Alana Evey | Software Development Intern in Seattle
Growing up my parents almost always used Expedia for booking our family vacations. Being your typical over curious kid I would often spend time watching my parents plan out our hotels and various activities around our destination. Being familiar with Expedia, one may think I would have jumped at the opportunity to Intern for them early on in my Software Engineering courses. My best friend had just completed his first internship in Bellevue and strongly encouraged me to apply. I argued with him, giving every excuse, all of which boiled down to the gut-wrenching fear of “I’m not ready”. Finally, his endless nagging wore me down and I applied, not expecting to even hear back with a firm no. To my surprise, I got an in-person interview scheduled for later that month on my school’s campus. The day before the Interview they held an info session about the company and strongly encouraged everyone in the room to apply for an interview. One thing one of the recruiters said during the info session has stuck with me, and I feel perfectly sums up Expedia, she said: “We can teach anyone to code, so we don’t need the best coders, we just need great people who are willing to learn”.
“We just need great people…”
This is not simply a statement used by a persuasive recruiter to get people to apply, but instead a mentality. Every single person I have had the absolute pleasure of coming in contact with at Expedia Group is someone I would consider a good human. You walk past people, and it isn’t just simply a head nod of “oh crap I made eye contact”, it’s a friendly smile, a “good morning”. After you walk past someone a couple days in a row they stop you and say “Hey we keep exchanging friendly smiles I feel I should know your name, I’m so and so.” And every day after that its “Hey good to see you again, how are you?” I had the joy of participating in an outreach event for GenHERation, and they had a panel of four women who hold various positions of importance who just answered questions about Expedia Group and what it is like to be a woman working here. Every single one of the women talked about how wonderfully diverse and inclusive Expedia is. I must say in my now two internships with Expedia I couldn’t agree more. Expedia celebrates our differences. No matter your background, your nationality, your religion, if you are a good person, you belong at Expedia, and you won’t ever be made to feel any other way.
“We can teach anyone to code…who [is] willing to learn”
I remember after my first internship I called my mom. She asked me how I felt and was it worth it. My response, “Mom, I learned more in the last three months than I have in the last three years, and I really don’t want to be done here.” I am now nearing the end of my second internship with Expedia and I can honestly say, as much as I am willing to learn they will teach me. I have been gifted each summer with amazing mentors who have no issue taking time out of their busy days to teach me something new, whether it is project related or not. Any time I have had questions (yes even the especially silly ones, and there have been many) I have had no fear in asking them. The ability to ask any question and receive a serious non-condescending, “oh the dumb intern (insert long sigh here)” is incredibly empowering. Look, I am not the best coder and I will always be the first to admit it, but being here at Expedia has given me the confidence to try, and has made me a better programmer.
I am nearing the end of my second internship, and I can’t express properly in words how sad it makes me to have to leave. I will be back though. I have one more internship left in me and then I look forward to being a full-time employee for Expedia Group. I guess the best way to close this rather lengthy post would be to just simply say thank you; thank you best friend for guiding me to this company, thank you mentors for helping me grow, and thank you Expedia Group for creating an environment where I feel free to ask the dumb questions.
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