State Farm, My 2nd Semester
My second semester at UIUC started on January 19th. While classes weren’t scheduled on that Monday, I did have to attend 5 hours of onboarding/training for my spring 2016 internship: a systems intern at State Farm.
State Farm is headquartered in Bloomington, IL, but operates a satellite office in Champaign, IL within the Research Park. Other companies in the Park include Yahoo, Agrible, AkunaCapital (which you can read about here), Caterpillar, and John Deere. The office I work out of is called the Research and Development Center. Essentially, Research Park companies hire talent like students - both undergrad and graduate - and faculty with the goal of building new technology.
When I arrive, I have to swipe in to enter the office. At first glance, it looks a little old-fashioned-IBM-cubile style, but there are some hidden more modern, Silicon-Valley touches. For example, I have a standing desk, there are free snacks, soda on tap (with Mountain Dew), and a coffee machine (which costs me $1).
At my desk, I currently have four laptops, and two monitors. State Farm has a lot of security measures in place, and it’s critical that I abide by those measures. One of the laptops is my designated “State Farm intranet laptop.” That means that the only laptop I can check email on, or sign into Skype for Business, or even fill out my weekly timesheets. The other three laptops also serve various purposes: one of the MacBook’s is my personal laptop, which I take into the office in case I need to look at some of my other code in reference to what I’m working on, the other MacBook is the laptop that both has access to State Farm files and allows me to actually code, and the last laptop is basically “off-the-shelf” (I can literally do anything on it and no one will get mad at me).