First Month as a Software Developer Intern at HBS

Derek Poggemann / July 07, 2019
First Month as a Software Developer Intern at HBS

My name is Derek Poggemann, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and I am studying Business Information Systems. With my first internship, I had the expectation of working with code. My imagination of how things worked in the industry consisted of team members focusing on their own work, with minimal time for interaction with team members. I imagined strict orders from leaders, and an overall one directional communication style. 

As I transition into my second month at HBS, I am amazed at the inaccuracy of my thoughts before.   


No “bosses” …

I greeted an HBS team leader with “Hi, boss!

I was soon corrected when he told me to call him by his first name.

At HBS, I found the traditional “boss” style of leadership to be non-apparent. Leaders are taking part in the daily operations, sharing information back and forth with teammates. Overall, they are involved, as if they were a working on the project themselves.  


You will meet a lot of people…

I have been at HBS for approximately a month, and I have gotten to know a number of people in the organization. In the first week, I was going to lunch with fellow interns, and a group of Software Developers.

Ranging from company picnics, to team lunches, to Wednesday food trucks, there are ample opportunities to connect with each other. Each day I have a conversation with someone new, getting to know my coworkers better.  


No scratching your head…

As a new intern currently learning the ropes, many questions still arise as I conduct my work. There have been numerous occasions in which I needed assistance, and I haven't felt afraid or nervous to ask. At HBS, I’ve found that work is not solely conducted by a single person. Employees are eager to help, often working as one large collaborative group.


Join the Lunch and Learn…

Each month, team members and leaders take turns teaching on upcoming technologies, innovative strategies, and technological challenges. As they speak, other team members of varying positions are eating lunch, collaborating and discussing the technology side by side. To me, the lunch and learn makes me feel a part of the team, giving myself opportunities for continual learning. 


Overall, I have found that HBS emphasizes a positive work culture and is a great place to start my first internship.

Derek Poggemann
About the Author

Derek Poggemann
Engineer Associate Intern

Derek joined Heartland Business Systems as an intern in applications. He is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and has enjoyed working with and building software for many years.

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