Kurt, MaxPreps Editorial Intern, Cameron Park, California
Hi there! My name is Kurt Bennett, and I’m a senior-to-be at Amherst College in Western Massachusetts. I’m working in Cameron Park, California, at the editorial division of MaxPreps, CBS’ high school sports branch.
I’ve been here for a few weeks now, and so far, my experience has been great. I’m happy to report that I have yet to been sent off to get coffee or donuts (although there’s still plenty of summer left)—instead I’ve gotten some cool assignments like editing Tom Lemming’s Top 100 Report (Lemming is a nationally-recognized recruiting expert—a much better recruiting expert than he is a writer, I might add) and working a few articles of my own, which will hopefully eventually find their way onto the site.
The staff at MaxPreps has been fantastic—everyone has been friendly and helpful, and I’m even playing in a local basketball league with a few of the other employees. I’ve also been lucky enough to talk with the national writing staff about anything from how to make it in the business to issues currently going on in high school recruiting.
Location-wise, Cameron Park is a familiar town to me, as I grew up about 10 minutes down the road. However, after spending three-too-many winters in the Northeast, it’s been refreshing to get back to Northern California and its dry, 90-degree heat (possibly the first time that ’90-degree heat’ has been described as ‘refreshing’). MaxPreps’ location also means that I’m able to commute from home, see my family, and make the occasional 2 ½-hour drive to San Francisco to catch my beloved Giants (who, alas, were just swept by the Dodgers). Side note: for those of you working in San Francisco that aren’t natives, I would definitely recommend a trip to At&t Park, it’s a great experience in an awesome setting.
I hope you’re all having good summers so far; I’ve enjoyed reading your blog entries!
Jim, Network Engineering Intern, San Francisco, California.
Selecting a job is, arguably, one of the more difficult decisions in life. You have limited information and limited time to decide. A wrong choice means you get to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week regretting your decision. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I already know that I made the right choice: CBS’ Network Engineering Team.
When I arrived my first day, I was a little nervous about choosing such a big company (I hate bureaucracy). Turns out, CBS runs pretty efficiently and unconstrained. For instance, I was initially horrified when they gave me a non-*nix laptop to use, but they don’t seem to mind that I reformatted with my favorite Linux distro; at least, IT hasn’t complained yet :).
Now that everything is all setup, time to get to work.
My team is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of CBS’ world-wide network infrastructure. My job is to write software to automate this process by monitoring the network for changes, updating the database, and detecting problems. Currently, our biggest project involves the migration to C81 (A new colo data center in phoenix), and interfacing with the new switches (via SNMP) to build the proper spanning trees that best facilitate all the VLANS. If you didn’t catch that, don’t worry about it.
The thing I like most: we’re all part of the same team. I’m invited to all the same meetings, and I work on all the same issues. Each bug that I knock out is one task off the plate of another engineer. Everyone works together and helps out. You couldn’t ask for a more friendly and cooperative group of engineers.
Anyway, I really should get back to writing code. Before I go, I just thought I should include a photo of our server room, because, well, who doesn’t like servers?
Most server rooms are cold-and-noisy under-ground dungeons. The CBS server rooms are more like showcases, with glass walls and red overhead lights, it looks like something straight out of the movies!
Eddie, Gamespot Editorial Intern, San Francisco, California.
Two-and-a-half weeks into my summer internship at CBS Interactive I already feel as if I’m a part of the family. On my first day I met, spoke with, and shook hands with Ricardo Torres, GameSpot’s editor in chief, and my personal hero. I’ve traveled to Los Angeles (lots more on that later), and I’ve earned my first paycheck for writing about video games, a lifetime goal I’ve now achieved at the age of 20. Every day I’m surrounded by passionate individuals, experts of prose, and masters of design. I can’t even begin to express how much it means to me to be part of a team like this, but I’ll try.
Last week the entire GameSpot team traveled to Los Angeles for the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo. As part of the News team, I knew I was in for a helluva lot of work, but I was prepared for the task, and ready to work my tail off for the readers. We arrived in LA Sunday afternoon, settled into our booth at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and immediately got to work.
The show ran from Monday to Thursday, but the majority of our work took place on Monday, and Tuesday. Both days the four-man news team spent over 12 hours in the booth, cranking out stories, transcribing interviews, and eating extremely nasty lunches. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. I was once told, “when you’re working and time ceases to exist, that’s your passion, and you must pursue it.” These days of epic work felt like mere minutes. I glanced at my watch and it was 9 a.m. The next time I looked at my wrist, it was 7 p.m. It was remarkable.
I won’t get into too many specifics, but suffice it to say that this year’s show was one of the busiest ever, with publisher and developers on hand making dozens of announcements every day, giving our news team more and more to work on.
With over 45,000 journalists, developers, publishers and executives at the show, you’d think Los Angeles wouldn’t have room for any other large group in town; but the NBA Finals were happening that week as well.
Tuesday night was Game 6. The Lakers dominated the Celtics, and that was that. Thursday night was Game 7, and on this warm evening, things were a bit different. We had our GameSpot party at Lucky Strike Lanes in the LA Live section of downtown. First off, the entire LA Live section of downtown was cordoned off, with mounted police and riot crews guarding the perimeter. After an arduous series of events, we made it into the venue, and had our own 5 lanes, open bar, and plentiful food to enjoy for the evening. When the Lakers did away with the Celts, we all raced to the windows to watch the events unfold outside. We witnessed two Celtics fans get a police escort back to their car (seriously, they would have been hurt without it), officers use sand bag guns on rowdy individuals in the crowd, and saw a couple drunken fans get arrested in the street. It was a fun night to be tucked away safe and sound in very posh bowling alley. Did I mention this place had karaoke? It did.
Well, as the night grew older, Chris Watters, a section editor at GameSpot, and I, decided to sing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” You should have been there.
We all awoke bright and early Friday morning to watch the US Men’s Soccer team tie Slovenia, which was a travesty. The disallowed goal was an embarrassing mistake by the ref. Well, who got the last laugh, huh?
I could write an entire book about my experiences thus far in San Francisco at CBSi, but brevity is golden as I’m told, so I’ll cut it here. I miss Connecticut, my two brothers and sisters, and my loving parents, but I’ve always had a difficult time leaving home, and I hope this experience will help me grow as both a person, and a writer. I’m surrounded by the best writers I’ve ever known, I learn more from them every day, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!
Madeline, Marketing Intern, San Francisco, California.
My initial reaction to being hired as a summer intern at CBSi was pure excitement, until the day before I was due to start and something I can only describe as paralyzing nervousness set in. By no means do I consider myself a shy person, but coming to work- even as an intern- at such a huge company, and after only a year of college, was incredibly intimidating. I managed to downplay my apprehension until intern orientation Monday morning when it became glaringly obvious (at least to me) that I was the youngest and least experienced new hire. Needless to say, this was a confirmation of my worst fear, but since then I’ve learned quickly that this has no impact on how I am treated, or the work that is given to me.
There seems to be some unspoken requirements to work here in the marketing and PR department of CBSi: approachable, friendly, and really great taste in music are the dominating qualities. I had barely been in the building two hours before at least six people separately approached me with introductions, advice, and the promise to help with any questions that I had. Countless handshakes later, I realized that my nerves were completely groundless and I could relax in my new job. Interning here has been an amazing experience so far. Not only am I working on important projects, but spending time with so many other smart and interesting employees has been inspiring. I look forward to coming to the city everyday, and always anticipate getting out of the office with my fellow interns for lunches around SoMa.
When I set out to look for a summer job, I never could have guessed it would include twittering to the Kardashian family and Snooki of Jersey Shore, tallying votes for the headlining band at Comic Con, or emailing the owners of seventeen different Star Trek fan sites, but I don’t think that I would enjoy any other work more.
Himanshu, Software Engineering Intern - Rubics Engineering, Somerville, MA.
I am a software engineer intern, and last semester I was craving to explore the open-source Apache Mahout library. Never thought that I would get a chance to work on it during my internship at CBSi!
The term “Mahout” is derived from the Hindi term “Mahavat”- the elephant keeper/driver. This is because the algorithms implemented in Mahout “ride” on Hadoop. Hadoop is another Apache open-source project which is used to process “very large datasets” symbolized as elephant in its logo.
My past projects usually involved reading some research papers and implementing either one of them or something new out of the papers. I was glad to see that my small team at CBSi is involved in an interesting project which involves implementing the Boost-Clustering algorithm and finding similar articles out of the Gamespot dataset. I am getting to do some really cool stuff with my supervisors, Clifford and Sergei!
There is a balance of work and play here at CBS Interactive. The work is awesome but so was the 7th final between Celtics and Lakers! I watched the match in my office with the other intern - Anil Iyer. There are two interns at the Boston office and both are Computer Science Master’s students. I go to Carnegie Mellon University while Anil goes to North Carolina State University.That day after work, we went to Harvard Square and had delicious pizza with a cold drink (two gigantic slices of cheese pizza with a drink for just $5!). And then we decided to stay back in the office and watch the NBA final. Although Boston lost, the match was a chilling thriller.
I am enjoying my work days at the CBSi Boston office and my off days exploring the city. Besides my internship for the summer, I have also joined a gym and is planning to take guitar classes in the evening.
Just trying to keep myself busy!
Jason, Software Engineer Intern, Louisville, KY
As previously mentioned, there are a number of satellite branches in the CBS Interactive family. I call the satellite office in Louisville, KY my home, working with the Audience Engagement team. My team provides newsletter and contest management support across the range of CBSI brands. I am one of two interns working in our team this summer, along with a third working for a different team in the office. My position mostly entails fixing bugs and cleaning up code as needed, for example now I am developing a centralized login service that can be called from other programs, along with ‘helper’ code so that other developers don’t have to be concerned with the logistics of calling the service from their programs. Here I am sitting at my workstation.
As you can see, I’m a bit older than your average intern. I was one of the causalities of the auto industry downsizing and decided to make lemons out of lemonade by returning to school at the ripe age of 31. When I started my first day, I was a bit taken back by the apparent age difference between myself and the majority of my classmates. Sometimes, that difference is a bit of a hindrance, particularly in the way that I saw the world compared to other students. Anyway, while my time at CBSI has been fairly short, everyone on my team has gone above and beyond in making Bradley and I welcome here. For the first time since I’ve decided to add to my skill set, I feel as if I don’t have to work harder than those around me in order to prove myself. Even though it can present unique challenges at times, I guess the point is that it’s never too late to change your career path.
Mathew, Software Engineer Intern, Bridgewater, NJ
A company as big as CBS Interactive has no single home. While much of the company resides in San Francisco (I’m ignoring the very large Chinese branch because I know nothing about it), I happen to be stationed in a small office in Bridgewater, NJ. I’m part of the Platform Infrastructure team, which monitors, maintains and develops several dozen shared services that are used by the individual CBSi business units. That probably requires an example: If CNET.com is having trouble encoding a video and publishing it to their website, it becomes our problem. We provide the tools and the support for doing so. If CHOW.com can’t upgrade their email servers because they are running an old version of Apache or MySQL, they open up a bug ticket with us.
I actually have a fairly unique position here. Scratch that, I have a very unique position here. I am the only intern in this office, and I am the only intern in the entire company to be working here as long as I have. This is my third summer returning, and I’ve had the rare opportunity to see the internship program develop and grow over time. I’ve learned how large organizations operate, and how to work with people from around the globe in real time. Day to day I help develop and design internal developer tools that get used by the other members of my team, and their clients.
It’s no secret that for many professions, simply having a college degree does not make you valuable to anyone. Real world experience is crucial and very mandatory for any career path. Take my job for example. As a software engineering intern, do you think all the discrete math classes I needed to take at my university have anything to do with the responsibilities I have here? Heck no. In fact, I am one year away from graduating with a Computer Science degree and I have yet to take a single class that has anything to do with the world wide web. How, then, is this degree preparing me for a career at one of the largest web-based media companies in the world? It isn’t, and this company understands that. We live in a credentialist society on the surface, but it really comes down to what you can produce. If you can play the cello like Yo-Yo Ma, no one will care where you went to school, or even if you went to school at all. I am lucky enough to be part of a group which is systematically taking us in and nurturing us, turning us into competitive, capable people who can compete in this very rough job climate, and I wish to thank those responsible for their charity work.
Through out the summer, we will be featuring blog entries from our own CBS Interactive Summer 2010 interns. Come back soon!