Kunal Haryani Amtrak
I was also able to work in a team that was working towards improving the Amtrak website's accessibility.
Name:  Kunal Haryani
Major:  PM - Software
Employer:  Amtrak
Location:  Washington, DC

How did you find the internship/co-op? What was the interview process like?  I applied for the internship on LinkedIn.  The interview process was straightforward. There was a brief phone screen conducted by HR and a 45-minute interview conducted by the engineering team. The interview panel mainly asked me behavioral questions and a few technical questions about the technologies listed on my resume and the internship posting.

What have been the most interesting aspects of your internship?  I was initially assigned to a team working to automate a particular feature found on the Amtrak website. It was really interesting to see the complete software architecture designed by the principal software engineer and how the code I wrote contributed to the workflow. I was also able to work in a team that was working towards improving the Amtrak website's accessibility. Writing code that improves the experience of people with determination and needs made my internship experience exciting and much more meaningful.

What campus activities or courses do you think helped you, or would have helped you, with this internship?  Prior to this internship assignment, I had no industry experience in professional software engineering. The courses ENPM611, ENPM612, and, ENPM614 helped me get familiar with industry-standard practices and methodologies. I was very excited to see the theory and exercises practiced in class applied in a real-world setting.

How have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this internship experience?  I loved working to create and modify components for the Amtrak website. I am aiming to work as a front-end software engineer after my graduation and this internship experience reinforced my interest in this career path.

What advice would you give other UMD engineering students seeking an internship or co-op position?  I think it is best to start looking for and applying to internships and co-ops as early as possible. It is also important to be persistent and not lose hope during the process.  For technical interviews, it is helpful to know the core technologies/languages for that position, have a few interesting projects on your resume, and have an excellent understanding of data structures and algorithms.  For behavioral interviews, follow the STAR method to answer questions and practice your elevator pitch.