This summer, Ria Vieira had the opportunity to intern with us at the Revolution Robotics Foundation! Below, Ria writes about her experience as an intern and her trip to the company's Budapest office.
My Internship Working at Revolution Robotics - Summer 2019
As I landed in Budapest, Hungary to begin my internship with Revolution Robotics I was nervous as much as I was excited. I had the unique opportunity to work abroad for a dynamic organization that was going to reshape robotics education. However, I had more of a humanities background – how was I going to relate to a group of engineers and robotics professionals? It wasn’t exactly my wheelhouse. But all my reservations vanished in just the first day at the Revolution Robotics office.
On the first day I met some of the team: Rosemary, Jared, Vajk, David, Danny, Balazs, Aron, and Daniel. By the end of the day, we were all packing up into cars and traveling out to Csopak for our two-day company offsite, which was where I truly understood that what this company had was unique. Revolution Robotics is global, with branches in the US and Hungary. We’re an inclusive company because we want get every kind of kid involved with robotics. Revolution Robotics’ mission is to give kids the foundations to go into any career— in STEM and the humanities and everything in between.
I saw my place in the company as a female humanities-based student and used my own identity and perspective to help Revolution Robotics reach and reflect more groups of people. The next two days were spent collaborating on long and short-term goals and plans; taking promotional photos of the robots; building our own robots to test out tasks; and, of course, finishing the day with Jared’s homemade palinka (when in Hungary!). Two days of hard work capped off with tons of laughter from dinner table conversations and an intensely competitive card game.
For the rest of the week, we were back working in the office in Budapest testing and prompting the robot and app to do different tasks and catch bugs. Although I had only worked onsite in Hungary for a week, the work community I had experienced there exceeded any and all of my expectations. Now back in the US, I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to collaborate with such open-minded and intelligent people who had unparalleled ambition and were still kind and welcoming, with the most impeccable senses of humor.
From my week in Hungary with Revolution Robotics, I have learned three unforgettable things:
1) Trial and error is essential to everything. I experienced this when observing the rest of the team solve problems and while working with my robot to complete certain tasks (when one problem is solved, another pops up until you succeed and the robot perfectly executes exactly what you want it to do).
2) Organization is the oil to a well-run machine. Rosemary and Jared taught me that we can lose sight of values or goals that are so pertinent and clear to us if we don’t write them down.
3) We must advocate for the ideas that we believe in. Despite being an intern, I learned that my perspective could also matter because multiple ideas are the catalysts to progress. As much as I was nervous at first to speak up, the Revolution Robotics team encouraged me to speak my mind.
An invaluable work experience and a couple extra days exploring the extraordinary city of Budapest made my trip to Hungary one of the best trips I’ve ever been on in my life. Understanding the ins and outs of a tech startup while seeing a new country has been fulfilling in every way. Now, I am starting college with a new perspective on the workplace and what to expect in the future. It’s not very often that someone my age gets an experience like this so, as you can imagine, this summer has been one for the books.