or a training session. One of the interns and I also started an intern hangout for us all to get to know each other and chat every week! Between all of that, I got to work on my project and meet with my team to discuss the product requirements and any issues we were having.

What did you learn about working at a software company that you think would be helpful for other interested students to know?

There are so many different roles in tech beyond traditional software engineering. My advice is to branch out! Seeing other sides of software has taught about the lifecycle of a product, workflow of a team, and everything it takes to build a successful tool. Now that I have experience in QA/QE, I feel better equipped to solve complex problems and grow into a more well-rounded engineer.

What advice do you have for other students who are pursuing remote experiences because of COVID-19?

Don’t be afraid of remote experiences! My internship was entirely remote and although I would have loved to go into the office every morning, I truly feel that I got the full Red Hat experience from the comfort of my own home. The Red Hat culture is so strong that I felt it through the computer and I got to meet interns from all over the world who I wouldn’t have met otherwise!

What was the highlight of your internship experience?

There were so many but two come to my mind right away! Getting to meet all of the interns was such a phenomenal experience and really made my time at Red Hat that much more enjoyable. I also had the opportunity to present my project at DevConf.US! I was so excited to work on that presentation and show everyone what my team and work are all about!

What additional insight, advice, or ideas about your internship experience do you think would be important for your peers to know?

The most important thing that I’ve learned so far is to be at a company that aligns with you and your values. If you don’t connect with the company’s mission or the culture or the people there, then you’re bound to be unhappy. Red Hat was such an incredible experience for me because I believe in open source and feel that it’s going to propel our society forward. The culture of being collaborative and open is so strong at Red Hat and permeates everything in the company. Make sure you love the company as much as they love you!

–Talia Kaplanian ’22, MCAS

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