Creating A Learning Organization: Stories From Roompact’s Summer 2016 Interns

At Roompact, much like the institutions of higher education we serve, we see ourselves as a learning organization. As a part of our commitment to learning, we had the pleasure of having two interns work with us over the summer. Joey Malinowski and Artur Sak worked with our software engineering team to help develop many of the new features you may now be using in our software.

As their internships came to a close, we asked Joey and Artur to share some of their experiences about what they learned in designing software for higher education and student affairs and what it was like to work at a HigherEdTech company like Roompact. Here are some of their insights:

Joey Malinowski

Joey Malinowski

Joey Malinowski is a Junior majoring in Computer Science at DePaul University. His professional interests include web and mobile development. When not working at Roompact, Joey enjoys writing music, reading, working on his website, and going out with his friends. Ultimately, Joey aspires to start his own tech company that provides better tools to help musicians and artists continue living creatively.

Working with Roompact has been an invaluable experience for me. As a software developer, I’ve learned many new concepts that I will continue to use throughout my future career. When I first started coding, I often felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the obstacles and problems I faced. However, thanks to the patience and guidance of the Roompact team, I now feel like I have been equipped with new problem solving abilities that give me a sense of confidence in my work.

Even though I worked as a programmer, Roompact also taught me a lot about higher education and student affairs. When designing features that try to enhance higher education as well as move towards residential curriculum, it’s important to first understand what that means from both the educator’s and the student’s perspective. It forced me to repeatedly deconstruct and analyze how people learn efficiently. One of the conclusions I reached was that you learn the most when you’re surrounded by people who always want to learn more with you. This is how I felt when I was working with the Roompact team and it’s why this internship was such a great opportunity.

Artur Sak

Artur Sak

Artur Sak is a Senior majoring in Economics with a double minor in Computer Science and Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His professional/research interests include computational economics and financial and software engineering. When not working at Roompact, Artur likes to try different foods, especially if they are spicy, learn about different cultures and their languages, and read research papers especially pertaining to economics and computer science. Ultimately, Artur aspires to get a job, in industry, at the intersection of economics and software engineering but eventually return to academia to become a researcher later in his life.

Within the first three weeks of my internship with Roompact, I was able to learn more than I have ever learned in an entire year of schooling. It wasn’t just restricted to programming either. I learned about startup culture, about the challenges facing emerging businesses, and even about the importance of communication in the business world.

Perhaps the immediate difference, I noticed, between school learning, and “on the job training” was that it was easier to see the point of learning specific skills. School has been much more abstract, and even though most of my computer science classes included coding projects, it was difficult to see their utility. While, the projects still helped me acquire useful skills, they seemed rather disjointed. It wasn’t until I started working at Roompact that I learned how to unite everything I knew about programming and use it to create something useful.

Read more of Artur’s reflections…

Thank you!

We want to thank Joey and Artur for joining our team this summer! You hopefully learned as much from us as we did from you.

If you’re interested in interning at Roompact, reach out to us and let us know how we can learn together. We are constantly looking for ways to serve our schools better and contribute to the broader community of residence life, students affairs, and higher education professionals.

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