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  • Finley Blakeman

My intern experience with Uplift Delivery

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

A little over a year and a half ago, Drake University offered a “Lunch and Learn” with a tech consulting company called Uplift Delivery for all Computer Science (and related) majors. At the time, I saw it as an opportunity for some free lunch and time to hangout with some of my friends that were also going. At that meeting, I met some wonderful people that would quickly become my colleagues and mentors; people that would both teach me skills that I will now be taking with me into the work force as well as listen when I spoke on topics that I knew about.

I think about that Lunch and Learn a lot. What I expected to be a lecture about why this company was so great ended up being the group mobbing on a Kata. What I expected to be me sitting in a corner quietly once my friends decided to not go, ended with me talking with Bryce Klinker (Uplift Delivery's Director of Engineering) about my future, Software Engineering, and internships in general. Overall, that Lunch and Learn, and Uplift itself, was unexpected. It fully changed my mind about what my future could look like.

A few months later, I decided to apply to a job listing at Uplift for a summer internship while looking through different job opportunities. I had remembered Bryce, and others that were at that original meeting that no longer work with Uplift. I had remembered the welcoming attitude and genuine excitement about what they were doing. So, thinking I wouldn’t even get a callback, I applied. What I didn’t know was that this get-together, and later application, would lead me to a year long internship and a job offer at a startup AgFinTech company after college.

What I didn’t know was that this get-together, and later application, would lead me to a year long internship and a job offer at a startup AgFinTech company after college.

During the internship I made friends, found mentors, and created connections that will be with me for (hopefully) the rest of my life. From Eric Baldus's (Uplift Delivery's Associate Engineer) Question Board, to Hunter Haws (P3 Technical Recruiter) and I bonding over trying to get my dog to be friends with him, to Ashley Scott, SHRM-CP (P3/Uplift Delivery's People Operations Manager) and I’s morning chats, to Jessica Harrell (Uplift Delivery Principal Engineer) and I geeking out over keyboards, to Brain Hole, Uplift has created a truly unique environment for their employees to thrive. Uplift by P3 hasn’t just taught me the technical skills and experience I needed to make it further in the software engineering field. It has quite literally uplifted my future and given me higher standards of what I want my future career to look like.

As I start off the next adventure in this wild thing we call life, I know that I will always have a family and home at Uplift. The work I’ve done there has made me incredibly proud and gave me a definitive answer to the question “What do you want to do after college?” I want to uplift myself and the company I work for. I want to always be learning. I want to be the best that I can be.

For anyone starting an internship at Uplift (or anywhere honestly!) I would recommend doing the following things that took me some time to learn to do:

  1. Ask questions, and ask a lot of them. Ask the ones that you’re afraid to ask in class. Ask the question again. Ask the stupid question.Don’t take anything for granted, always be asking why or how or what. You can never ask enough questions. Internships are for learning, and if the company or people you’re around refuse to answer, then something is wrong. Sure, there are questions that a search engine can answer you, but there is usually a more nuanced answer that a coworker can give you. Especially in this field, knowledge is power, learning in knowledge gain, and asking questions is the basis for learning.

  2. Answer the questions on Eric’s Monthly Question Board. Not only are they fun, but it also forces you to interact with others and make friends. Not only that, but it’s a practice in creative thinking. In a field where machine learning is ever advancing, being able to think creatively is the edge that we hold. Never let it go.

  3. Delete your emails after you read them (or archive them). That inbox gets full quick and it makes it impossible to find what you need. It also makes, at least me, always feel like there is something I need to get done when in reality it’s just Teams telling me that someone sent a message in a group chat. The euphoria of an empty inbox cannot be beat, trust me!

  4. Talk with your pair partner about things outside of the software engineering realm. Getting to know your coworkers and the employees under the client is so important. Not only does it build connections that can be used later on, but it also makes pairing for hours on end less miserable when you’re simultaneously discussing a new book you both enjoy, that new movie that just came out, your pets, etc. It also can give you that extra push you need to finish up that five point card you and your colleagues have been working on for a week and a half now.

  5. Turn off work messages outside of work. I didn’t do this, and I honestly regret it. Between Teams messages and emails for two companies, it gets overwhelming fast. Figure out a system that works for you and keep to it.

  6. Be determined and do your best work every day. That doesn’t mean that the work you do needs to always be the best or the same. We all have days where we feel awful, or just aren’t in the right mind space, and that is okay! On those days, the ‘best work’ might just be the fact that you showed up and were present in meetings. Always put in effort, be determined to do your best, and do it. Putting your determination, effort, and pride into your work shows. The product, and client, will thank you for it.

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