By: Kavin Ranawella
When I was looking at options to complete my internship, I heard about this awesome company called Sysco LABS from a friend of mine who was once an intern there. The company had undergone a re-branding following a buyout from the largest food service distribution network in the world, a US based company called ‘Sysco’. It was my dream to work in a multinational company during my internship, therefore, after only a quick internet look up on the company, I decided to join Sysco LABS.
As much as I wanted to be selected, I had my doubts about whether I would be a good fit (as almost every student with no prior industry experience would’ve been), especially because I had no experience with the cutting edge technologies used in the company.
My whole mindset changed during the first week after the warm welcome I received, and the comprehensive introduction to the company and the technologies with the on-boarding session series. Thanks to our supervisors, we continuously receive a lot of opportunities for self development. For instance, we have a bi-weekly Q&A session where all the interns meet and discuss Software development fundamentals. We also get the opportunity to speak in front of the staff on a selected topic under the ‘Intern’s Tech Talks’ series.
I started my internship at a different date from the others, which meant that my route through the program was also slightly different. First, I was given time to read and practice the languages and technologies used; upon completion, I was assigned to work on an ongoing project conducted by the other interns. During this period, I learnt a lot about the life-cycle of a project, project management tools, and concepts like agile.
After the deployment of that project, I was assigned to a team in an actual development environment. This helped me adjust myself to look at the problem in a more practical and logical manner, rather than just developing. It also helped me understand the user’s expectations, rather than focusing purely on delivery.
The working environment is great, with a lot of motivated employees around to work with and draw inspiration from. Minimum distractions and flexible hours make this an even more wonderful place to work in. Every week, there’s an innovation session conducted by the staff, in which they talk about new trends in the IT Industry and cutting edge technologies that may be integrated into the current company workflow. The sessions contribute a lot towards keeping staff updated about the world around them, making it a continuous learning environment.
One of the most beautiful things here is that the company treats its interns as full-time employees. We have the opportunity to take part in each and every event, occasion, and activity that the employees take part in. In fact, I took part in a talent competition called ‘Sysco LABS Got Talent’.
Sysco LABS takes fun seriously and believe in ‘working hard – playing hard’. They even have a ‘Ministry of Fun’, a team dedicated for, well, you-can-guess-it – FUN! Last month, the MOF had organized a Christmas party for the staff, and there were some serious presents as well – such as return air tickets to Singapore.
All in all, I believe this will be one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life.
The Sysco LABS Intern Diaries chronicles the experience of being in an internship program at Sysco LABS and is written by our interns themselves. It will be periodically updated by the interns while they go through this six-month program with us.