What 3 Chicago tech firms look for in interns — and what they offer in return

by James Risley
February 2, 2017

A summer internship is a great way to start a career in tech, and now is the time to start looking for a sweet summer gig right here in Chicago. We talked to three startups with internship openings right now about what they look for in an intern. But internships are about your growth, too, so we also asked them what interns get out of the experience. And don’t forget to check out all the open internships over on our job board.

 

 

Answers from recruiter Caitlin Finn

Open internship opportunities: Strategy Intern, Sales Operations Intern, Partnerships Intern, Business Development Intern, Sales & Account Management Intern, Marketing Intern, Market Analyst Intern

What are you looking for in interns?

In our search for SpotHero interns, we tend to focus less on particular academic backgrounds, but instead, we look for candidates who are passionate about SpotHero's mission and eager to learn from and contribute to our company. We also look for candidates who are excited to be part of the Chicago startup and tech scene. Our team evaluates candidates based on the initiatives they've taken and the impact they've made on campus and within their personal interests.

What do interns get out of working with your teams?

SpotHero interns work collaboratively with small teams, gaining hands-on, applicable real world experience and complete ownership of their work. We offer an internship program that helps enrich their summer experience by pairing interns with mentors, providing them with networking opportunities within the Chicago startup community, and engaging them in team building through social events. Our ultimate goal is to help set our interns up for success in whatever they choose to pursue after interning with SpotHero, whether this is back at school or in a full-time capacity at our company.

 

 

 

Answers from human resources generalist Becca Garber

Open internship opportunities: Software Engineer Intern, Design Intern, Marketing Intern

What are you looking for in interns?

At Trading Technologies, we are always looking for interns who are passionate about whatever it is they are doing, both inside and outside of the classroom. Whether that passion is related to coding, creating art, or giving back to their community, we are always impressed when students show a thirst for knowledge and a drive to achieve. Technical skills are also important, especially for our engineering interns, but in addition to that, we look for interns who are hungry to learn new skills and produce real work for the company.

What do interns get out of working with your teams?

As an intern at TT, you will experience firsthand what it is like to work for a fintech company that is both using and creating cutting-edge technologies. Our interns are placed on existing engineering and marketing teams, and work closely with our full-time employees and their assigned managers. Interns work directly on our software and trading platforms, and can see the impact their work has on our products.

Additionally, we organize an Intern Trading Competition throughout the summer where our interns meet and communicate with TT employees across different departments who were formerly traders. Our interns always end the summer with new technical skills, knowledge about the trading industry, and connections to people in the Chicago fintech space.

 

 

 

Answers from human resources intern Matt Mulcahy with input from current intern Saad Zia and former interns turned full-time employees Eric Williams and Geoff Miller

Open internship opportunities: Platform (DevOps) Engineer Intern, Web Design Intern, Web Software Engineer Intern

What are you looking for in interns?

Vail Systems primarily hires Sophomores, Juniors, and the occasional Seniors studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or other related majors. Technical skills are important to Vail, but more importantly Vail is looking for candidates who thrive in collaborative environments, communicate effectively, pick up new concepts quickly, and have an overall eagerness to learn new things. In fact, many of the interns at Vail Systems start their internship completely new to web.

What do interns get out of working with your teams?

In the first three weeks at Vail Systems, interns get a crash course on JavaScript, JavaScript Frameworks, Ruby, Rails API and other technologies. Each morning interns work through coding problems with our team and further their training using an online coding academy.

Interns can expect to coordinate with Vail’s internal product teams to design and develop intuitive interactive voice response (IVR) applications. These projects are the main thing Vail’s Fortune 500 clients and consumer users see when they interact with Vail’s technologies.

Aside from learning new skills, interns at Vail Systems have a lot of fun. Managers and other full-time team members are accessible, friendly and make learning and development a priority. Vail also hosts social events like bowling or WhirlyBall for its interns. Some interns even go on to find full-time positions at Vail Systems after graduation.

 

 

Images via featured companies.

Are you looking for an internship? Or looking for an intern? Let us know with a message or a tweet @BuiltInChicago

Jobs from companies in this blog24 open jobs
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