The TransCirrus Internship

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TransCirrus – General Intern, Research Triangle Park, NC

Everyone knows about the invisible technology cloud from your iPhone. You know, where your photos are somehow saved forever? TransCirrus allows companies to maintain and take advantage of their own cloud environment instead of relying on the services of a larger business. Employees at TransCirrus work closely with companies to design a personalized cloud environment that cuts costs and serves the company’s needs. While this sounds like an internship for the tech-savvy kid who lives down the hall and always has his nose in his laptop, interning at TransCirrus isn’t all about coding. The people who work at the company aren’t blank faced computer zombies. Instead, TransCirrus teach interns new skills and explain the depths of unheard technology.

What it’s actually like

With a small staff of high-energy employees, TransCirrus gives interns the chance to actually get involved in the company and make a difference. “I was able to communicate very easily with my boss and develop meaningful relationships with my co-workers,” said Laura Cabana, a sophomore business major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Working at TransCirrus made me feel like I was actually making an impact on the company, like what I was doing really matter. That is something I had not experienced previously when I was employed at larger companies,” she said. Be prepared to let go of your coffee-running days and leave at the end of the summer with the knowledge that you helped the company advance their product and improve their business. At TransCirrus, your boss looks at you as more than just an errand-runner.

Cool stuff you get to do

Interns at TransCirrus share their own ideas for improvement and gain experience in specific areas that match their interests. When I commented on the company’s blank, white website background and technical language, my boss immediately put me in charge of redesigning and rewording the website. Talk about a crash course in Wix. But this gave me the opportunity to get creative by talking to an expert in web design and learning how to study competitors’ websites to learn which layouts were most effective. When I wanted to learn more about marketing in addition to coding, my boss connected me with TransCirrus’ marketing director. For a few days each week I learned about search engine optimization and email campaigns. I went from “no prior experience” to organizing email campaigns sent to thousands of potential customers. The added bonus? I’ve got a website design to add to my portfolio and experience with communication, marketing, and MailChimp to add to my resume.

What you’ll learn

During this internship, students develop skills in marketing, coding and web design all while learning how the cloud works. “While I had not had any experience programming, my job was to write automated tests using Python and Selenium,” said Laura Cabana, former TransCirrus intern and sophomore business major at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The skills I learned and the connections I made were irreplaceable.”  The interns aren’t the only ones that learn on the job either. “The startup environment meant that we had a variety of challenges that required many different skills to overcome. This kept the job interesting. No two days were the same there, and I learned something new every day,” said Doug Fryar, former TransCirrus employee and current graduate student at NC State. Feel like your brain gets lazy in the summer? TransCirrus keeps your mind occupied with different projects every day and plenty of new skills to master before the summer ends.

How to prepare for your application

You don’t need to memorize perfectly scripted responses to interview questions because TransCirrus interviews feel more like laid back conversations, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about finding the best interns. Most importantly though, demonstrate a passion for learning and a willingness to take on any task. “I would boil [what we’re looking for] down to three things,” said John Fryar, director of strategic aliances and partnerships at TransCirrus. “One, an ability to work together with both the employee team and other interns. Two, the ability to quickly get up to speed is essential. Three, flexibility is also important. Both intern and employee want to get something out of the arrangement, so communication of the intern’s objectives to the employer is important.” TransCirrus interns have an opportunity to make a serious impact on the company, so when interviewing potential candidates, they’re looking for people who eager to jump right in.

Skills that impress them

You don’t need a flashy computer with a rainbow light up keyboard to prove your skills. “We were looking for people with a basic technical background who demonstrated intelligence and an ability to adapt and learn quickly,”Doug Fryar said. “We want to get you brought up to speed and contributing to the company as fast as possible because as a startup we had a million things to do and not near enough manpower to do it,” he said. Spend the first week brushing up on new skills at home so by the second week you can hit the ground running, and you’ll be everyone’s favorite intern.

Cool perks

TransCirrus also has an office dog. Need I say more? Strider, an adorable German-shepherd and Labrador mix, was in the office every single day. On breaks, interns often accompanied his owner to take Strider for walks and teach him to fetch. The interns also developed great relationships after spending almost every day working and eating lunch together. Because of this, several times at the end of the week interns hit the road together for a fun afternoon at the lake. “Honestly the internship was so great because of the atmosphere,” said Charlie Moore, a former TransCirrus intern. “It felt like we were all a family and that made work 1,000 times more fun. I really enjoyed how comfortable we all were spending time outside of work as well.”

The deets

Though the internship is unpaid, the skills learned and connections made are invaluable. Interns fine tune their Python skills and gain knowledge of both marketing, web design and any other aspect of the business they want to learn about. Always wondered what went into accounting? How about what it means to literally be a boss? You can learn it all at TransCirrcus If you have the opportunity to intern at TransCirrus, prepare for an awesome summer filled with lots of learning, great relationships and afternoon walks with the cutest dog you’ve ever seen.

Nisha is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is studying English and Computer Science and hopes to one day write novels.

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