After a long week of commuting, I have completed the first week of my internship at URBN’s beautiful headquarters located in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

Moving In

This past weekend, I made the move to Philly which will give me more time to network with coworkers, explore the city, and develop new friendships.

While searching for a place to stay, another intern told me to look through Philly’s university housing pages on Facebook. With many options available to sublet, it was easy to find a place to live with other students of like minds and interests.  

What I’ll Be Working On

URBN is a group of global consumer brands made up of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Terrain, and the Vetri Family. My role at URBN is Summer Associate Software Engineer, more specifically, I am working as a front end developer on the Web Browse Team.

Throughout my time here I will be working to find solutions for issues and develop new features across Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People’s websites. Simultaneously, I will be working on my own project which I will get to present to my team and fellow interns at the end of the summer.

Getting in the Groove

The day before my internship began, URBN hosted a welcome barbecue. At the bbq, I was able to meet the other 95 interns, tour the campus, and I also got a snazzy new headshot (seen above).

The first day of my internship, I had an orientation where I learned about the company’s history and how it operates. One of my favorite takeaways from orientation was learning about URBN’s product life cycle and where everyone’s position makes an impact.

After orientation, I was introduced to my manager and the members of my team, soon after I dove into reading documentation that explained how URBN develops. Over the past week, I have participated in various meetings and worked with members of my team to learn the methods that they practice, which has taught me an incredible amount about front end development.

This past spring semester I was enrolled in IST 363 – Advanced Front End Web Design, which was a great segue into this internship. I was able to get a head start on learning some of the frameworks and technologies that I am now expanding upon within my role.

Outside the URBN offices in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Nancy Hart.

Outside the URBN offices in Philadelphia, PA. Photo by Nancy Hart.

A Day in The Life

Since moving to Philadelphia, I have been taking the subway to work, which takes about 30 minutes. A nice perk that URBN offers is free transportation from the nearest subway station to and from campus.

I like to get into the office before 8:30 a.m. before the majority arrives. I like to use this quiet time to finish up anything from the previous day or to review new material I will be working on.

An hour later my team has our daily standup meeting, where we discuss what we are currently working on and if we ran into any problems. After this meeting, I like to head over to Jharoka Café (URBN’s coffee shop) to grab an oat milk latte, then I’ll return to my desk to start my day’s work.

For my first week, my manager created daily to-do lists for me which kept me on track while I was trying to balance getting to know everyone and everything. Some of the tasks included: read CSS and HTML style guides, set up and install environment, git/bash practice, pick up a ticket, peer program with another developer, and submit a peer review for the said ticket on GitHub.

I can say I successfully completed all of these tasks and my code will soon be merged and go live!

Looking Ahead

This week I am participating in the 2019 URBN Hackathon where I will step away from my desk and collaborate with others outside of my team. On Tuesday, June 11, it kicked off with a pitch session and then we formed our teams and began to brainstorm. At the end of this week, we will all come together again to present our solutions and findings.

The winning teams will then get the chance to present to the URBN executives (and win prizes) in which the winning idea will go into further development and production!

It’s going to be an exciting summer ahead, and it’s hard to believe the waiting and anticipation that I once had before starting at URBN have subsided and by the end of this week, I will have completed week two. I look forward to continuing to work on my goals, get to know more people in my department and begin my summer project.

by Nancy Hart