My Experience Interning at BizStream

By Keith Rodgers On May 22, 2018

My Experience Interning at BizStream
As I begin to reflect on my web development internship at BizStream, that I started in August 2017, several things stand out from my experience. At the time, I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in computer science from Grand Valley State University and was looking for a part-time position. I had finished another internship with a large corporation over the summer and wanted to gain more experience in the field before beginning the search for a full-time job after my graduation in May of 2018.  

The Interview

A friend of mine had worked at Bizstream for several years, and I contacted him to see if there were any openings. I landed an interview, and right away, I knew there was something different about BizStream. The interview began as any other would with general questions, but very shortly afterward, I was asked several questions that stood out to me as different than the norm.  

One such question was something along the lines of, “How do you keep up with the current technologies and research in the computer science?”; the question made me pause for a second, I hadn't been asked that in an interview before. Honestly, it was refreshing. That question got me thinking that BizStream really wanted to ensure that their employees were constantly learning and developing their skills. The team explained the goals of internships here are to help individuals gain real-life experiences in the field, enhance development skills, and in the end, collaboratively assess if the intern may be a good fit to hire on as a full-time team member. 

The BizStream Culture

The culture at BizStream felt very different from other companies I had worked at in the past; it’s a much closer, family-oriented atmosphere. I spent a few days onboarding and learning the ropes. The onboarding process was impressive because of the detail that the team went into to ensure new hires have every resource needed.  As a prior blog post, Your First Day on the Job at BizStream details, several team members at BizStream spent a considerable amount of time refining the onboarding process; thinking of everything from running the coffee machine, building a first day agenda, scheduling a social hour, and setting up a development PC in its entirety. Their efforts were definitely noticed.  

Advancing My Skills

I then began working on a small Kentico project with another team member. Right off the bat, the owner, Mark, began investing time in teaching and training me, which I was very impressed with. Prior to working at BizStream, I had little to no experience writing JavaScript, so right away Mark had me begin to learn the language. At the time, Vue.js was picking up steam as a preferred JavaScript framework. Mark and several other team members at BizStream wanted to test out its capabilities, and what better way of doing so than implementing it on a project? So I began learning the framework and implementing it in the project, with considerable help from Mark, I might add.

Fast-forward several months and the project had nearly reached completion, and by this time, I had begun to spend considerable time with a Senior Developer, Jordan, who had become my mentor. I transitioned over to working with Jordan on a client project and started digging into the codebase to learn the architecture of the solution that our team was in the process of implementing. I spent another month or so working with Jordan refactoring every JavaScript page on the project to Vue.js; once again with help from Jordan & Mark. 

My Review

I went into my internship review meeting having a pretty good idea of what to expect, I knew that my development experience/skill set was very much on the low end compared to others at BizStream. The review went mostly as I expected, the team agreed with my self-assessment; but what stood out to me is what they said next.  

First off, they made it clear that from the perspective of character, I was exactly the kind of person they wanted to work with. Note the wording, work with them, not simply work for them as a number. That comment, among others, further reinforced the concept that I had already picked up on; Bizstream is a family company where the employees are treated as team members, no one person being more important than another. They continued by saying they would be happy to extend my internship. They handed me more responsibility working on a client-based project in order to continue developing my skills, though I was not yet at the level of a full-time developer.

 At this point, I had made up my mind that Bizstream was the place that I wanted to work, the culture is truly outstanding. Right away, I spoke with Jordan and told him my goal of coming on full time at BizStream, and that was all he needed to hear.

Landing My Dream Job

Over the next few months, Jordan invested a tremendous amount of time in coaching me, even though he had a tremendous workload at the time. Once again, pointing to Biztream’s philosophy on developing each team member and valuing character above experience. I would not still be here without Jordan’s investment in me, but thanks to his patience and experience, I was later offered a full-time position at BizStream as a web developer; which I happily accepted.  

I can’t put a value on the amount of money and time the BizStream team spent investing in me as an intern. To summarize my experience as an intern at BizStream, it all comes down to the core values that the company stands by. Biztream is a family that values each member the same as another. We learn from one another, work alongside each other, and enjoy a phenomenal “work hard, play hard” culture. I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given to work at BizStream these past nine months and look forward to seeing what the future holds with the team!
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About the author

Keith is a man of integrity and character. His goals in life are to Glorify God and love and serve his wife and family faithfully. He has an engineer’s mindset and enjoys seeing the big picture before diving into specific parts of the puzzle. Keith was born and raised in Allendale, MI, where he plans to raise a family with his wife, Carlee. After a long day of developing, Keith enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing physical work, and enjoying the great outdoors.

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