Manoj Kurapati, Intern, “With this internship, I’ve truly been brought into the company fold.”

Since my first conversation with OppLoans last fall at my school’s career fair, I have felt welcomed by the company and totally at ease with all the people who work here. I could tell in my conversations that there was a lot of overlap between what I was studying in school and the work that OppLoans was already doing. Not only have I been welcomed on a personal level, but the work I’m doing here actually matters.

After that initial conversation, I had a phone and in-person interview. The phone conversation was 45 minutes long, but the in-person interview was five hours long! Four hours in, I interviewed with Andy Pruitt, the chief technology officer (CTO). He was really easy to talk to! Andy asked me a question about designing library databases and then we just talked through the problem together.

There’s an atmosphere of trust within the tech department that starts at the top: Andy has hired these people and he trusts their decisions. I’ve had three other internships before and OppLoans is by far the smallest company I have interned with. At other companies, the people on the tech team were not the people who had written the original software. But here, the software is being maintained and improved by the same people who first built it. I’ve never experienced that before, and that is really cool.

Out of all the companies I’ve interned for, OppLoans definitely has the best culture. People make an effort to get to know colleagues who work on other teams and in other departments, and the company has events where everyone across the company can come together and have fun. During OppLoans Game Night, which is held in the office, I met a bunch of people from the marketing and business operations teams.

With this internship, I have been brought into the company fold. The work I’m doing matters. Not only am I working on three different projects, each of which is contributing in a very tangible way to the overall business, but the tech team has welcomed me on a personal level. I play tennis with my manager at the Maggie Daley Park every Tuesday, and I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of the tech people—including Andy! A lot of interns I know haven’t even met their company’s CTO. I’ve played D&D with mine.