Academic Internships Office

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Software Test Engineer Intern - Wizards of the Coast

Hey, I’m Erik. 

It’s interesting getting your foot in the door for the first time, especially at an organization like Wizards of the Coast. I was a software test engineer intern, working on manual testing and web testing for a release that was launched over the summer. I was also a part of an update release for various aspects of Wizard's multiple websites, helping it to successfully launch.  

Working at Wizards is fast-paced. It was a very educational summer. You start on your feet and running — I went to two meetings on my first day — but everyone is very understanding to help you along the way. The best part was that I not only learned a lot, but that it was fun to work there. Our director put on a picnic, with a bunch of games and prizes and food. There was significant team-bonding, which was great because it’s much easier to ask questions when you’re already friends with your coworkers. Those activities translated into meetings, where we would joke around for a bit before getting down to business.

I definitely attribute my interview as a big part of scoring my internship. A lot of people tell me that the resume is the first three minutes of your interview, and the other twenty-five minutes are really more about whether they want to work with you. My interviewer asked a few of us prospective interns what we wanted to do in the future. When I was responding, I really focused on my desire to learn more about different areas of computer science to see if I liked testing more than general programming. Even if you aren’t 100% up to par in technical skills, the passion and willingness to learn more through the experience is huge. (If you get stuck on the technical stuff, 95% of the time you can always look it up on Google.) The point of an internship is learning, and it’s okay admitting that you don’t know how to do everything right off the bat! It separates you from those who say, “I don’t know.”

Another thing I would recommend for students looking for internships is to do your homework. Do your homework on the organization, on the position that you’re seeking. But don’t be afraid to ask for more! Most places are excited that you are interested in their work.

Post-internship, it has been really helpful keeping the connections I made. I left Wizards with a lot of business cards and letters of recommendation, and made sure to connect with the people I worked with on LinkedIn. I have my skills from what I’ve learned in classes and at Wizards up, and people can endorse them, which is like backing up your abilities.

Coming back to PLU, I can really see what aspects of my classes will apply to my work after graduation. It’s easier to approach problems now that I’ve had hands-on experience troubleshooting in an uncontrolled environment. Most importantly, you focus even more because you know it’s going to all be relevant.