Student Spotlight: Julia Bowes

Student Spotlight: Julia Bowes

Student Spotlight: Julia Bowes

UPDATE: Julia Bowes's internship has expanded into a full-fledged job, which she will start some time next summer. Read to the end of the article to get the full details!

Rowan’s Computer Science students are always hard at work advancing their education and their careers. Third year Computer Science major Julia Bowes is no exception. Julia has been a tutor in the CS Department for about a year now. In addition, she is also an admissions ambassador coordinator, a member of the NCAA D-3 volleyball team, and a Learning Assistant in Computer Science courses. Even with this wide array of responsibilities to juggle, Julia excels in her classes and has even landed a summer internship working in Computer Science.

The internship in question is with Amazon in Nashville, Tennessee. For this article, Julia wanted to share her experiences in attaining this internship and offer some advice to other students who may be looking for internship opportunities themselves.

The internship itself will involve a variety of programming-related duties. However, the specifics are not known at this time. This is something that Julia will learn more about as the summer gets closer. The internship will last for about 12 weeks over the summer and Amazon will also provide housing during that time. Julia believes she’ll fit in nicely at Amazon’s Nashville location, since that place has a lot of younger programmers working there. Amazon tends to assign new hires to the place that seems best-fitting for that individual.

The application process had multiple stages, consisting of coding tests, a video interview, and ending on an interview with an actual person. Throughout the different stages of this process, Julia found that the principles of coding, computer science, and leadership that had been instilled in her through her experiences at Rowan were essential in securing the job.

Specifically, she said that taking courses like Software Engineering and Data Structures helped a lot in this regard. While going through the various tests during the application process, she found that a lot of the knowledge from these courses carried over into the skills needed for this internship. These Rowan courses made for a unique and beneficial experience that students from other universities might not have the luxury of experiencing.

Julia’s advice for other CS majors who are interested in a position like this is basically to get started as soon as possible. Get involved in HackerRank, ask professors to challenge you, go the extra mile in pursuing things like extra credit. Essentially, do whatever you can to gain more knowledge and skills in CS. These kinds of experiences can go a long way in preparing you for future internships and ensuring that you stand out from the crowd.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Julia's journey through the Amazon workforce does not end there. Recently, she was offered a full-time job at Amazon as a software engineer. According to her, this work would be very similar to the work she did as an intern. However, her expanded role in the company means that she would be able to take on more advanced tasks and become generally more involved in the company’s activities.

At Amazon, it is generally expected that an intern’s end goal is to become a full-time employee. Thus, the company has certain systems in place that can help make that happen. In order to make sure an intern is full-time employee material, Amazon has the intern do projects as a way to test their skills. The intern regularly checks in with a mentor to see if they’re on the right track, and also presents their project to upper management. Julia went through this process herself, and as a result, she’ll be starting her full-time job very soon!

Julia says that she’s very excited to put the skills she’s learned at Rowan to use, and she’s not just talking about computer science concepts. She’s also talking about the mindset. Through doing work at both Rowan and Amazon, she’s gotten a feel for how different companies can have different preferences and standards. Being able to shift one’s mindset to meet the different expectations of different companies is a valuable life skill to have.

Julia has demonstrated an immense amount of skill in software engineering, and there’s no doubt she’ll go on to do great things at Amazon. However, she wasn’t alone on this journey. She had many professors in the CS Department cheering her on, and she’s thankful to have people like that by her side. Getting this job was no small feat, but the support of Rowan’s faculty helped pave the way for her success.

We hope this article helped you to get to know Julia Bowes a little bit better, as well as learn more about how to prepare yourself for internship opportunities. Keep an eye out for more articles like this one to see how Rowan’s students are getting involved and advancing their careers.

Written by Cole Goetz  |  Posted 2022.3.22  |  Updated 2022.11.3