I had an 11-week summer internship at C3 after my first year at Carnegie Mellon University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering program. This was an experience of a lifetime. There were three things that I valued the most during my internship: inspiring tasks, talented people, and an amazing environment.
C3 cares about the growth of every intern. Each intern has a 1-to-1 mentor who sits beside you and guides you through everything. I had a 30-minute meeting with my mentor every day. We talked about what I learned, what confused me, and what I was curious about. Those were the most enjoyable moments for me each day.
Each C3 internship is tailored for interns to understand and work on the C3 AI Suite. Because I was on the applications engineering team, in the first two weeks, I took an online C3 course that covers everything you should know about C3 AI Suite. This was a great way for me to get familiar with and understand how the C3 AI Suite works, as well as learn how to build end-to-end AI and IoT applications. For the next two weeks, I worked on support tickets related to bug fixes and feature improvement. I learned Jira, Git Flow, and how to follow the coding style guidelines. These were precious experiences for me to understand what standard industry workflow looks like.
Every C3 intern is given a meaningful project to work on. Mine was to split up the big Data Management application into four smaller independent applications, the impact of which is multifold. For engineers, it means the code is now easier to maintain. For services, it reduces the time spent in running tests. For products, it means we can demo and sell smaller modules to customers. Before my project was complete, the average test time was around 6 hours. Now, it only takes 1.5 hours for each small application. Overall, it felt immensely satisfying to see my work making an impact on the company and our customers. It is like leaving my footprints at C3.
Lastly, I learned what it's like to be a developer at a startup, where everything's fast-paced. For example, during my first weeks, I was constantly dealing with merge conflicts because other developers were also changing the same files, and I struggled to merge my code quickly. However, I grew more proficient with Git, so things got easier as my internship progressed.
C3 hires the best talent from all over the world. The application team has a diverse set of people from countries such as Mexico, China, United Kingdom, France, Italy, India, Iran, Israel, etc. I found it so exciting to work with graduates from top universities and experts in diverse areas. I had complete freedom to come up with my own strategy for my internship project and this gave me a sense of ownership, but whenever needed, I always received helpful advice. I even had a chance to discuss some of my designs for the project with our application architect directly, which is a rare opportunity for a new grad like me.
Even though all my co-workers have an impressive background and abundant experience, I didn’t sense any kind of hierarchy at C3. This is the best atmosphere for people to focus on cutting-edge work.
I also appreciated how my C3 co-workers care about each other. As a foreigner in the US for only one year, I sometimes cannot understand others or express my ideas correctly. However, they were always patient with me, encouraged me to share my point of view, and corrected my grammar mistakes kindly. My fluency in English has vastly improved as a result of my internship.
The C3 office has the best environment I can ever imagine for an engineer. You’ll feel it when you see it. It offers everything you need for a healthy workday.
For starters, the office is located on the San Francisco Bay. Whenever you walk to a C3 balcony to take a break, you can view the beautiful water surrounding the office and green grasses with wandering ducks while enjoying the warm breeze. Inside the office, there are real plants as tall as the office itself! If you happen to stay in the office at night (such as for a hackathon), you’ll see colorful lights on the plants to help them grow.
An added bonus: C3 has the best kitchen I've ever experienced. During my internship, I would look forward to a solid breakfast. Lunch is different every day and includes cuisines from various countries such as China, Mexico, Italy, and more. Coffee, fresh fruits and plenty of healthy snacks are also available for those who are fitness conscious. There is a great gym open to all employees. You can choose your favorite way to work out there to help you relax from a day’s work.
C3 gave me more than I can imagine. I’m so grateful for what I had here and hope you could get the chance to experience it too!