At Buckeye Interactive, we love our interns! They’re valuable members of our team. And we always want to highlight and applaud their hard work, especially during these unprecedented times. Pearson Spychalski, Ria Jotsinghani, and Rebecca Zhang have been with us more or less since the beginning of the summer. They’ve been a delight to work with, and it’s our pleasure to introduce them to you!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are you studying?
Pearson: I grew up in New Albany, Ohio, and graduated from New Albany High School in 2019. I am pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration with a Finance Specialization at The Ohio State University, Max M. Fisher College of Business. I am minoring in Business Analytics and am heading into my second year this upcoming fall.
Ria: I grew up in Dublin, Ohio, and graduated from Jerome High School in 2019. Currently, I am pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh! I just finished up my freshman year there and am heading into my sophomore year soon.
Rebecca: I grew up in New Albany, Ohio. I am going into my senior year of high school at New Albany High School, and I’m planning to major in Computer Science in college.
How did you learn about Buckeye Interactive?
Pearson: I learned about Buckeye Interactive through the Diversity & Inclusion Technology Program at Ohio Third Frontier. I previously interned as a Technical Strategist at Ohio Third Frontier.
Ria: I learned about Buckeye Interactive by applying to the Diversity & Inclusion Technology Program. This is a great opportunity for any college student who is interested in the technological field to get hands-on experience interning at an innovative company in Ohio. My resume was matched with Buckeye Interactive.
Rebecca: Two of my friends also interned at Buckeye Interactive. They told me all about what they did, and it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to be able to experience what being a developer is like.
What role do you play as an intern at Buckeye Interactive?
Pearson: At Buckeye Interactive, I am an Account Manager Intern. I handled client relationships, performed project management skills while leading projects, and implemented new processes for Buckeye Interactive to adapt.
Ria: At BI I am a Software Engineering Intern. In general, the role of an intern is to learn as much as possible wherever we can and try to apply the skills we have learned to real-life situations in the workplace. As a software engineer, I worked a lot with the development team to see the process of transforming the ideas/visions from other team members into a functional, tangible website. Additionally, a great part of my experience at BI was working with the Can’t Stop Columbus organization. This is an initiative that was started to unite the efforts of volunteers to aid our community during the COVID19 pandemic.
Rebecca: I am shadowing at Buckeye Interactive to be able to experience what being a developer is like and also learn the inner workings of a company. I was able to talk with everyone on the team and see what their job was like.
What’s it like being an intern at BI?
Pearson: It’s an experience that isn’t paralleled anywhere else. I was able to quickly adapt to the remote internship because of the support and encouragement provided by the whole team. I do meaningful work at Buckeye Interactive and am proud of the work I accomplished.
Ria: My experience as an intern at BI was awesome! Of course, like any new position, I was nervous at the start of my internship, especially since I had never worked remotely before. However, the team quickly eased any apprehension I had by welcoming me with open arms and always being willing to help me out. Everyone on the team believes in constant improvement, whether this is personal or as a whole. This mindset really showed through in everyone’s enthusiasm to help me with an unfamiliar task or to teach me a new skill.
Rebecca: It is a very rewarding experience. Starting during quarantine was a weird experience. But the team took the time out of the busy schedule to talk to me and show me their work. They are all very welcoming and have helped me any way they could.
How do you foresee your internship experience impacting your future career?
Pearson: I’ve developed skills that will help me throughout my whole life. Coming in with no prior website development knowledge, I quickly learned hard skills that enabled me to complete my job and communicate effectively at a higher level. The responsibilities I have maintaining client relationships and projects provide me project management experience and soft skills I can carry with me throughout my life.
Ria: This internship was an extremely valuable experience for me, especially because I was working from home due to the pandemic. Being remote forced me to take initiative when asking for help and finding something to work on. It has taught me to be more proactive in the workplace and not be afraid to reach out. I have learned that it is always better to ask for help when necessary rather than ignore an issue. This is an important skill that I will take with me into my future career. I also got to experience what a healthy, cooperative, and genuinely fun work environment is like, which has set the standard for what I will look for in any future job.
Rebecca: This internship gave me insight into being a developer. Before the internship, I was interested in majoring in Computer Science and becoming a developer, but I was not positive if it was a good fit or not. This internship allowed me to confirm that I would love being a developer and would enjoy pursuing it in the future.
How do our core values (collaboration, initiative, ingenuity) align with your own?
Pearson: The three core values align well with my internship. Taking the initiative to reach out to people, learn, and replicate processes allowed me to start taking on responsibilities quickly. I enjoyed collaborating with team members to solve complicated support requests. And practicing ingenuity helps fulfill client needs and deliver finished products.
Ria: I find that there is strength in working in a team, which aligns with the core value of collaboration. At BI, it was amazing to see team members from different disciplines, whether it be engineering, design, or strategy, communicating and finding solutions to problems. I also believe that there is always something new to learn, and there are always new approaches to problem solving. Buckeye Interactive exemplifies this mindset through their core value of ingenuity, which can be seen through their unique solutions and willingness to try new things. Lastly, like I mentioned in the previous question, initiative was something that I learned a lot about this summer. I have made it a goal to internalize this value and apply it to any future decision making process.
Rebecca: Buckeye Interactive is focused on helping companies that will help the world, no matter how small. Helping the world, no matter how small, is still helping the world become a better place. I also love how connected the company is. Buckeye Interactive has amazing communication skills, which helps them create the best websites. Communication is key in creating the best product fast and efficiently. It helps create a welcoming space that everyone feels safe enough to speak up.
What is your favorite hobby/sport?
Pearson: I love to swim! I was involved competitively in High School and continued to swim as exercise in college before Covid.
Ria: I love to dance! I have been dancing since I was 5 years old. Ever since, it has been one of my favorite ways to release stress and just have fun. Dance is important to me because it allows me to express the creative side of myself, and it also keeps me healthy/sane:)
Rebecca: My favorite sport is swimming. It takes up a lot of my time, but it is an opportunity to just forget about anything stressful in my life. Swimming allows me to focus on swimming and nothing else.
What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
Pearson: I have five other siblings that I love and care about! I just recently became an uncle after my oldest sister had a baby boy named Will!
Ria: I am an expert at taking naps (not necessarily the most fascinating thing, but still funny), even if I get plenty of sleep the night before. My mom would worry about me when I was younger because I could fall asleep anywhere within seconds! Even if it was a five minute drive home and music was blasting on the speakers, by time we got to our house, she would find me fast asleep in the backseat. And I would probably still do the same thing today.. Kinda weird.
Rebecca: I was born in Albany, New York and moved to New Albany, Ohio when I was three. People like to joke that I moved from the old Albany to the New Albany.
What advice do you have for future BI interns?
Pearson: Don’t be afraid to reach out to other team members. You will be able to adapt and take on more responsibilities sooner if you ask questions and aren’t afraid to have people walk you through what they are doing!
Ria: Ask questions! This is something I was nervous to do at first, but trust me when I say it is better to be upfront about things you are unsure about than to deal with the consequences later. The BI team is very open to helping out without any judgement whatsoever. I have asked my fair share of seemingly dumb questions, but it really is the most effective way to grow as both a learner and communicator.
Rebecca: Everything will confuse you at first, but don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone at Buckeye Interactive is willing to help, no matter how busy they are. Also, take this opportunity to learn about the whole process of creating a website, even if it is not something you think you are interested in. This is a great opportunity to just learn and experience.