By: Isuranga Perera
Like all my fellow batchmates, from the first day I set foot into university, I was eagerly looking forward to our industry placement. After going through a tough interview at Sysco Labs, I finally achieved the impossible and was selected. I was also delighted to discover that three other fellow batchmates had received the opportunity to join Sysco Labs and would be sharing this experience with me..
The first week of our internship was mostly about familiarizing ourselves with the company culture, the CAKE ecosystem, and the people behind the success of the company. We were given introductory sessions on the company, the technologies and products, as well as the teams. Later on in the week, representatives from various tech teams including Platform and CAKE Reports, gave us a high-level idea of the CAKE ecosystem. These introductory sessions provided a better understanding of the company and what it actually does, including the high-end technologies that Syco Labs uses to build their products. The Sysco Labs that I learnt about is a lot different from the one I’d originally anticipated – its adoption of new technologies meant that it is a perfect place for a newbie to learn about emerging tech in the IT industry.
In the ensuing weeks, our senior supervisor communicated our internship plan for the next few months, including his expectations for us. Since we were about to work with technologies which some of us were not too familiar with, he provided us with study materials and some time to learn about them, before we moved into our first development project. We were also assigned our immediate supervisor who was incredibly supportive and friendly. He helped us with our first project where we were asked to develop an app that would fetch tweets related to a particular restaurant, when given the restaurant name, and helped us deploy it. It was also an excellent learning experience to work with different teams – a setting you can only encounter in an actual workplace.
One of the coolest things at Sysco Labs is the Thursday treat and the Innovation Sessions. At these weekly meetups, senior staff members share their expertise, experience and vision, giving us an unique opportunity to learn about many new technical areas as well as their practical applications. In addition to this, our senior supervisor lined up an Intern Tech Talk series where we receive an opportunity to brush up our soft skills by conducting a presentation on a given topic, research the facts and present it to an audience.
Life at Sysco Labs is not all about work; there are many activities that allow us to take a break from our busy work environments. The Ministry of Fun (MOF) is one such organization dedicated to making life at Sysco LABS more fun! Some of the activities organised by MOF are competitive and involve four tribes: Einstein, Newton, Maxwell and Galileo. During the first week of our internship, we were allocated into tribes and introduced to other tribe members through slack – our internal communication channel. I was assigned to Einstein which currently leads with the highest number of points.
During the first month of our internship, the MOF organised Endurance 2k17, similar to the sports meets we had back in school, but more fun. It was an inter-tribe event and as Einsteiners, we needed to maintain our lead. As a result, all tribe members including myself, worked towards a common goal – to win the tournament – and for me, it was an excellent opportunity to work with other tribe members.
The first month of our internship ended with lots of new experiences that helped further our development, both in terms of technical knowledge and soft skills. We step into the next month hoping it will be more challenging and will provide us with more pleasant memories and learning opportunities.
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.