2 min read

Career Goals

With only a couple more weeks to go before my time as an intern with the Wikimedia Foundation comes to an end, it's time to think about the future.
Career Goals

This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts connected to the Outreachy internship.

With only a couple more weeks to go before my time as an intern with the Wikimedia Foundation comes to an end, it's time to think about the future.

This past year has been incredibly busy: I've been working full-time as a freelancer/contractor, mostly in data analysis and technical writing while studying Computer Science & Math – also full time. Add to this a very spirited toddler, two lockdowns, 4 months or so of 6 pm curfew, and several canceled vacations, and let's just say it's been... a lot of work and not much play. The joys of career change in your 30s!

Weirdly, I'm looking forward to another round of this, minus the covid stuff. At the same time, my body is starting to protest. Who would have thought that being chronically sleep deprived, having no free time whatsoever, and not exercising would take a toll? I'm genuinely happy to wake up at 5 am every morning and do what I do, that's not the problem. But my mental health has been suffering nevertheless – especially my ability to deal with stress. So the first thing I'll do once this internship is over will be to reorganize my time and cut down on work to make sure I don't burn out in the long run.

So this was a quick overview of the recent past, but what about the future?

What am I looking for?

In September, I'll start looking for a 3-6 month remote internship starting in Jan/Feb 2022, either in open source, or software engineering. The MLH fellowship is already on my radar – if you know of any similar opportunities, please point me in the right direction! I'm not interested in unpaid (or ridiculously underpaid) internships – not because I can't afford it, but because I believe unpaid internships discriminate against those who can't.

I want to focus on backend engineering. Specifically, I'd like to be exposed to good design patterns, engineering principles, and systems design. No frontend or web development stuff. No mobile stuff. AI/ML pipelines and deployment are fine, as is building tools for developers/engineers/data (or other) scientists.

In a year or so, I'll start looking for a full-time junior backend engineering role. I'm interested in data engineering too. I'm only considering fully remote positions, so bonus points if it's a remote-first company. Extra bonus points if it's in open source. I prefer the Python stack, but am fine with learning new languages and technologies – I've flirted with Java and C++ in the past, and even had a longer fling with JavaScript. It was more like an arranged marriage, but okay.

I will only consider companies that have a proven track record of caring about their employees, as evidenced by inclusive hiring practices, a safe and supportive work culture, and a good work-life balance.

I'm also open to part-time contract work. I have 1.5+ years of experience as a data analyst using the Python data science stack (NumPy, matplotlib, Pandas, Seaborn, Jupyter...), including web scraping, working with APIs, data visualization, and reporting. I've worked remotely for 5+ years, and adapt quickly to your teams' preferred collaboration tools/practices.

To recap, I'm primarily looking for another remote, paid internship opportunity right now. If you, or someone you know, is hiring, please let me know! Same if you know of any fellowship programs, awesome remote job sites, or similar. Thanks! :)