Entering the Wunderkind office on my first day as a co-op, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d been an intern (co-op) before at a much smaller company, but I’d never worked at a company of Wunderkind’s size.
I’d heard horror stories from other friends about interning at tech companies—everything from being entirely responsible for the company’s product to fetching coffee and sitting around for eight hours. Needless to say, I was nervous.
I was starting my first day as a Client Engineer co-op, meaning I was going to be working at Wunderkind for six months before going back to school in July (think: an intern with an extended timeline). In the New York tech scene, starting a job like this before graduating college can be daunting. But the moment I sat down in my first meeting, I could feel Wunderkind’s effort to treat interns as full-time employees and to foster a culture in the community.
Sure, everyone likes to talk about how their internships gave them free lunches and fancy water bottles, but Wunderkind extends beyond those benefits (though it has them, too) and leans into what employees are actually passionate about.
From the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are groups of employees created to promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace, I’ve really been able to learn about my coworkers and their experiences in the world.
The most impactful ERG events for me have been the Wunderkind-hosted panels featuring my fellow coworkers and industry leaders discussing topics like what it’s like to come out at work, what it’s like to be black in tech or how to find a mentor in the workplace, amongst many others. I’ve been impressed by Wunderkind’s commitment to these ERGs, with its sponsorship of various events like the in-office happy hours, which often include entertainment and education from groups like Sing Harlem and Taikoza.
Of course, I’m ultimately here to gain real-world experience and learn about the industry, and Wunderkind has been incredibly supportive of that as well. In addition to the everyday tasks of my co-op, the engineering team has Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) that each team and member must complete. With OKRs, each person in the client engineering team has a unique development goal (one that improves the company as a whole) and personal goal (one that improves yourself).
As a temporary employee, I’ve found it exceptionally useful to have these implemented, as it allowed me to easily organize and talk about my results and achievements during my time at Wunderkind. In addition, since the OKR system is department-wide, we’re actually held accountable to following through with our goals and have a sense of support from the rest of the team.
All in all, to say that I appreciate Wunderkind and its company culture would be an understatement. I’ve really felt that Wunderkind put in the effort to care for each employee, something I wouldn’t have expected before starting. While I’ll be excited to return to school in July, leaving Wunderkind and all the friends and coworkers I’ve met along the way will be incredibly tough. I hope one day to be back.