July 14, 2020

Welcome, Summer 2020 PIinterns!

Madeline Perretta

Updated on July 14, 2020

Summer has officially kicked off and we’re incredibly excited to welcome our newest class of Plaid interns—also known as Plinterns! In our first year organizing a remote internship, we remain committed to creating a meaningful and connective experience. Now that our Plintern onboarding has concluded, we’re catching up with a few team members to learn more about their Plaid journeys so far...

Meet Brian Xie!

MIT, Class of 2020 - Computer Science, Team: Engineering - Developer Experience

What initially drew you to Plaid?
I'd say there were probably two main factors that drew me to Plaid:

First, I had such pleasant experiences with all the people that I met along the way and during the interview process. Everyone was super friendly, incredibly talented, and humble, which is something I'm happy to see is true across all of Plaid.

Second, Plaid's values stood out to me, particularly those regarding transparency and democratizing access to financial services. I had worked at a few trading firms in the past, which were very protective of their intellectual property (and which, I would quickly learn, reflected the highly opaque nature of the world of finance)—I knew very little about the company or even the context of the project I was working on. Plaid's transparency makes me feel invested in the company and empowered to make a change.

How would you describe the application process for an internship at Plaid compared to past experiences?
I found Plaid's interview process to be genuinely enjoyable every step along the way, which is something that I can't say for many other companies. What differentiated Plaid's interviews for me was that the interviewers did an excellent job of making the process feel more like a learning experience. I certainly didn't ace every interview, but even when I made a mistake or veered off track, my interviewer was supportive and I felt comfortable. In particular, the "All-Around" interview was probably one of my most enjoyable interview experiences. I've been told that if you enjoyed the all-around interview, you probably did well on it. Well, here I am.

Meet Grayanna Grigg!

Wake Forest University, Class of 2021 - Business and Enterprise Management // Minor: Environmental Studies, Team: New Business Team

What was your first day like here at Plaid?
Even without the implications of a work-from-home environment, first days at any job can be quite nerve wracking. I was exceptionally nervous when I first opened my laptop on day one. However, those fears were immediately stomped out with countless welcome Slack messages and a flood of smiling (virtual) faces ready to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible. I knew from day one that I was joining a family.

What new skills are you looking to gain this summer?
At the end of this summer, I hope to better encompass the Sales Team principles and carry them with me through my future endeavors. Specifically, I want to feel confident in challenging the status quo by asking the tough questions and ultimately “Be a Vanguard”. Additionally, I want to walk away from this summer knowing I did my best to "Grow, together”. Not only do I want to be a student of sales, I want to be a better coworker, friend, and citizen by striving to learn and grow with, and from, the entire plaid team.

What are you most excited for?
I think I can narrow it down to two things that I’m most looking forward to this summer. The first is to learn any and everything I can about Sales, Plaid, and fintech as a whole. And the second is to continue building a network of invaluable relationships with such a unique and incredible team!

Meet Tarun Sunkaraneni!

University of Utah, Class of 2020 - Computer Science, Team: Domestic Integrations

What initially drew you to Plaid?
I was initially captivated by how Plaid bridges many gaps present between consumers (end-users), clients (the apps) and financial institutions (the banks). At first, I didn’t understand the role of Plaid in the fintech market. Afterwards, I was convinced there was no better way to empower it.

What was your first day like here at Plaid?
Lots of meetings, but I was met with a warm welcome from my peers and employees alike!

What projects are you most interested in working on?
I am excited to be writing our internal HTTP request library which will reduce latency, enhance parallelism and support new networking protocols in our integrations work.

What are you most excited for?
Learning to contribute to our integrations codebase that is continually evolving to accommodate and adapt to changes that our partner financial institutions make on their platforms.

Meet Miranda Lin!

Carnegie Mellon University, Class of 2021 - Computer Science, Team: Core Services

What initially drew you to Plaid?
I attended a Plaid event at Grace Hopper and really connected with the Plaid engineers I met there. I actually met Joy, who manages my team, at Grace Hopper and discovered we had a lot of shared interests! I loved hearing about Plaid's company culture and traditions, and how close everyone was; it seemed like everyone really enjoyed working at Plaid.

What new skills are you looking to gain this summer?
I'm excited to be able to gain technical depth and experience through the projects I’ll be working on this summer. It's always interesting to see the different ways that I can apply the fundamentals I learned in college to real-world problems, and I hope to learn to do so more effectively. I'm also excited to learn about the different aspects of the project, such as writing a technical spec and delving into the codebase.

What has been your favorite moment so far?
I always enjoy spending time with the other interns and even though the internship is remote, I feel like we all really get along well!

Meet Akshay Gupta!

The University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2021 - Computer Science, Team: Independent Data Access

What initially drew you to Plaid?
I first heard of Plaid from a friend who'd met some Plaid engineers at Grace Hopper 2018, and happened to remember our conversation when I was applying to internships in fall of last year. The main draw for me initially was seeing that so many of the fintech apps my friends and I use are powered by Plaid, because that made me realize the kind of broad and wide-reaching impact Plaid has had in the fintech industry these past few years.

What was your first day like here at Plaid?
My first day was SUPER hectic—it was essentially an entire day of nonstop onboarding presentations and meetings with different individuals across the company, including my manager and my team. There were presentations for basically all broad areas of the company over the first week (including areas like Legal, Finance, Risk, Marketing, etc.), which I thought was super cool and empowering for us as new hires. Everything was over Google Hangouts, which was definitely new and strange, but stuff went smoothly and I was still able to interact with the other interns through icebreakers and the time before/after presentations. We also set up all of our tech for the summer!

What has been your favorite moment so far?
Presenting my team's project to other Plaids at Plaiderdays (our internal hackathon) has definitely been my favorite moment so far! We put a lot of work into our project and presentation, and it was really exciting and rewarding to share that work with the rest of the company while being supported by the entire team. I'm usually a pretty stage-frightened person, but this was the first time I felt completely at ease while presenting!

Meet Hugh O’Reilly!

Rice University, Class of 2021 - Computer Science & Math, Team: Use Cases

What was your first day like here at Plaid?
The first day was fun! I didn't really know what to expect going in—the internship is virtual this summer, so laptops were shipped, and all of the meetings now take place on Google Hangouts. The first day mostly consisted of attending virtual talks about Plaid's products, teams, strategies, etc. and getting to the people on my team and in the intern program. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I really enjoyed meeting everyone and learning about Plaid from the inside. Plaid is working on a lot of very exciting things, and I really enjoyed the fact that onboarding helped introduce us to every part of the Plaid org.

What new skills are you looking to gain this summer?
There are a lot of things! (1) I'm always hoping to get experience working on new technical challenges that I haven't seen in school. So far, I've learned a lot about how to build effective infrastructure around a machine learning model, and that's been really cool. (2) I'm always trying to improve my ability to communicate and collaborate effectively, and a software engineering internship is the perfect place to do that. I've been constantly challenged to do better in this area, and that's really helped me learn and grow. (3) I want to learn more about what it's like to be a software engineer at a small company—what the days look like, what the work looks like, how much impact engineers can have.

What are you most excited for?
I'm excited to keep on working on my project, meeting Plaids, and growing. I've really enjoyed the coffee chats that I've had so far this summer. They've been 30-minute long meetings (but they often go over) where I have the chance to talk to various people at Plaid one-on-one. These chats give me the chance to meet new people, learn about their roles, and get a better feel for the culture of Plaid—and they make the remote location feel a lot more manageable. So I think I'm most excited to keep on meeting new people at Plaid.


We are looking forward to working with the Plintern team this summer. In the next month, we’ll check back in to learn more about their projects and overall experiences!