Our First Intern

This post is from our head of design Jenni McKienzie

We have a summer intern! My daughters go (“went” for one of them, as of two weeks ago) to Plano Academy High School where everybody is required to do at least a 30-hour internship before they graduate. Most students do theirs between junior and senior year, but one of my sophomore daughter’s classmates sent me an email shortly before school was out, asking about opportunities.

This enterprising young man decided to go through his mom’s LinkedIn connections looking for possible matches. That in and of itself speaks volumes. His email to me stated that Banter was his first choice because he’s interested in both linguistics and programming. We met at Starbucks (do people meet anywhere other than coffee shops these days?) and talked about the company: what we do, some history, problems we face, how he might be able to help. After further internal discussion, we came up with what we think is just the right project for him to explore both of his interests while potentially providing the company something truly useful.

As a company, we are excited to have him around this summer on multiple levels. At our size, an intern wasn’t anything we were thinking actively about, and especially a high school intern, but this is a perfect fit. There’s nothing quite like having somebody young and eager to learn around to energize you and make you hopeful. There’s the altruistic angle of helping a young person explore possibilities and careers, and helping a still-new school deliver on its vision. Almost incidental is the opportunity to make some progress on a back-burner project that we just hadn’t had time to get into.

I spent five years teaching middle school math and computer literacy after college. I have tutored regularly since then, and extensively as my kids and their friends have been preparing for college placement tests. Part of me will always be a teacher. Mentoring and teaching make me happy. So this is a situation where everybody wins. I get to mentor, we help the school, we make some progress on a project, and hopefully Daniel has an amazing internship experience this summer.

So on behalf of all of Banter, welcome, Daniel Brubaker!

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