University of North Texas
M.A. in Professional and Technical Communication
How did you find out about this internship?
I had gone to one of the recruiting info sessions NI had at UNT and I was really impressed about the company culture that they talked about. I didn’t have the opportunity to apply at that time because I was working and in school. My advisor really highly recommended it to me so I decided to apply the next summer.
What was the first week of the internship like?
My first week was mostly training. I think almost every person on the team gave me some sort of training so I got to know everyone that way. I got their perspective on each thing I was being trained on… mostly the toolchain and technical writer best practices.
What NI-wide intern activities happened during that week?
We had an intern orientation, and I noticed that they made an effort to have me sit next to the other technical writing intern so that was nice. I got to meet her right away. We had some fun getting-to-know-you events during that first week too.
Preface: NI Week is a yearly conference that showcases everything NI has worked on over the past year to engineers from around the world. In 2017 the conference happened during the second week of Kacy’s internship.
How was your NI Week experience?
I feel like it was great. I got kind of lucky because I ran into Phil (an NI engineer) and he showed me around, then we found Cat (a NI technical writer and Kacy’s internship mentor). Pretty much all times at NI it feels like there’s someone nice who is willing to help you out or show you stuff.
I think it was actually nice for NI Week to be at the beginning of the internship because I got to see some of the more interesting applications of LabVIEW and how it impacts the future of engineering.
What projects did you work on during your internship?
Most of the projects I’ve worked on have dealt with migrating existing content from the current version of LabVIEW documentation over to the new version. I’ve done a lot of collaborating with developers, research, writing and editing for those projects.
Had you worked in a RAPID development environment before? Was it difficult to adjust?
I had gone to some talks about SCRUM/Agile, but it was not something that I had ever personally done in a day-to-day work environment. I actually thought I was going to be more intimidated by it. I was like ‘Oh I have to stand up every day and talk about stuff?’ It does help to see what everyone else is working on and where they are. Know every day that if you are having some issue and you’re not sure exactly who to talk with, there’s a space to find out the information you need to know or just put it out there and see who the best person is.
The Company and Campus
Is there anything about NI’s campus that you would want to tell future interns?
All of it? It’s really nice having everything you need throughout your day here. You’re never like ‘I’m hungry and I need food.’ But it’s also not a culture where you’re encouraged to just be here all the time, y’know?
The facilities are super nice. I’m not really a sports person, but there’s lots of opportunities for that which is nice for people who like to be physically active at some point during their work day. If you’re an outdoor type person there’s lots of different places to walk which is a really good way to break up your day if you need that.
What about the company in general?
One of the things that’s been really nice for me is working in a place and on a team where everyone wants to help you and wants to see you succeed. I think that’s unfortunately not always the case in corporate culture, so that’s a unique thing that I really appreciate. It seems like a place where everyone is concerned with learning and growing and improving the quality of the work, which is a really nice environment to be in.
Another thing I really liked was how it was a good mix of autonomy and getting help when you need it. I feel like I’m very used to doing a lot of autonomous work, so it’s nice to be like ‘here’s all the tools you need to do the thing and if you need help just let us know.’