By: Hunter Clark, Intern
Back in the spring, when I was busy with all of my classes and extracurriculars, as any normal college student is, I mentioned to my friend that I was looking to stay in New Orleans for the summer.
“I heard about this cool New Orleans tech company called Lucid when I was at New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week, and they mentioned that they have summer internships. You should definitely apply!”
I had no idea New Orleans was home to any tech startups, let alone one that had doubled in size the last three years, and had over two hundred employees spread out across three different continents. I found the Lucid careers page and applied for the Community Engagement Intern position, one of four different Summer Internships positions.
Shortly after submitting my application, a member of the Lucid People team reached out to me to schedule a phone screen, which was followed by an in-office interview with the rest of the team. I showed up to Lucid HQ in downtown New Orleans and was greeted at the front desk by the always welcoming, Raquel. After nervously stammering my way through three interviews, and waiting a few days to hear back, I was excited to learn I had been offered the Community Engagement Intern position.
Fast forward a few months, through exams and a bit of travelling, my first day as a Lucid Intern finally came. Our day began with a tour of the office where my eyes scanned an open workspace with glass walls, a portable putting green, and our own standing desks where we found a wide variety of Lucid swag. After finishing the first week of orientation trainings and information sessions, I started to feel acclimated to the office as well as the Lucid community, and found myself getting into a bit of a rhythm.
8:10 am – I stand waiting at my streetcar stop, podcast blaring through my headphones, as I slowly melt into a puddle in the New Orleans summer humidity.
9:00 am –I ride the streetcar until the Canal Street stop, where I hop out and walk the remaining few blocks to my desk. When I sit down, I open my email and Slack to catch up on what has happened inside and out of the office since closing my computer the day before. I then head to the kitchen to grab some fruit, cereal, and my first of many cups of coffee of the day.
9:30 am – One of the first tasks I was given when I arrived at Lucid was to create a draft of a Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap, which would be a guide for the company’s diversity initiatives for the foreseeable future. I open up the Diversity and Inclusion powerpoint and draft my talking points for a presentation my manager, Chelsea, and I are giving to the company in a few days.
10:30 am – It’s Thursday, which means it is time for our weekly company-wide All Hands meeting, where our CEO Patrick Comer gives an update on the company’s progress and discusses any current challenges we are facing. I grab my second cup of coffee and grab a spot for the meeting.
10:55 am – I make my third cup of coffee ( I’ve been told I have a coffee problem, but that’s just nonsense)
11:00 am – I meet up with Chelsea in Zulu (all of our conference rooms are named after Mardi Gras Krewes) to have our weekly one on one. I show her the updated version of our presentation and she asks about the status of the service days I’m planning. We also discuss the idea of me writing a blog post about what it is like to be an intern at Lucid.
12:00 pm – I head to our Bacchus conference room for a lunch and learn with the Product team. Over the course of the summer the Intern class has one lunch a week (yes, delicious wraps are provided) with different business units to get to know people outside of our own teams and gain a better understanding of the inner workings of Lucid.
1:00 pm – I set to work on in Power BI (Microsoft’s interactive data analytics service) that I am using to make reporting and analyzing applicant and employee data and metrics easier for my team.
3:00 pm – I work on organizing the next LGBT-ERG (Employee Resources Group) meeting and draft a potential agenda of topics to cover.
3:45 pm – I mosey on over to the kitchen with the intent of grabbing a few pistachios which turns into an overflowing bowl of pistachios and a side of chips and salsa. But hey, I grabbed La Croix instead of soda, so it all cancels out right?
4:00 pm – I head to the Endymion conference room to meet the rest of my intern team to work on our Lucid Tank project. At the beginning of the summer, the intern class was split into two teams of four to compete in a Shark Tank style pitch competition. Our objective was to come up with Lucid’s next big idea. Today we are meeting with Jacob from the Finance team to discuss our budget and five-year financial projections.
5:00 pm – My team parted ways and I walked back to my desk to grab my things and head out for the day.
5:15 pm – I hit the down arrow on the elevator, put my rain jacket on (it’s Summer in New Orleans after all), and wait for the elevator while thinking about what I have lined up for my day tomorrow.
While no one day at Lucid was the same, I was able to walk away with a few key takeaways from my experience that I would share with anyone who is about to start an internship of their own.
Make connections. Connect with as many people as you can, both in the office and out, and with people who do something completely different from yourself. Our Platform Ops Intern, Lama, went to lunch with the founder of Electric Girls, an organization that helps young girls develop leadership skills while learning about electronics and computer programming. Jack, our Customer Success Intern, went a more casual route and played basketball with a group of people from the office a couple of days a week after work. Whether the conversations you have are casual or work-related, the relationships you build and the knowledge you gain is invaluable.
Ask for feedback. I think this is something that interns don’t realize is necessary because in school, you are regaled with feedback you don’t ask for and sometimes don’t want. However, in an office environment asking for feedback can go a long way. Be proactive and ask your manager what you have done well and what you need to work on so the next time a similar task crosses your desk, you will be able to do it better.
Do all of the things. I don’t mean this in the literal sense where you are overwhelming yourself with work that you can’t possibly get done, but rather in the fearless sense. When you are an intern, the expectation is often that you are learning a lot of new things for the very first time. That means if you take a risk and end up doing something wrong, people understand, but if your gamble pays off and you do something right, everyone is impressed. Just go for it.
I’ve just thrown a lot of information at you, and frankly, unless you are my mom, I’m impressed you are still reading. I wrote this blog post because this sort of information would have been useful to me as I was going through the internship application process, not just at Lucid, but at any company. I hope you find this helpful or at the very least, mildly entertaining as you are getting ready to sort out your summer internships!
I’m not the only one talking about their internship experience at Lucid, take a look at this blog post about last year’s summer interns: https://luc.id/2016/08/12/a-farewell-to-our-summer-2016-intern-class/.