Words of Advice From One Intern to Another: Ashley Cyborski
Current team member and former intern Ashley Cyborski shares some words of advice with future interns.
Illustration of someone jumping into pool.
A little over a year ago I was fresh out of college and starting my first full-time job here at Palantir. I had a strong foundation provided by my education, but I was still relatively new to Drupal, let alone to the working world. Of course, like any new job, there was no way I was going to start with all of the things I needed to know to complete the tasks assigned to me right off the bat.
Fast forward to now and I have had a wide variety of experiences including a complex XML migration and a lot of module development. My confidence is growing stronger with every project under my belt.
Here’s the thing: while I’ve learned a lot during this time, I have always been a little scared of trying new things. With my job at Palantir, staying in my comfort zone wasn’t really an option. It wouldn’t be good for my work, my co-workers, our clients; not to mention my own growth.
On the upside, I’m newish, so I’ve had plenty of practice trying things with which I have little to no experience. Herein lies the potential problem: If I give myself the opportunity to ‘chicken out’ of doing something, I often do. Instead, I’ve decided to challenge myself by jumping into the deep end to see if I can swim.
Here are a few observations I’ve made about learning by doing during my first year at Palantir:
Swimming metaphors aside, I find this approach to learning new things very effective, especially as most of the learning I do is on the fly these days. I am fortunate enough to have the support of my co-workers and the resources of a large and opinionated community who make sure I am never underwater for long. There is always someone who has an knowledge of what I’m working on; whether that’s a new programming tool, how best to interact with clients or peers, or something else. Your local watering hole, if you will, where you know you’ll be safe.
Sure, I have a lot to learn, but I intend to take a splash in as many pools as I can while I do.