Reflections from a New Intern

Sitting at a table outside the cafeteria, my manager asked, “Now that you have been here for a week, how do you like EA so far? How does it differ from your expectations?”

On top of my head, I couldn’t think of anything but how everyone has been so nice to me, which is a pleasant surprise to the “real world” I had in mind. I said my thoughts, but there is actually a lot more to be told, as I took time to unravel what I experienced in the first week of interning with the Analytics team.

Three days before I started my internship, I flew across the country to the opposite coast and set foot in an unfamiliar valley powered by silicon. I began a life with no dining hall and no friends down the hallway. It was like first day of college all over again, but with magnified anxiety. As my friends back at Claremont are probably waking up minutes before class, I wake up at 7:45 am every morning, improvise lunch (i.e. avocado-carrot-lettuce-cereal salad), walk to the Caltrain station by 8:37 am, and transfer to the EA shuttle that brings me to campus by 9:06 am. Walking past countless strange and hurried faces, I reach the third floor where the EA Analytics team is located.

My work varies day by day, but usually consists of both quantitative and qualitative learning. I have done some simple python programming to clean up data before uploading, as well as practicing with SQL tutorials to navigate database. At the same time, I learn about the video gaming market, understand EA customers, and make sense of the data collected. I actually dreamed of excel sheets one night after I saw one with 5 million+ lines.

Going back to my manager’s question, I like the flexibility of the working hours and the casual atmosphere at EA. People at the office are extremely intelligent; their computer screens are filled with lines of intense code or equations or words or graphs that look crazy (sometimes a soccer game playing live in the other window). At the same time, they are very willing to help with any questions I have. They regularly check on me and see how am I doing. My manager is really busy, but he makes time to teach me, walk me through my project and include me as part of the team. It is definitely overwhelming to be pushed out of my comfort zone, and things felt very uncertain especially in the first week, but I have slowly started to feel more at home in my cubicle with the warmth of my manager and co-workers.

Szeyin Lee Scripps College
Class of 2014