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Censys Summer Internship – Amidst a Pandemic

A pandemic that pushed the entire Censys team 100 percent remote could not obstruct our summer internship program! The People Team at Censys persevered through uncertainty and logistical challenges to smoothly onboard six interns from top universities to our design and development teams from May to August.

“I wanted each of our interns to feel like they were part of the team from day one,” said Jasmine Burns, head of People. She carefully considered the program, and worked with team leads in other departments to make sure the newcomers could hit the ground running and contribute in a meaningful way to the organization’s goals, even though they were entirely remote.

To that end, each intern was paired with a personal mentor, who volunteered to show them the ropes and provide advice, encouragement, and personal feedback throughout the duration of their internship.

Taha Bashir, a Biology Health and Society major from University of Michigan, said that his initial nerves were completely groundless, thanks to the warm welcome from the team. “From the beginning of my internship, I was paired with a team that cared tremendously about not only the work I was producing, but the learning I was doing. I’ve never worked with a group of people who care most about how you are doing and how your skills are being refined for your personal development. I went from not knowing anything really about Censys’ products and process to having a robust understanding of both, and I grew a lot this summer.”

“We had a big debate at Censys about how to run our intern program. I felt strongly that internships are to learn about industry,” said Steve Siadak, Director of Engineering at Censys. “We threw our interns into critical projects with aggressive timelines. Not only did they exceed every expectation, they quickly learned that happiness in your career comes from contributing to meaningful work. You can’t get that on safe side projects.”

“Interning at Censys this summer was a treat,” said Elliot Cubit, a Computer Science major on a Systems Programming track at Purdue University, who contributed to the Censys data team. “The biggest surprise, by far, was the nature of the work I was given. While I’ve heard complaints from peers that their internships consisted of writing unit tests for 14 weeks, my experience at Censys was different. I was given the opportunity to develop important and meaningful features.”

Grace Murphy of the University of Michigan, who also worked on the data team, echoed this sentiment as well: “I had no idea what to expect from a remote internship, but everyone at Censys immediately welcomed me as a member of the team, which made it easy to jump in and start making contributions. I was able to merge in my first piece of code within two weeks!”

Rina Chen, a Computer Science major at University of Michigan, said that she learned a lot this summer working on the Attack Surface Management frontend team. “Looking back, learning is definitely the keyword of my summer experience at Censys,” Rina said. “I really appreciate how Censys gave us interns opportunities to work on things that a real engineer would work on. I really felt a huge sense of achievement when seeing my work go into production and having a positive impact on the product our customers are using every day.”

Contributions from the interns were not limited to software development. Katie Amidon, a University of Michigan BSI student, says that while classroom experiences provided the skill set, “working at Censys has shown me how to actually use those tools in a real-world setting. There are more challenges and unexpected scenarios, but there is also the opportunity to create a highly usable product that will truly help software users. I am so grateful that working at Censys has allowed me to grow into a more well rounded designer who can begin to deliver on that possibility.”

Diversity in hiring was another expressed goal of the Censys summer internship program. “It was really important to all of us to demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity by hiring a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and a variety of majors to contribute positively to our workplace culture,” said Jasmine.

Feedback from the interns on their experience was both positive and constructive in helping Censys continue its goal of creating a diverse workforce where everyone is welcomed to contribute their unique strengths. “My favorite thing about Censys is definitely its people and culture,” said Rina. “I love how collaborative, creative, enthusiastic, and inclusive everyone in the company is!”

As a result of the efforts of our team and our bright, motivated interns, Censys experienced a fun and highly productive summer. Dave Corcoran, CEO of Censys, quipped in a team meeting, “I’m not just blowing smoke when I say that this is the best group of interns I’ve ever worked with.”

We’d like to sincerely thank all of our wonderful interns for their hard work and great attitudes, and wish them luck in the next school year!

Are you interested in joining Censys, too? Check out our job openings!

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