Reflection on My Summer Internship at SkyIT 

Yilenda Dong, SEAS Masters in Computer and Information Technology, 2024

This summer, I had the privilege of interning as a Software Engineer at SkyIT. As I sit down to reflect upon these few months, it’s evident that this summer was not just about coding, debugging, or deploying applications. It was a journey of personal and professional growth, filled with challenges, triumphs, and invaluable experiences. 

The scale of the team I was a part of was truly expansive. Being part of a 50-member cross-functional team was an experience in itself. This vastness, however, didn’t take away from the intimacy of working within smaller teams. I was entrusted with leading a small yet focused team of four. This responsibility taught me leadership is not just about driving results, but also about understanding, motivating, and supporting each member. The transformation of the web application called Aukai into a React Native mobile app, with push notification functionality, stands as a testament to our team’s collaborative efforts and tenacity. 

Conducting regression tests on the Aukai app was another significant aspect of my summer. It reminded me that creating a product isn’t the endpoint; ensuring its robustness, stability, and reliability is equally crucial. These tests were rigorous, requiring attention to detail, and through them, I developed a deep appreciation for quality assurance in the software world. Every test was a new learning experience, revealing the application’s strengths and areas for improvement, ensuring that the end-users would have a seamless experience. 

One of the most exciting parts of the internship was leading the end-to-end development of new features for the React Native Android app available on the Google Play Store. This opportunity was a vivid reminder of the dynamic nature of technology and the need for continuous innovation. The fast-paced nature of the project required me to not only be technically sound but also adaptive, proactive, and efficient in decision-making. 

The summer also emphasized the significance of optimizing for performance. In today’s digital age, users expect immediacy. A slight delay or glitch can make or break a user’s experience. By employing various optimization techniques, I learned the delicate art of balancing functionality with speed and scalability. It was immensely satisfying to witness the tangible results of these efforts in the form of enhanced application performance and positive user feedback. 

Beyond the technical aspects, this summer was an exercise in soft skills. Communication, teamwork, leadership, and time management were constantly at play. Working alongside two team members on various projects, I realized that while individual brilliance is essential, collective effort often moves mountains. There were days of disagreements, but it was the alignment of our collective vision and mutual respect that saw us through. 

I realized that my summer at SkyIT was not just an internship; it was a transformative experience. I walked in as a student eager to apply theoretical knowledge, and I walk away with a treasure trove of practical experiences, lessons, and memories. The challenges faced, the successes celebrated, and the knowledge gained during these months will undoubtedly serve as a solid foundation for my future endeavors in the tech world. As I step into the next phase of my career, I carry forward the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning that was instilled in me at SkyIT. 

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program that is coordinated by Penn Career Services. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services