Author Archives: Noel Ermer

10 Steps to a Successful Summer Internship

Congratulations! You found an internship. Here comes the fun part. 

Internships are a great way to practice being an adult: you get to manage your life in the way you choose, decide what career areas to explore, and work alongside professionals in your chosen  field. However, this newfound flexibility can be an adjustment, and navigating it for the first or second time can be a challenge. Here, I give ten easy-to-follow tips in order to ensure you have a successful summer internship. 

  1. Set Goals 

Goal setting is a tool that you will take with you throughout your life. At the beginning of your internship, it is important to establish some guidelines and specific goals that you hope to accomplish over the summer. Having concrete goals in mind will increase the likelihood they will be completed and will improve your overall satisfaction with your internship experience. Write your goals down and be sure to revisit them periodically over the summer to see if you are on target or if your goals change based on what you are learning. 

  1. Say “Yes”

During your summer, there will be moments when you can take on more responsibility. Take the initiative and say “yes.” Even though summer is a time to relax and wind down from the hectic school year, challenging yourself in a work setting is important when learning about yourself outside of a school setting. The more you say “yes,” the more experience you will have in the field. With that said, do not take on more work than you are able, but try your best to challenge yourself without sacrificing your emotional or physical well-being. 

  1. Communicate with your Supervisor

Last summer, one of my friends interned at a nursing home. After working there for two days, she was placed on a project that she did not enjoy and realized that she was dreading her work. With her advisor, she discussed alternative projects that she could work on, and her advisor accommodated her. 

In this case, my friend’s internship was flexible and she was able to pivot projects. This may not necessarily be the case with everyone’s role, so it’s important to “read the room,” and assess how/if you can change things up if your experience is not meeting your expectations. The key takeaway here is to communicate with your supervisor – about what you want to learn, if you want more responsibility, when things are challenging for you, or if you need help. 

  1. Manage your time wisely

There may be a point in your internship where you feel like you have too much on your plate. Communicate with your supervisor and ask how to best prioritize your time and follow their advice. Try making a schedule and keep yourself accountable for sticking to it. 

  1. Be a sponge. 

As a college student, there is so much you can learn outside of the classroom; after all, that’s why internships exist! Different roles have different levels of responsibility, but no matter the context, try to soak everything up. Be a sponge. Go to every meeting you are invited to and if your supervisor doesn’t think to invite you, ask if there are certain meetings you could attend, so you can learn more. Take in the environment and the way the coworkers interact with each other. Eventually, you will want to ask yourself: is this the kind of environment I aspire to work in? Am I motivated by this work? 

  1. Bring your unique experiences and perspectives to the table.

Everyone has something unique to bring to the table – whether that is a special aptitude or skill, a unique perspective, or an ability to communicate with ease. When possible, try to bring your strengths and perspectives to the table. This will allow you to feel confident in your contributions to the internship and will leave a lasting impression. 

  1. Keep track of your projects.

Summer is a hectic time when so many things are going on. Try to take some time to reflect and note all of the progress you have made on all of your work. This will allow you to remember all of the progress you made this summer and will make it easier to talk about it when it comes to future interviews. 

  1. Talk to everyone. 

Networking: How frightening! In practice, networking does not have to seem as daunting as you may initially think. It is important to maintain good relationships with those with whom you work – may that be coworkers, advisors, or even people working in other divisions of the organization. Internships are a fantastic opportunity to meet people and make long-lasting business connections. 

Ask your supervisor or other contacts for a quick 10-15 minute conversation about their paths. While it is possible they may not respond or have time, many people love passing on their wisdom and enjoy speaking about themselves.

  1. Say “Thank You”.

A lot of work and time went into mentoring you and preparing for your internship. Once your work is winding down, make sure you give proper thanks to those who helped you most. This could mean something as simple as a thank you note, or even buying them a small gift to express your gratitude.

  1. Keep in touch! 

Keep in touch with your supervisor, your coworkers, and other employees to follow along on the progress of your project. This will allow you to speak about it more concretely in interviews and you can see the lasting impacts of your work. 

By Noel Ermer 

Noel Ermer ‘23 is a senior at Middlebury College studying Biochemistry and Spanish. During her time at Middlebury, she has received two summer funding grants and has worked for the CCI since May 2020. After graduating, Noel will be moving to the DC area to work as a management consultant analyst at Accenture Federal Services.

Vermont Innovation Summer: Vernal Biosciences Intern

About Vernal Biosciences Vernal Biosciences manufactures high purity mRNA for research use. Vernal Biosciences is seeking motivated self-starters who take initiative, ask questions, seek answers, and can make headway at the lab bench. Experience running common protein-, DNA- or RNA- based production procedures, purification and quantitative/qualitative assays is a plus. Job responsibilities may include but are not limited to: bacterial transformation & scale up, plasmid prep & development, in vitro transcription, RNA capping, DNA/RNA agarose gel image analysis, Western blot, and RNA purification. This is an opportunity to become part of Vermont’s burgeoning Biotech scene while learning worthwhile skills in a fast-paced, small team environment. 

What you’ll do 

● You will gain experience and contribute to Vernal’s origin story.

● You will work as part of our R&D team to understand and employ the processes involved in RNA synthesis and purity assurance.

● You will empirically optimize processes preceding or concurrent with RNA synthesis.

● You will employ an electronic lab notebook (ELN) and become acquainted with data architecture, organization and data-driven inquiry.

● You will present your findings and forward-thinking in a group setting.

This opportunity is part of Middlebury College’s Vermont Innovation Summer cohort program, sponsored by the Innovation Hub. This program supports students working with companies and on self-directed projects across Burlington’s innovation ecosystem. For more information about Vermont Innovation Summer, please contact Ben Yamron at

Volunteers needed for Tech Alumni Interviews

Jeff Sawyer is looking for student volunteers to interview alumni about their career roles for two MiddVantage series he is designing. Volunteers will record an alum about their current career role (what it is, what they do, and the future direction of that career role), what their own career path was from Middlebury to their current career role, and their advice for students interested in that type of a career field.  One of the series will consist of recorded interviews of alumni with various career fields involving data analytics and the other will focus on alumni with various career roles in technology (e.g., AI/Machine Learning, VR/AR, UX/UI, Gaming, NLP, Computer Vision, Quantum Computing, Cyber Security).

If you are interested in being an interviewer as part of one or both of these MiddVantage series, please email Jeff Sawyer to express your specific interests. For more about the MiddVantage program and examples of past recorded interviews in other career fields, check out the MiddVantage series on the CCI Events and Programs tab.

Interesting News Items in the World

How Many Jobs are Available in Technology in the U.S.?

The latest data from several IT consultancies and hiring platforms shows the hiring rate for tech jobs has slowed, but industries continue to add positions — particularly for emerging fields. Read more about it in this article from Computer World.

What do Companies Look For in a New Product Manager?

It’s important to get inside your interviewer’s head. What are they looking for?  Aside from intellect, smarts, the power to adapt, think and act on their feet? They want a person who is motivated to do the job, can work with different teams and has the ability to prioritize features that they already know users are looking for. A Product Manager has to be resilient, strategic and insightful. Which means the hiring company will ask a multitude of questions to figure out if you are the one.  Check out more product management interview prep info in the “Top Resources” tab of the Technology Newsletter

Are Product Managers Paid More Than Engineers?

Yes, Product Managers are usually paid more than Engineers. The average base pay for Product Managers is $109,000/year, while the average base pay of Engineers is $92,000/year. There are some exceptions to these income levels. However, Product Managers generally earn higher incomes than Engineers. Read more about it in this article in Web App Huddle.

Data Analytics

What exactly is data analytics? What would you be doing as a data analyst, and what kind of hard and soft skills do you need to start learning? In this video introduction, Career Foundry gives you a simple overview of data analytics, and detail some tangible examples of what the role involves! See more here

From Shelly Palmer’s Blog

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple’s next major product – a mixed-reality headset – is set to arrive next year. The headset itself is likely to be priced between $2,000 and $3,000, packing a Mac-level M2 chip, more than 10 cameras placed inside and outside of the device, and the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset. It will also run a new operating system called “realityOS,” which is said to include MR versions of core Apple apps like Messages, FaceTime, and Maps. Job listings from Apple imply that the company is planning to create 3D mixed-reality worlds. Rumors about upcoming Apple products are just that: rumors. Lately, though, Apple has not been as good as it used to be about keeping secrets. I’m excited about Apple’s vision for a mixed-reality future. Based on the available information, the upcoming Apple hardware and software will give us an exciting new way to surface data and make it actionable. Yet another piece of evidence where big tech is investing – AR/VR!

Microsoft’s deal for Activision getting scrutiny around world


Microsoft’s plan to buy video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion could have major effects on the gaming industry throughout much of the world. By Matt O’Brien and Kelvin Chan Associated Press

Microsoft’s plan to buy video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion could have major effects on the gaming industry, transforming the Xbox maker into something like a Netflix for video games by giving it control of many more popular titles.

But to get to the next level, Microsoft must first survive a barrage of government inquiries from the United Kingdom to New Zealand to Brazil, and from U.S. regulators emboldened by President Joe Biden to strengthen their enforcement of antitrust laws. Read More Here

Why Microsoft could be ‘extremely well-positioned’ for metaverse success

As companies seek to build out the metaverse, Microsoft Corp. may already have many of the necessary tools in its pocket.

The metaverse has become a hot buzzword lately as companies like Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc. FB, -4.23%, Microsoft MSFT, -1.85%, Roblox Corp. RBLX, -8.57% and Epic Games explore the possibility of new virtual worlds through which people can connect. The concept is still in early innings, and it’s not yet clear whether there will ultimately be one or many metaverses, but Bernstein analyst Mark Moerdler has confidence in the idea that software companies stand to benefit as the tech world works to realize its virtual vision.’s Tech Megatrends of 2022

You may want to read this article from which references tech’s 10 megatrends for 2022.  While the article is intended to point out stocks for investment purposes, the organizations referenced may be worth investigating as you plot your career exploration efforts. Read more here

How a mistake by YouTube shows its power over media

Every hour, YouTube deletes nearly 2,000 channels. The deletions are meant to keep out spam, misinformation, financial scams, nudity, hate speech and other material that it says violates its policies.  But the rules are opaque and sometimes arbitrarily or mistakenly enforced. Policy experts say such experience is indicative of thorny free speech issues YouTube faces as the world’s largest online video service.

BETA Technologies begins process to expand electric aircraft facility in Vermont

The future is happening in Vermont. BETA plan will create hundreds of new jobs in the region and emphasize sustainability, access to green aviation and STEM education across Vermont.

Interested in a Technology Career? Need a Place to Start?

For those of you interested in finding resources helpful to preparing for and finding roles in software engineering and/or other tech roles, e.g., product management, data science, UX/UI design, check out the Top Resources tab of this newsletter.  New resource content has been provided by alumni members of the Technology Middlebury Professional Network.

Also, watch the new videos on the Stories from the Field tab.  We hope to add new stories each week.

Upcoming Events

World Wide Technology Summer 2024 Internship Information Session

May 2 – get a start of finding tech internships for summer 2024. Learn about this employer and various internship opportinities. Register in Handshake

From Zero to ChatGPT Hero: Coding with AI sponsored by Tech Talent & Strategy

April 14 Virtual Session Register in Handshake

Tech Talent & Strategy (formerly Tech Talent South), is a woman-owned tech recruitment, training, and staffing company that believes everyone can be equipped to do something big.

Personal Brand 101: Putting Your Best Self Forward sponsored by Palentir Technologies

Virtual program April 13 Register in Handshake

At Palentir, we’re working to build a future in which public institutions, commercial enterprises, and non-profit organizations can use data to function as they were designed — to fulfill the mandates with which they’ve been entrusted, to deliver value to customers, and to distribute aid to those most in need. We partner with the most important institutions in the world to transform how they use data and technology. Our software has been used to stop terrorist attacks, discover new medicines, gain an edge in global financial markets, and more.

Google Presents – Owning Your Career with Jenny Wood

March 14 @ 12:00 PM PT / 2:00 PM CT / 3:00 PM ET

Identifying your professional superpowers, quantifying the impact you make with them, and successfully socializing your influence are critical skills to own and accelerate your career development. But where do you start? With that in mind, Careers OnAir is to the rescue! We invite you to join our Owning Your Strengths & Boosting Professional Confidence Series. On March 14th, we’ll be joined by Jenny Wood for a Fireside Chat with Lauren Dawson to follow on the 15th. Register in Handshake

Jenny is an executive at Google whose team drives billions of dollars of revenue a year. She is also the founder of Own Your Career, an internal program that has helped thousands of Googlers activate their personal strengths and shine. Learn more about Jenny at

Featured Employers with Opportunities Expiring Soon!

There are several hundred SWE, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Project Manager, and Product Manager opportunities in the tech field available on Handshake (internships and full-time). Take a look and apply! A few examples expiring soon, include:

Technical Interview Prep Program – Summer ’23

The Technology Middlebury Professional Network (MPN) and CCI are again sponsoring this summer’s Technical Interview Prep Program for students interested in pursuing internships and full-time positions as software engineers and data engineers. The program provides 2023 rising sophomore, junior, and senior student participants with practice technical interviews, a critical component of the interview and hiring processes for most data science, software development and engineer roles.

Selected students will be matched with a Middlebury alumnus/na to work together over the summer of 2023. During this time, an alumnus/na will schedule and conduct a minimum of three practice technical interviews with you over the course of the summer (plan for 60 to 90 minutes for each session). During the practice interview you will be given a technical problem to solve (demonstrating your algorithm, data structure and live coding skills), receive critical feedback, suggestions for further work you can do to prepare for the next session, and discuss some of the alum’s insights regarding how best to position yourself for getting a desirable internship or full-time position upon graduation Apply for the program in Handshake

Technical Solutions Engineer at Epic

As a Technical Solutions Engineer at Epic, you’ll work on software that impacts the lives of more than 250 million patients around the world, alongside coworkers from top schools across the country. Test the limits of your brain for the most innovative health systems on the planet. Work in your own office, eat delicious food, and travel the world. Live affordably in a city known for its rising tech talent.

Read more about this opportunity and apply in Handshake

Academy Solutions Engineer at NetApp

We are a global cloud-led, data-centric software company that gives organizations everywhere the freedom to put data to work in the applications that elevate their business.  The Sales, Support and Services (S3) Academy is a 2-year global development program for Early-In Career talent, focusing on helping top talent reach their full potential by providing an initial 90-day training program. The training immerses participants in the software, systems and cloud technologies that are helping shape the world today and tomorrow.

In this position, your overall focus areas will be in supporting and developing processes and systems for quick and thorough responses to customer RFP’s, provide systems configuration recommendations, and apply your background and experience to deliver solutions to technical problems . You will work directly with the NetApp Sales team to support customers in pre-sales and post-sales situations, and to work effectively across functions with other NetApp employees in Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and Development areas. Read more about it and apply on Handshake

One Tree Planted – MiddWorks for Vermont Summer Internship

A versatile position at a non-profit that wants to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Together we can restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world. Are you looking for practical applications for your love of the environment and your academic studies? Do you want to make a tangible difference in a few months with an organization that prioritizes getting good stuff done? One Tree Planted is looking for you! One Tree Planted is looking for a dynamic individual to add value to our Projects team and help support our project and monitoring work. We have many needs for a talented student who is looking to apply their interest, passion, knowledge, and skills to advance our global conservation and restoration agenda. Read More About It and Apply on Handshake

Team4Tech – Middlebury 2023: EdTech Internship in Uganda

This summer, Team4Tech is offering a unique internship opportunity to a cohort of Middlebury students to work with two of our nonprofit partners in Uganda. Students interested in conflict transformation, education, technology, and/or international development who want to gain real world skills in helping to devise and deliver solutions to educational NGOs will find the internship valuable. Previous examples of university students’ internship work with Team4Tech can be found here.

CCI is subsidizing the program fee for a cohort of Middlebury students to engage in this eight week opportunity and is also providing a $1500 travel grant. Read more about it and apply in Handshake