In The Intern’s Words – Ramblings And Insights Into A Summer Internship

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. August 2, 2009 — My time spent in Charlottesville working at SHINE Systems & Technologies (“SHINE”; this summer has been pretty enjoyable as well as very educational.  I can honestly say that from the time that I’ve spent working with SHINE Systems this summer, I have learned more than I had ever thought I would.  I now know what Cloud Computing is as well as how much business phone systems and business class internet costs (and all of their features).  I also know what the going rate per square foot is for commercial real estate in several parts of the state of Virginia.  As a student at Juniata College studying Engineering Physics, these bits of information previously weren’t ranking very high on my list of “Things to Know.”  However, in the future if I find myself working for a small business again, I will be well versed in these areas and will be able to handle them with ease.

Now, I bet you’re probably wondering what parts of this internship I’ve enjoyed after raving about the awesome experience I had working here this summer.  Well, I’ve found it’s really great being able to get to know everyone that works here.  I’ve become a semi-regular at one of the local Starbucks (which is either kind of cool, or really sad; I’m still not too sure).  I really love the fact that I have my own office.  Whenever I’m home I talk with my friends about their jobs and I always ask, “Do you have your own office? I DO!!!”  Another great thing about this internship is the feeling of great importance when working on projects that are sensitive and can’t be discussed with other people.  I also enjoy the fact that I have fairly flexible hours here.  It’s also pretty nice that I’m not worked into the ground every week, working like 50 hours per week, like some people I know.  With the hours that I have here, I’m able to actually go out and have plenty of energy to explore and enjoy myself from time to time.

I will say there were a couple things about this internship that I haven’t enjoyed all that much, but they are far less than the things I enjoy about it.  The fact that during the week I’m living in an area where I know basically no one, especially no one my age, has been a little rough.  Being far away from all of my friends and family has also been a little difficult at times, perhaps because I have to fend for myself for dinner every night.  With the amount of fast food I’ve consumed, I think it’s a medical miracle I’m still alive.

There are a few things that I’ve done here outside the office which have helped me overcome the few downsides to being in an unfamiliar area down here.  I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a tour of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS;  While there, I got to watch a live crash test and see results of the various crash tests they perform at their facility.  I also went on a tour of the Monticello which was extremely beautiful.  I absolutely loved the view up there, and some of Jefferson’s inventions shown in his house were rather interesting.  Being the huge car guy that I am I had to find something car related to do while I’m down here.  I did some research and found out there’s a local VW club called WunderWagens that meets every Sunday at the Chipotle, so I decided I’d try to make it to a couple meetings.  Turns out they’re all great people, and I really enjoy talking to all of them about cars and other interests we happen to share.

I feel this internship, combined with the degree in Engineering Physics that I will receive from Juniata College ( in May of 2010, will help me enormously in my future, no matter what I end up doing.  Juniata is a liberal arts school, which helps its students become well-rounded by allowing us to learn things outside of our major so we can be more successful in the future.  This internship has taken this philosophy and expanded upon it, teaching me things I would have never learned in any class I could have taken.  I now know what it is like to work for a small company, and the struggles and triumphs they go through.  This has been an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Note: SHINE’s first intern’s residence is located in the Washington, DC metro area.

SHINE Systems & Technologies (SHINE; is a small business management consultancy headquartered in Charlottesville, VA.  SHINE Systems is focused on enabling clients with end-to-end solutions that leverage workflow, technology integration, collaboration, and innovation. Our client base includes the Federal Government, State and Local Governments, Non-Profits, and Commercial firms. SHINE’s subject matter expertise encompasses military and business Intelligence Analysis, Fusion, and Analytics; web and non-web based Software Engineering; Business Process and Workflow Engineering, Re-Engineering, and Optimization; Collaboration and Strategic Planning; the Information Technologies; the Health and Life Sciences; and Intellectual Property management and commercialization.