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HomeLanguage LearningWhy I interned with Duolingo for 2 summers in a row

Why I interned with Duolingo for 2 summers in a row


At Duolingo, we all know the significance of making a powerful group and office tradition for our full-time Duos and our interns! That’s why we’ve spent a number of time growing not one, however two applications for our summer season intern courses.

The Duolingo Thrive Program is a 10-week internship aimed toward technical {and professional} improvement alternatives to second-year college students from traditionally underrepresented communities in tech, whereas the Graduating Internship absolutely integrates interns right into a crew and personally matches them with an “intern host”. Each internships information interns via actual initiatives that have an effect on the corporate, and our learners! (Learn extra about our award profitable internships!)

Pedro, a Pc Science pupil at Brown College, has joined Duolingo for 2 completely different intern experiences, Duolingo’s Thrive Internship and the Graduating Intern Program—so he has a singular perspective! Learn on to listen to from Pedro about his two summers spent with Duolingo.

What has been your favourite a part of your internship expertise?

Most interns can be happy in the event that they loved what they labored on and felt that they realized many issues all through the internship. Whereas my time right here at Duolingo has actually been priceless for my skilled improvement, my favourite a part of my internship has been the social expertise and the brand new friendships I’ve shaped. The interns are a decent knit group, and we now have many occasions the place we will have enjoyable outdoors of labor, each deliberate by Duolingo and ourselves.

A few of my favourite reminiscences come from experiences reminiscent of our tenth Duoversary social gathering, Nationwide Intern Week festivities, and our seaside highway journey. Regardless of solely understanding them for a summer season, there are individuals right here that I’d name a few of my closest mates, and my internship expertise would have been incomplete with out them.

Why did you select Duolingo—and what made you wish to return for a second time?

Language studying is a powerful private objective for me as a result of it’s one thing I’ve struggled with my entire life. I wasn’t capable of converse English till I used to be 3 years outdated, and I by no means developed fluency in my dad and mom’ native language of Portuguese. At any time when I am going to go to household in Brazil, it’s tough to speak, and my dad and mom have to help me every time I wish to specific extra complicated ideas. Changing into fluent in my household’s language is one thing I actually care about, and dealing at an organization whose mission aligns completely with my objectives was a chance I needed to take.

Moreover, I knew I didn’t wish to work at a big firm with a strenuous work tradition and the place particular person influence is tough to measure. Duolingo is a spot that emphasizes work-life steadiness and permits me to make significant contributions. I had an amazing expertise my first summer season right here as a distant Thrive intern, and I knew it could have been even higher had it been in individual, which is why I wished to return again as a graduating intern in Pittsburgh.

What elements of your Thrive Internship ready you in your Graduating Internship?

My Thrive undertaking centered on Duolingo’s internet app, whereas my Graduating undertaking centered on Android, so platform-wise, I began from scratch throughout each internships. Nevertheless, Thrive helped me study the non-programming elements of software program engineering, reminiscent of code evaluation, working concurrently on the identical codebase with my friends, and brazenly speaking with my host. I additionally realized a bunch in regards to the tradition at Duolingo and the way groups set and achieve their objectives for every quarter. All this stuff made me really feel very comfy and fairly at residence once I got here again for my Graduating internship.

What have been the primary variations in a digital vs IRL internship for you (working with the identical firm)?

Working in individual has been so significantly better in each means. After I was digital, asking for assist concerned Slacking somebody, ready for a response, and establishing a Zoom assembly earlier than I may lastly begin asking questions. In individual, I can merely lean over to my host and ask no matter’s on my thoughts, which is much more handy and productive.

Socially, it was tough to interact with different Duos whereas distant, however IRL, there are such a lot of methods to fulfill different individuals, from catered lunch, to golf equipment, to Duolingo-hosted occasions. There’s additionally a brand new metropolis to discover and study, and the chance to expertise what it’s wish to have your personal residing house. I’m very glad I bought to be in individual this 12 months — it was a completely new and fulfilling expertise!

What shocked you most in regards to the Duolingo tradition?

I couldn’t consider how well-treated we’re as Duos! From the respect I get from my host to all of the occasions that Duolingo plans, I really feel much less like a cog within the wheel and extra like a person whose work and presence is appreciated. The tradition feels intentional and genuine, and I’m glad to be part of it.

What’s your favourite undertaking you’ve labored on throughout your Duolingo internships?

I loved my Thrive undertaking quite a bit. We created a PvP (participant versus participant) mode the place learners can be part of a foyer and compete towards one another by answering language questions. The sport is just like Kahoot in that every participant good points extra factors once they reply shortly. I don’t know if it’ll ever see the sunshine of day in manufacturing, but it surely was nice to work on such a cool idea!

What’s the very best recommendation you obtained from a full-time Duo whereas interning?

For those who’re caught on a process for greater than half-hour, ask for assist! I’m someone who needs to unravel issues on their very own, and can bang my head at one thing for hours till I get it. Nevertheless, Duos are very prepared to help, and it’s usually a greater use of time to ask for assist from someone with extra data and expertise. There have been many occasions this summer season the place I used to be confused about one thing just for it to get cleared up in a couple of minutes by merely speaking to a full-timer, so I strive my finest now to steadiness ending duties alone and asking for assist.

Choose your very best examine buddy: Oscar (brings good snacks) or Bea (smartest one in school)

I already know I’m gonna begin on the final minute, so I’ll should depend on Bea to hold me 💪

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