Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain valuable professional-level exposure through internships. This year, young scholars were able to traverse the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic by pursuing an array of internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. Each profile of this series will detail a Lerner student’s experiences working on business-oriented projects.
Andrew Gugger, a Class of 2022 management information systems major with minors in computer science and business analytics, spent his summer with Swiss Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (Swiss Re) as a front-end web development intern.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you choose it?
Gugger: I found this internship after reaching out to many people in my network. I chose this internship because it gave me the chance to learn how large scale web-applications are built. I also had the opportunity to contribute in an incredibly meaningful way as well as learn new technologies.
Lerner: Did the coronavirus impact your internship search and working experience? If so, how?
Gugger: Since everyone I worked with was located in Zürich, Switzerland or Italy I would have stayed with my family in Switzerland had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic. Although my managers and co-workers were very accommodating of the 6-hour time difference, communication was sometimes difficult at the beginning of the internship. As a result, I tried to start work as early as possible in order to maximize the overlap with my co-workers.
Lerner: What did you learn from this internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Gugger: For me to contribute to the project I had to learn Git, TypeScript, Azure and Angular – a front-end framework for web applications. Not only was I learning these new technologies but I was gaining hands-on experience where there were real ramifications if I implemented something poorly. The part of the project that I was working on wouldn’t be completed by the end of my internship so I also had to lay out contingency plans for issues that might arise when the site has matured as well.
Lerner: What is the most exciting task or project that you have done or are currently doing in your role?
Gugger: I worked on the internationalization and Localization (i18n and L10n) for Swiss Re’s digital solution for facultative reinsurance – “SwiftRe 2.0″. I was tasked with implementing the multi-language functionality to the site. This was very exciting for me to work on because Swiss Re has clients all around the world so I felt really lucky to have had the opportunity to contribute to a feature of the project that was so important.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Gugger: I was able to apply much of what I learned about building dynamic web applications from MISY350 to the work I was doing on this project. In addition to this, I was often communicating with both developers as well as business experts on a range of topics and issues regarding SwiftRe. The classes I have taken at Lerner taught me about the importance of good communication between business and IT.
Lerner: How do you think this internship will aid you with your professional goals?
Gugger: This internship has given me great insight into how companies are able to tackle such large-scale technical projects. In addition to the experience, I received amazing guidance from incredibly talented developers and business experts. I am eager to apply all that I have learned this summer in my future positions.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps in your career once your internship is over?
Gugger: My plan is to complete my final year here at UD and join the workforce.