June 24, 2019

Welcome, Summer 2019 Plinterns!

Madeline Perretta

Updated on September 25, 2019

The Plintern team from left to right: Lujing Cen, Sarafina Smith, Jennifer McCleary, Andrew Chen, Owen Gillespie, Jarrod Dunne, Eric Fortney (not pictured)

Summer is officially here, and our newest (and largest!) class of Plinterns are settled in our San Francisco and Salt Lake City offices! Now that they’re officially on-board, with their Plaid gear in hand and projects assigned, we sat down to hear what their experiences at Plaid have been like so far–

Meet Lujing!

MIT, Class of 2020 – Computer Science & Computer Engineering

What initially drew you to apply for an internship at Plaid?

I was very surprised to learn that Plaid powered almost all of the financial applications I was using. I wanted to learn more about how Plaid managed to become such a fundamental part of Fintech.

What was your first day like?

Amazing! My first day at Plaid was also my birthday. I was surprised with a bowl of my favorite chocolate lollipops, personalized cupcakes, and a dinner event with the other interns. I was overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was!

Most memorable moment so far?

I accidentally broke a build after merging a bad pull request. Everyone was very supportive and quickly helped me fix the issue. Rather than assigning blame, everyone suggested ways of improving the team’s workflow to prevent accidents like this from occurring in the future. I felt very glad to be a part of a team that is always looking for ways to improve.

Meet Jarrod!

Rice University, Class of 2020 – Computer Science

How would you describe the application process for an internship at Plaid compared to past experiences?

The overall experience was more focused on technical skills and good coding practices instead of tricky questions requiring you to have memorized algorithms and data structures.

What projects are you most looking forward to working on?

I am interested in applying encryption and authentication to our internal communications, as I took a security class and might pursue security as a specialization. This project should give me some experience in that area.

Anything you’re really excited for?

Our internal hackathon, Plaiderdays.

Meet Sarafina!

UC Berkeley, Class of 2020 – Computer Science & Spanish

Why Plaid?

I was looking for a smaller company with high impact so I was sold after the initial call with Genevieve, my recruiter. Despite being a fairly small company, Plaid affects millions of users and powers apps I use regularly. I got more and more excited about it as I went through the interview process and met more employees because everyone here is very friendly and down to earth!

What was your interview experience like?

The process was similar to other companies I interviewed with but more personal attention. Genevieve is an amazing recruiter and she checked in with me throughout the process and made me feel like more than a number. I also got the opportunity to meet employees in a non-interview setting and learn more about the company in general at a dinner at my school. The interviews themselves were a little different because I used my own development environment and was encouraged to Google anything I needed to.

Any new skills you are looking to gain?

I'm hoping to learn more about data infrastructure at scale and how our different systems interact. I'm also hoping to learn about how a tech company works in general. One of my favorite things about a smaller company is that it's easy to meet people on other teams and learn about what non-engineering teams are doing.

Meet Owen!

Harvey Mudd, Class of 2020 – Computer Science & Math

Walk us through your first day!

On my first day at Plaid I arrived a few minutes early and was brought to the cafe to grab some breakfast and say hi to the other interns and new hires while we waited for on-boarding to officially begin.  I was quite nervous to meet the other interns, but everyone was very  friendly and great  to chat with. My favorite part of the day was definitely when I first got to my desk to find all new equipment beautifully wrapped in Plaid wrapping paper, along with a box of Plaid swag, a giant bowl of Oreos (my favorite snack), and a cute little potted succulent. The rest of the day was a mix of meetings to teach us about the systems and products at Plaid, and short walks with full-timers to grab juice or tea and get to know each other.

Any new skills you are looking to gain?

I'm excited to get better at making good design and architectural decisions in my projects this summer. I've been unexpectedly enjoying TypeScript, and I hope to become pretty solid with it over the summer, as well. Finally, I want to keep getting better at thinking about the users/consumers of my work when designing it, making  sure that it is as pleasant and helpful as possible.

What has been your favorite moment so far and what are you most looking forward to?

The Integration Tooling team had an offsite to learn about beekeeping. My favorite moment of the summer so far definitely has to be when we first walked out into the garden, donning our extremely fashionable protective gear, and were surrounded by thousands of bees flying around. The whole situation was wonderfully absurd. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other interns and employees better by spending some quality time together on the beach in Mexico for our company-wide retreat.

Meet Eric!

Brigham Young University, Class of 2020 – Computer Science & Statistics

What initially drew you to Plaid?

The unique position Plaid is in–facilitating almost everything that goes on in Fintech. The tech seemed neat, the scale was impressive, and the team came off as awesome and super personable from our first contacts.

What was your overall application experience like?

Far more sincere than other places I had worked with. I was a little daunted by the sheer number of check-ups and interviews, but I was treated like a real human throughout the whole process.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Working with the SLC team to reduce latency across the platform, Be an Executive Day, Plaiderdays and the company-wide retreat in Mexico!

Meet Jennifer!

MIT, Class of 2019 – Computer Science

What initially drew you to Plaid?

I worked as a software engineer at a hedge fund last summer. This summer I wanted to try something different and work at a tech startup. I was initially drawn to Plaid because the product was developer-facing and could help a lot of other fintech companies. I was also excited by the idea of working at a small startup, where my contributions could make more of a noticeable difference for the company. What really ended up selling me on Plaid was the people - everyone  I met throughout the interview process were people that I not only looked up to technically, but also as mentors for personal growth.

Take us through your first day. What was it like?

My first day was a whirlwind of onboarding meetings and Ploffees! Although my schedule was packed, it actually didn't end up being that tiring because I had a lot of engaging conversations with the people that I met. I really appreciated the chance to casually get to meet full-time employees over coffee and bond with the rest of my class.

Favorite moment so far?

My favorite moment so far has been getting to hike Angel Island with the other interns and some full-time Plaids. It was a nice excursion into nature and a fun bonding experience with the other interns!

Meet Andrew!

MIT, Class of 2020 – Computer Science

Why Plaid?

I was initially drawn to Plaid for three reasons: 1. I wanted to have impact at a smaller sized company, 2. Through using Venmo I knew Plaid played a big role in linking Fintech, and 3. My friend's friend is an engineering manager at Plaid, and by talking to them both I had a very good impression of Plaid.

How would you describe your experience during the application process?

The application process was among the best processes I have gone through. The interviewers are trained excellently and are very supportive and understanding, knowing when to drop hints and when to let you figure it out on your own. They were really cool to talk to as well, which reflects  the culture very well. The problems given were very tangible and I thought the interviews represented my programming and problem solving abilities very well.

What projects are you most excited to work on?

I'm super excited to develop new products and be working for Plaid because I'm going to be taking an idea through most of the product life cycle, meaning I'll be talking directly to clients to figure out what certain features should look like, in addition to implementing said features end-to-end.


We’re thrilled to have our newest Plinterns on board and excited to see all the amazing projects they work on this summer. We’ll check back with our Plinterns in a few months to hear more about their experiences at Plaid!

Interested in becoming a Plintern or joining the Plaid team full-time? Check out our open positions and learn more about how we’re building the world’s financial infrastructure by visiting our Careers page.