The first day at an internship is like your first day of school, you will be excited, nervous and all too eager to fit in. I was very lucky to have a Canisius classmate and friend, Dave, with me because we are interning for Mr. Bob Hartz of Harbortown Interactive, together. Today we met with him and his lead programmer, at the Thomas Beecher Innovation center; a former Trico plant that was remodeled into urban offices.  From the solar powered lights in the parking lot to the café in the lobby, I knew this was a place where I can see myself. I immediately felt like I entered “grown up world” when I walked into the lobby and told the receptionist who I was here to see. I clutched my leather portfolio bag, adjusted my posture and took a few confident steps toward the shiny elevator. Although we were only on the 4th floor, the view looked stellar, the mountains in the south towns were visible and a number of recognizable Buffalo landmarks popped up along the rooftops. I resisted the urge to run and peek out the window. Bob was very welcoming, as was SanJay who we had a chance to talk with before. His story of becoming a successful software engineer right out of high school who now owns his own company was intriguing.  It turns out he has even done work with Disney (my dream company). It amazes me how many connections arise when you speak with professionals in a field you are interested in.

The conversation between the four of us quickly began to flow in natural way. Bob told us the structure of our work environment, which will be very self-driven. In the real world, it may be the case that members of your team may not be in the same office, let alone the same state and he explained how the team has frequent meetings on Google hangouts.  He has a wonderful idea for an educational, immersive 3D game and is looking to us to help him conceptualize and create it. The purpose is to help children (grades 3-6) understand elements of the NYS common core. He encouraged us to bring ideas and concepts to the table and reminded us to not be afraid to make mistakes.  I cannot wait to begin researching the target audience and other educational games that exist in order to start sketching ideas of what this “interactive world “ will look like and how it can function. I like how this internship offers me the full spectrum of a project, from idea to development.