Meet our 2020 summer intern class

Asana Engineering TeamEngineering Team
November 5th, 2020
4 min read
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Every summer, we have a class of interns join our Design and Engineering teams. They work on important and impactful projects, contribute to feature launches, site stability and making the codebase a more pleasant place to develop in. This year we had our first fully remote class, and it was our largest class yet: 30 interns across Engineering, Data Engineering, Data Science, and Product Design.

As is our yearly tradition, I caught up with some of our interns before they went back to school to get a sense of what they worked on and what they learned.

Our 2020 interns & what they worked on

At Asana, we treat interns like we treat all employees—they are a part of the team, and they do real work (see our Guide to intern mentorship). Here are the important and impactful projects some of our interns worked on this summer.

Lucy, Mobile iOS Engineer

As part of the iOS Mobile Engineering team, Lucy worked on improving the new user invite experience, inbox, and the team lead onboarding experience. In addition to these projects, she also worked on improving the app’s accessibility by investigating the biggest pain points and making changes to make the application better. Lucy enjoys spending time with friends, reading and writing poetry, and trying new foods.

Kush, Business Data Scientist

On the Business Data Science team, Kush got exposure to the day-to-day work of a data scientist by immediately diving into analyses for stakeholders, reviewing A/B test results, and giving statistical feedback during stakeholder meetings. In addition, he had the opportunity to design useful dashboards and visualizations for partner teams.

Kush wrapped his internship with a large-scale analysis into the ongoing benefits and opportunities that Asana integrations have for free users. Through this analysis, he was able to learn new statistical/machine learning techniques like propensity score matching and present them to the team. Kush was able to brainstorm and synthesize feedback from stakeholders to better provide impactful and actionable insights for them to work with. Kush loves to hike and speed-cube, and during shelter in place, he got back into playing piano!

Drew, Infrastructure Security Engineer

Drew worked on containerizing Asana’s infrastructure on our Infrastructure Security team. He first converted scripts to isolated AWS Lambdas so that we could then isolate each script’s permissions. He then worked on making our network permissions easier to manage via infrastructure-as-code. Drew enjoys running, reading a good book while drinking a cup of coffee, and loves the smell of fall.

Jaclyn, Automation Designer

Jaclyn was Product Design intern working on Automation. During her internship, she helped redesign the date picker to improve start date discoverability. Jaclyn is a California-raised designer who enjoys trail running, avocados, birds, coffee, and the WhatFont chrome extension.

Harry, Developer Efficiency Engineer

Harry worked on helping Product Engineers streamline their development process. One of his primary projects was to improve our automatic BUILD file generation and enforce it for all web app changes. This was particularly challenging because Harry was exploring a complex build system, Bazel, and understanding everything needed to configure dependencies to be sufficient and minimal. He collaborated with Engineers on his own team and others, collecting input and making implementation decisions based on their input. Harry is passionate about solving cool problems, particularly in the machine learning quantum cloud blockchain VR AI space.

Octavian, Monetization Foundations Engineer

Octavian re-ignited the engineering effort on a modal dialog to let billing owners change their billing tier. This was part of the team’s overarching goal of moving away from one centralized location for changing anything about billing into action-specific dialogs. He worked intensively with React, and wrote a lot of Typescript as well as CSS for this project. Octavian likes playing tennis, hiking, and reading all sorts of non-fiction

What’s it like to work at Asana?

At Asana, we treat company culture like a product: It’s designed and built by a team of people who each contribute to a different Area of Responsibility. For us, it’s important that our interns are able to engage in our company culture at large and get a sense of what it’s like to work here full time. 

“I constantly felt supported, being a part of a vibrant community that is constantly looking for ways to improve and become better.” – Lucy

“Even via remote work, there is always a cooking class, game night, or sharing session going on where you can enjoy and grow.” – Kush

“Asana is super intentional about its culture. Positive, effective interactions with other employees, having a productive and healthy work life, and meaningful relationships with your colleagues are a given as an Asana employee.” – Drew

“Even remotely, working at Asana felt like joining this giant beehive of excitement and passion for the product. Because the same product is used internally, I felt like every employee is deeply connected to the work, and my own work was constantly engaged with that.” – Jaclyn

“Asana has clearly put in a framework that sets interns up for success. I had multiple people whom I could speak to, including my mentor, my program lead (who was on my team), and my engineering manager (who was higher up). I could talk about my work within the scope of my team, within Asana, and within my career as a whole, and I could talk to whomever I felt most comfortable with.” – Harry

“There is that cohesiveness that ties everything back together towards one goal; improving the product.” – Octavian

What does mentorship look like at Asana?

Every intern gets support and guidance from several mentors during their time at Asana. Our mentors play a key role, from connecting interns to other team members and coaching them through challenges to identifying opportunities to help them maximize their success. 

“Mentorship at Asana looks like guidance and support through a field that you love and want to get better at. My mentor wasn’t only there to answer my questions, but he was also there whenever I wanted to chat about my internship, future life goals, interesting topics to study before going into the industry, and leadership roles at Asana.” – Lucy

“It starts on the first day where the mentors and managers are very supportive of your interests and goals for the summer. They specifically choose projects that will help you grow in these areas, while also providing valuable impact for the team.” – Kush

“Mentorship involves having frequent feedback loops, clear communication about expectations, and being an accessible resource when you are stuck. My mentor patiently answered all my questions, ensured that I understood the purpose of what I was working on, and made sure that I had the opportunity to take on a high-impact project with the support of the team. ” – Drew

“Mentorship to me was being able to meet and talk everyday about whatever was on my mind.“ – Jaclyn

“One of the things that stood out to me at most about mentorship at Asana is that it sort of ‘molds’ to the type of intern you are.” – Octavian

Be a part of our next intern class!

We are so grateful for the amazing product improvements our interns deliver to our customers. We love our interns! Keep an eye on our careers site as we open up more positions so you can join us as an intern next year!

Special thanks to Lucy, Kush, Drew, Jaclyn, Harry, and Octavian

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