I’m now three weeks into my summer internship. The trip here was pleasant, if warm, and a stopover at my aunt and uncle’s house near San Antonio broke it into two easy pieces. The countryside is beautiful, and I doubt I’ll see it much while I’m here, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Our first day was devoted to orientation sessions for the 75 summer interns USAA hired. They served us lunch, let us socialize some, and stopped just after 5:00 PM. I hadn’t yet checked in (or paid my first month of rent) at my apartment, and I had until 6:00 PM, the office’s closing time, to do so. The 17-minute trip became a 30-minute one due to the long route I took and the heavy traffic, and when I arrived at 5:30 I learned that I could only pay with a check or a money order, not cash or a debit card. I don’t have a checkbook, and there wasn’t time to get a money order and return, so I was forced to find alternate lodgings. After getting a money order for the proper amount at a gas station, I ended up staying at the hotel that USAA had put us up in when we came down for interviews. It was a little pricey, but I was paying for a worry-free place to park my fully-loaded car for the night, not just a place to sleep, so I didn’t mind. Also, my rent for the month was reduced because I would be moving in one day later. My apartment complex is gated, and I’m now happily settled in.

I spent my first day at work tagging along with my manager while we waited for a computer to be brought to my bare desk. Once I had a computer, I spent several days waiting for the software development tools I needed to be installed on it. The IT department likes to make sure all the software on our computers is approved for business use, so they make us let them take care of all software installation, even when it means we have to wait. Meanwhile, I couldn’t do any actual coding, so I spent my time reading the documentation I would need to understand once my development tools arrived. The waiting periods were frustrating, since I like to be productive and to know that I’m earning what I’m being paid, but I don’t think I’ll face any more of them.

I can’t talk about my actual project too much, since it involves proprietary information and this is a public website, but I can say that during my first couple of days I was a little intimidated by it, mainly because I faced a barrage of unfamiliar acronyms and terms. Now that I’ve had time to wrap my head around them, though, I’m pretty confident about the rest of the project. I made a roadmap at my manager’s suggestion so I can know what my plans are for each week, and I’m currently a little ahead of schedule. I’ve also gotten my first round of feedback from my manager, and it was positive and encouraging. Work is going quite well, and I really like my work environment and the other employees I’ve met.

My sightseeing has included a visit to SeaWorld, a trip downtown for a local theatre production, lunches with other employees at locally-owned restaurants in the immediate area, and a San Antonio Missions baseball game. (The Missions are a AA minor league team, and they provide some of the city’s main sports-related entertainment when the Spurs aren’t playing.) My mediocre navigation skills also let me do a little extra driving everywhere I go, and I like what I’ve seen of the city so far.