By: Rashindrie Perera
Like all undergraduates, my batchmates and I were eagerly awaiting our turn to go out into the industry and experience what it feels like to work as a part of a corporate team in the wild. Little did we know that we were signing up for a rollercoaster ride. The first two months of my internship are undoubtedly unique; they flew by so fast leaving me with experiences and learnings I will cherish for a long time. I would like to take this opportunity to pen my experiences as a Software Engineering Intern at Sysco LABS so that anyone who comes across this article can get a sense of how I felt during the past two months.
From the moment I first stepped into Sysco LABS (then known as CAKE LABS) I had the privilege of experiencing the unique positive ambience that the company maintains along with the friendliness of the staff members. The first week mainly consisted of us familiarizing ourselves with the staff and the company premises. Various introductory sessions were carried out in order to introduce us to the activities and clubs that are active within the company. This was followed by briefing sessions on the technologies and teams within the company. All the teams eagerly presented their roles and responsibilities within the company and provided us with a high level idea on how they work within their teams.
Our senior supervisor gave us a quick briefing on what tasks he had lined up for us. Since we were not familiar with some of the technologies used during development, we were given time to learn and familiarise ourselves with them before moving on to the first development task. During development, I observed that the staff members were very helpful with any questions we had pertaining to work. They were ready to give feedback and solutions whenever we reached out to them. Our immediate supervisors were always checking up on us and ensuring that we were having a smooth learning experience. It was during this time that the company organized a religious ceremony to commemorate the rebranding and the opening of the new office premises. All four of us participated in the overnight pirith ceremony and had the opportunity to meet some of the staff members who were working on other teams. During our work hours, whenever we needed a break, we went up to the cafe to play carrom or table tennis. Although none of us were pros in either game, we enjoyed and laughed away while playing and had a great time.
At Sysco, we have a Ministry of Fun which organizes fun and interesting events for employees. Some of the events at the company are competitive and inter-tribe. A tribe is similar to a house or a team at school. There are four tribes – Einstein, Newton, Maxwell, and Galileo. The interns were all divided into tribes and were introduced to other tribe members through the slack channel. After some time, we learnt that our first inter-tribe event was going to be a sports meet. Although I personally am not a sporty person, I decided to participate in some of the events mainly because I knew it will be fun to work with the other tribe members. As of the time of writing this, the sports meet is yet to be held and we are busy practicing for our respective events.
And for the sweet-toothed, the treats handed out at Sysco is a must to be mentioned. Life is not all work at Sysco. We work hard and play hard, while regularly being treated with snacks. One such occasion was on World Chocolate day which was celebrated with an all-you-can-eat chocolate fountain along with strawberries and marshmallows. The treats remind me of our merchant visit during which we were again given the chance to order and have whatever we liked. In addition to these, the whole floor gets together sometimes and orders something extra on days we have a craving for a snack.
Along with the development work carried out, another weekly session we look forward to is the Thursday innovation session. During these sessions, we get the chance to listen to senior staff members exchanging their knowledge, ideas and visions, in addition to the treat handed out prior to it. Similar to the Thursday innovation session, our supervisor has lined up an intern tech talk series where each intern will get the chance to conduct a presentation on a given topic. The aim of the tech talk sessions is so that along with learning the technical side of being a part of a software company, the interns also get the chance to brush up their soft skills.
I decided to make use of yet another opportunity available at Sysco Labs and joined the Toastmasters club at Sysco Labs with the hope of brushing up my skills in public speaking. They warmly welcomed me and are helping me improve myself. I really enjoy the Toastmasters meetings as they give me the chance to meet and learn about other staff members in the company.
With all these exciting activities on the go, our second month at internship marked its end, surprising us all on how fast time flies. We are all eagerly waiting to work on our assigned tasks and have a positive learning experience, all while having more fun with our colleagues.
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.