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When I began my internship at TechBuffalo five weeks ago, I had no idea it would surpass every previous position I ever had. Although I’m an intern, I truly feel apart of the team. The chance to connect with each team member boosted my confidence and set the stage for an incredible journey of learning and skill enhancement. And of course the view from our office at 43North made the experience that much better.

Initially, I was apprehensive about my wardrobe, fearing my lack of business casual clothes might be an issue. However, this concern quickly faded as we dove into our work. By the end of my first week, Sarah approached me with an exciting opportunity: to attend a panel discussion by the authors of “His Name is George Floyd.” This was a first for me—leaving work to attend an event and getting paid for it. Sitting in the auditorium at Villa Maria, I had a moment of clarity. For the first time, I truly understood the saying, “Loving the work you do never really feels like work.”

The following week, we met with several workforce development companies from across Western New York to plan better ways to connect and support each other’s programs. We also began preparations for our monthly event, “Family Code Night,” and met with BuffaloFutures to discuss a collaborative event that would align our missions. The week ended with an open ticket to the B-Sides Buffalo Conference, a cybersecurity event where we also tabled. I jumped at the opportunity to attend, and I couldn’t be more thankful I did. Learning many interesting aspects of computers and cybersecurity while being able to practice my pitch about TechBuffalo’s mission I left feeling amused by the amount of fun I had at a work event.

PowerUpTech Fireside Chat (Photo by Mark Mulville) Ijnne and Andy

Week four I helped host Family Code Night. Seeing families connect over Hour of Code Minecraft gaming and discovering new career opportunities was really fulfilling. That same week, I got the chance to do my first interview during a fireside chat with Andy Rose PowerUpTech Tech Community Design Challenge. Each experience felt like a new chance to grow and explore.

Coming up on a month at TechBuffalo this experience continues to exceed my expectations. My search for an internship was filled with uncertainty, especially after being rejected from another externship program. With some refocus, adjustment, and determination, I truly believe that “Fate will find its path to you”. My experience at TechBuffalo has reinforced this belief and I feel fortunate to be a part of this team.

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