Featured Mavericks: Karel Kalthoff & Jenna Engebretson

Students | Tuesday, June 30,2015

In this week's Student Intern Series post, Mavericks Karel Kalthoff and Jenna Engebretson of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities share insights and advice on the benefits of working for Maverick, projects they've worked on and favorite memories they've made during their time with Maverick.

Name: Karel Kalthoff
School: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Degree Program: Computer Science, Software Engineering
Planned Graduation Year: December 2016
Time at Maverick: One year


What are the benefits of working at Maverick?

The experience you gain from your work is outstanding in preparing you for a full-time position. On top of that, this experience is a great convenience with Maverick offices based on college campuses. Furthermore, you are able to connect to a network of people who share your passion for computer science.

What kind of projects did you work on?

When pursuing a Computer Science degree, most often you are developing new code and writing from scratch. The best part about my work is that my projects are not something you would typically encounter in a classroom. I was on a support team for a website which gave me the opportunity to work in many different areas of the code base. This gave me a deeper understanding of features such as login validation, search mechanisms, URL builders, browser discrepancies, and content display. My other project involved investigating dependencies between different code bases with the objective to shut down one of the code bases. Thus, I was experienced in evaluating code for calls in and out of other code bases as well as reading logs to examine requests and responses to different servers. Overall, I would never have learned these skills outside of my work for Maverick.

How is Maverick different than other internships or work experience?

It’s on a longer term so you get a thorough understanding of what full-time work would be like in a software engineering career. You have the advantage of getting past the initial training and learning curve so you really dive deep into projects and play a major role on your development team.

What’s your favorite programming language and why?

Karel, because it’s my name and it’s a programming language. Doesn’t get any cooler than that!

What’s your favorite memory working at Maverick?

Any one of my iteration planning meetings. My team had such a sense of humor.

How did Maverick help you prepare for the real world after college?

I now know what it’s like to prepare for a big code release as well as the iteration deadlines that come before that. In addition, I understand how to work and collaborate with a team of other developers to reach a finished product.

Name: Jenna Engebretson
School: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Degree Program: Computer Science
Planned Graduation Year: 2016
Time at Maverick? One year, one month


Why did you join Maverick?

When I went to the Iowa State Career Fair as a freshman, I remember talking to Thomson Reuters and asking them what advice they could give to an under-classman in this industry. The recruiter responded, “Maverick, It is an occupation for students who want to learn.” I went home and applied right away because I wanted to gain experience, work for a great company, and learn outside of the classroom.

What’s your favorite memory working at Maverick?

I have been very lucky with the team I was placed on at Thomson Reuters. Everyone is motivated and open to offering me help when needed. A big issue I have noticed in school is when students don’t exactly know something, older andmore experienced students can give them a hard time. TAs weren’t very helpful at ISU and professors sometimes had a hard time explaining inheritance and dumbing it down.

How did you become interested in programming?

I have always been interested in math, science, and technology. I didn’t take my first Computer Science course until my freshman year of college and I knew this was the path for me because it matched my strengths, interests, and values perfectly.

How is working at Maverick helping you to prepare for the real world after college?

Maverick teaches students not only experience with Computer Science but also experience within the business world with a huge company. Originally, I came into this major possibly wanting to take the computation biology route but ever since this experience, I am leaning towards Computer Science paths within business.

What are your plans after graduation?

I would love to work for a company that makes a difference in this world. I want to join a program that encourages younger students to become interested in the industry – especially women. I would love to get my masters sometime in my life. I would also like to teach (AP Computer Science or College level).