Last week I concluded my 12 week Software Development Engineering internship at Amazon in Seattle. This summer has completely changed the game and I couldn’t be happier. My passion for software development has been solidified by having the opportunity to develop enterprise level software at one of the fastest growing companies in the world. This summer went by in a blink of an eye; I guess that’s what happens when you’re having fun.

Chris Chomicki

Chris Chomicki

The end of my internship consisted of a solo demo/presentation to my entire team and organization where I demonstrated the work that I’ve done on both of my projects this summer. It was an awesome experience to reflect on all the hard work I’ve done since I knew from the beginning that my work would have a huge impact.

I’m happy that most of the classes in the School of Information Studies are project and presentation based such as IST 335: Introduction to Information-Based Organizations and IST 352: Information Analysis of Organizational Systems. They’ve given me the confidence to present to an entire room of full time employees at Amazon.

Exploring and Adapting to the West Coast

I finished up my hiking and outdoors adventures in the Pacific Northwest at Wallace Falls State Park where I swam near a bunch of picturesque waterfalls. The water there is much colder than any beach I’ve been to in New York so it was hard to get used to at first. I can’t think of anything more refreshing than getting some fresh air after working in the office during the week. I also took advantage of some of the outdoors activities near the Amazon Spheres such as cornhole and some food truck festivals.

This summer I took advantage of adapting a growth mindset to every experience I had. Coming all the way out from the East coast, and being the only intern from my school at Amazon was quite a challenge. It was a big risk for me to move across country from New York to an area where I started off with barely any connections whatsoever.

I can’t stress enough how much being exposed to new ideas and cultures can have such a profound effect on an individual’s growth. Through living in Seattle this summer and Chicago last summer (working at General Electric), I’ve began to think on a much more macro level. There’s so much opportunity out there beyond my current life in New York, so why not take advantage of it?

What’s Next: Studying Abroad

Time to shake things up a bit.

Since most of life has been spent on the East coast of America, I have a strong preference to be working somewhere on the West coast after graduating. There’s just something about the relaxed and laidback vibes that I got from living there this summer. It’s unlike anything I’ve witnessed before. I hope that the future company I end up working for will give me location flexibility to do just that.

This summer was by far the fastest one of my life. What’s to come next? In the fall semester, I’ll be studying abroad in Barcelona for my first ever time in Europe. I’ve never been more excited to get the chance to travel around Europe and build upon my existing Spanish skills during my senior year.

I’ll also be working for a small startup called Robin Data Hood as a Software Engineer intern. They’re creating an application that works as a loyalty card for supermarkets and businesses based on scanning receipts, involving a lot of computer vision technologies. I’ll be helping to build out both their iOS and web application. After my semester abroad, I’ll return to Syracuse University for my final semester in the spring!

A Life-Changing Opportunity

All in all, my time in Seattle at Amazon was life-changing. A huge thanks to my manager, Madeh Badaoui, for being so supportive and always being a friendly face that I could speak with. My mentor, Ken Chang, and the rest of the individuals in the Marketplace organization for helping me out with any issues that I’d run into. I truly felt like I was always welcomed in the office.

I think my internship can be summed up by a lot of the hikes and mountains I’ve climbed. The trail may be rough on the way up, but it’s all worth it when you get to the view at the top.

Read all of Chris’s Summer Internship Posts

Post 1: My Internship at Amazon: Welcome to the Jungle
Post 2: Bias for Action: More Projects, More Fun
Post 3: Conquering Mt. Success: Learn and Be Curious