#TeamWP: Intern Edition – Meet Our Engineers!

Whitepages has been fortunate to have an exceptional group of interns this year, including three engineers! As the summer season comes to a close, we sadly have to send our budding talents back to school, but we wanted to highlight some of the work they’ve been doing and hear their stories. Below are accounts from our three Engineering Interns: Coresite, Software, and Premium.


Meet Aaron: Coresite Engineering Intern

Aaron will be a junior at the University of Washington this fall, studying Computer Engineering. He also works as a teaching assistant for UW’s introductory Computer Science courses.

As part of the Core Site team at Whitepages, I am working to make the website experience better for Whitepages’ users. Although I have looked at many different tasks during the summer, my biggest focus has been creating tools to help team members understand problems facing the site and how they can be solved. One thing that surprised me was when, on only the fourth day of my internship, I was able to load the public Whitepages site and see a feature that I had implemented – the company is serious about helping its interns make an impact, and in less than a week I was able to experience the entire process from identifying a problem and building a solution to testing, documenting, and releasing the changes.

From the very first time I visited the Whitepages office, I could tell that their efforts to build an excellent company culture had paid off. Through the supportive attitude of my coworkers, I have never stopped feeling like a part of the team. Above all, people at Whitepages are willing to help me learn and improve, even in areas of the business that aren’t strictly related to my job.

If I have learned anything this summer, it has been that the surest way to build a good product is to build a good team, and this is the value of the company that resonates most with me.

From Aaron’s manager, Mike Spiz: “Aaron’s summer internship was all about finding and tracking website anomalies. Aaron spent the first half of his internship fixing [any] errors and significantly reduced our baseline error rate. The second half of his internship involved creating a site health dashboard that leverages many of the analytics tools that we use.”

Meet Chen: Software Engineering Intern

Chen is a rising senior in the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

What I like the most about the internship is that the things you do really matter. As someone that did not have a ton of experience in web development before this internship, I am constantly amazed by the amount of trust and support our team gives me. Gradually, I’ve become more confident in my ability, more eager to learn, and I feel fulfilled with all the work I have done. As of seven weeks into the internship, I have code that is almost ready to ship!

On our recent intern kayaking trip, the front desk staff asked us if we were a young company. When we told him that our company was almost 20 years old, he said, ‘you all look very young’. Looking around at all of my energetic colleagues, I feel that it is pretty amazing how a 20-year-old company still has all the energy to push out new products and trying different things instead of just doing the same thing day after day. I am truly glad that I decided to come to Seattle and join Whitepages this summer.

From Chen’s manager, Mike Spiz: “Chen’s summer internship involved a massive cleanup of the style sheets for Whitepages.com. Over the last two months, Chen has methodically pored over the code for every page on the site and either standardized or eliminated unused styles and HTML. This was a huge project with a lot of impact on the production site. Chen handled all of this very well and we appreciate her efforts.”

Meet Jack: Premium Engineering Intern

Jack is from Phoenix, AZ, but has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He is an incoming senior at the University of Washington, pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering.

[For] my summer internship, I wanted a job where I would be doing meaningful, difficult work, and I wanted a job where I would be treated like another member of the team. Fortunately, I’ve gotten all that I wanted out of working with Whitepages. In my time here, I’ve worked with three unfamiliar programming languages and many different frameworks. There have been a lot of challenges, but every time I’ve gotten stuck, there’s been someone nearby who is happy to help.

From the moment I got here, I was treated like a full member of the team.  It was a bit of a surprise the first time my team met for our bi-weekly planning meeting and I was encouraged to contribute. I’ve scheduled meetings, set timelines for my projects, and even been consulted on technical issues that I had experience with.

My internship here at Whitepages has been everything I asked for and more.  Sure, it hasn’t always been easy, but the opportunity to learn so much and contribute to a company who treats me with respect has been invaluable, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

From Jack’s manager, Dhass Thirunavukarasu: “Our interns get real life challenges where they must learn our internal business as well as new skills/languages which are immediately applied to their projects. Jack learned our internal systems, new programming languages, and mobile framework. He was able to use these to build existing new mobile experiences and delivering services that will live on as part of our products.”

We at Whitepages have been so lucky to have such talented summer interns as part of our team. Read all about our Internship Program in this previous blog post, and look for more #TeamWP Intern Edition stories!

Interested in joining the Whitepages team?

View our current job openings

#TeamWP: Intern Edition – Meet Treon!

Treon is an incoming junior at Washington State University, working toward a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a minor in Economics. His past work includes building the School of Biological Sciences website at WSU and working with Cascadia Consulting Group last summer.

Here is Treon’s story about interning with the Pro Marketing Team:

 

In June, I joined the Whitepages Pro Marketing Team as a Pro Operations intern. My tasks range from taking photos, building icons, and researching prospective contacts for sales outreach. My favorite project has been taking photos for the Whitepages website, including everyday meetings, happy hours, and the office space (see below!). Through this experience, I was able to meet more Whitepagers, including people from other departments and business units.

While working at Whitepages, I’ve gained skills and values that I can use for future jobs. I’ve become more proactive, communicative, and efficient. I also learned to OWN my projects—simply holding myself and others accountable to deliver the highest quality work. Also, my studies in MIS have helped during this internship because I had experience in creating Excel documents and forms.

The most memorable moment of the summer was attempting to solve the puzzle room mystery at a team building event with the Marketing Team. This was my first experience with a puzzle/escape room, and we almost solved it! I had a great time working together to figure out the pieces, and in the process, got to know my team well. My favorite intern event was the scavenger hunt throughout downtown.

I chose Whitepages for my internship because of the people, and because I love analyzing and configuring data to find a solution, which happens to be what Whitepages specializes in. Overall, it has been a valuable experience that has better prepared me for my future career.


Treon joined us, along with fellow intern Mimy, through the Rainier Scholars Program, who we have partnered with for several years to find some of our stellar interns! Check out our previous blog post for more information about this as well as our Summer Intern program.

Treon shared some photos he took around the Seattle office. No doubt this intern has many talents!

Are you interested in joining Whitepages and becoming a member of our world-class team?
View our job openings here!

#TeamWP: Intern Edition – Meet Sierra!

Sierra Brandenburg, our part-time Pro Marketing Intern brought her marketing and program management experience from Underdog Sports Leagues and the Russell Wilson Passing Academy to Whitepages. Fun fact about Sierra is that she started intramural Spikeball at her university.

Here is what Sierra had to share about her two-month internship at Whitepages. 


This fall I will be a junior at the University of Washington studying economics. My previous job experience has always involved sportscoaching soccer (8 years), working at a golf course, and most recently working at the Russell Wilson Passing Academy/Why Not You Foundation. My comfort zone was sports, so Whitepages was definitely something new for me.

I joined the Whitepages Pro Marketing Team as an intern in April. My time was spent doing marketing research on website design, improving SEO and evaluating trends. I also helped retrieve addresses from prospective customers for a direct mail project to ensure that the cards reached the appropriate people. I organized various spreadsheets including a list consisting of the top online retail stores. My latest project was working on updating product information on the website through WordPress. This was my favorite project because I got to work on the backend of the website and see the code and how to make changes.

Throughout this internship, I learned that working with a team is always better than tackling something individually. Knowing you can lean on others for questions and help always opens the door for new knowledge. I learned that my experience in sports—teamwork, adaptability, and diligence—has relevance in a professional career. I could not have asked for a better first corporate experience, and I will always value my time here at Whitepages and the amazing people I met.

The Pro Marketing Team and their Interns tackle the Escape Room!

 

Are you interested in joining Whitepages and becoming a member of our world-class team? View our job openings here!

Your Summer Internship – Seeking Aspiring Engineers!

Written by Rachel Flanagan, Recruiter at Whitepages

Amidst mid-term exams, social activities, and homework, it may be daunting to also think about finding a summer internship. Although this may prove challenging, the time and effort definitely pay off, as an internship offers training, experience, and will help prepare you for a successful career. Here are some helpful steps to success:

The First Step: Your Resume! Always ensure that your resume is informative and up to date. Most schools provide helpful resume workshops through the Career Center. Be sure to utilize resources like these to create an eye-catching, professional resume.

The Next Step: Applying! There are several ways you can apply to internships, but one of the most successful ways is to start on your school’s job board. This will provide you with the most direct-to-the-source application. After applying, it can be helpful to follow up with the recruiter. You can generally find their contact information on the job board or through LinkedIn. Send the recruiter a note explaining why you are excited about the position and that you are eager to hear back. (Don’t be afraid of following up weekly until you receive a response!)

The Final Step: The Interview! Once you hear back, interviews will commence quickly! Ensure that you do your research about the company and are ready for the tough technical questions. Utilize online resources to get yourself as prepared as possible!

Here at Whitepages, we are looking for eager Engineering students that are at the top of their class. We appreciate activities that set someone apart, such as TA experience or previous internships. We’re also looking for students that are passionate about the craft of Engineering. We believe that with intelligence and drive our interns will be able to successfully ship code to production by the end of the summer.

If you are looking for a company that will allow you to make an impact on a product that serves over 55M users a month, this is the place for you!

To apply for an engineering internship at Whitepages please visit our Career Page.

Below are some photos of our 2016 Summer Internship Class (some are now current employees!)