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My Internship Experience at John Deere

By Emily Vera

Getting an internship my freshman year wasn’t exactly on my radar. I always thought internships were for upperclassmen and I’d have no shot in obtaining an internship after only studying computer science for one year. After talking to other students in my major, I realized I was completely wrong. A lot of them had gotten internships for the upcoming summer at well-known companies through Research Park. I had never heard of Research Park prior to this, but a quick Google search led me to find their job board. I applied to all the companies that said they hire freshmen and waited to hear back. I received an email to interview with John Deere not too soon after, and the rest was history.

I started my internship with John Deere in the summer of 2019 and continued into the fall and spring semesters of my sophomore year. The focus of the internship was working on an autonomous lawnmower called the Tango. I was astonished that this technology even existed, so I was really excited to get working on it. One of the main projects I worked on in my time there was an app that would display mower data in real-time. This would help in testing the mower and visualizing the data during test runs.

After that summer, I continued interning with Deere until the end of my sophomore year. Every few months, we would have demos where Deere executives would come and see what we were working on at JDTIC. A few interns including myself were even flown out to North Carolina for a special demo with Deere customers. That trip really made it clear to me that although I was only an intern, I was assigned real work on impactful projects for the company. Many other internships I’ve heard of don’t let interns work on real company projects, so I was ecstatic that I had the opportunity to at such a young age.

One thing I will never forget about my experience with Deere is how much they care about their employees and interns. The office is relatively small, so there’s a lot of first-hand attention from managers and the director. I got to meet a ton of interesting people via Skype all around the world and even developed relationships with the other interns. One of my favorite memories from my internship was getting to tour John Deere headquarters in Moline, Illinois. It was a long day, to say the least, but still such a memorable experience.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the John Deere Technology Innovation Center internship to anyone who is interested. I myself am a computer science major, but many interns come from other backgrounds such as math, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and more. The opportunities presented to you at Deere are endless whether it’s your first internship or your last. I am so grateful for my time at John Deere and will hold onto the knowledge and experiences I had there forever.

Emily Vera

Emily is a junior in T&M Class XXVI where she serves as a Student Worker. She is studying Computer Science and has accepted an internship at Google for the summer of 2021.

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