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A Summer at LYONSCG: Internships in eCommerce

Lisa Mayer • August 7, 2015

Ready to time travel? Let’s step into the “Wayback” machine. Remember your very first job? Does your stomach twinge when you think about how much you didn’t know about working at a company? Let’s see what memories get stirred up as you read about three of our summer interns and what it’s like to have an eCommerce internship at LYONSCG.

Tommy Caito is a computer science student at the University of Michigan (as our CEO Rich Lyons would interject, GO BLUE!). He’s working within our Application Support team, which maximizes platform performance and minimizes any downtime for our clients. Morgan Lyons is considering a business major at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She’s working with our Digital Marketing and Strategy team taking a look at how current sites are performing. Jacob Pepe, from Washington University in St. Louis, is also studying computer science. This is Jacob’s second summer as an intern at LYONSCG (he must be doing something right!). He’s working as an Applications Engineer, building a module for a custom solution that enables eCommerce companies to get up and running fast.

Tommy’s Story: Teaming Up

intern-tommy caito   

So far, I’ve been working as a back-end developer on several Demandware sites. That means I’m involved in things that go on behind-the-scenes of any of our clients’ websites. Examples of my daily tasks include processing and storing data from a submitted form and compiling and exporting a list of products to a client’s server.

I’m particularly proud of my ability to learn the platform. Before working at LYONSCG, I’d never even heard of Demandware. While of course I’m not an expert with the platform, I can say now that I’ve developed an entirely new skill set that grows every day.

Since beginning my internship, I’ve done significant development on a cartridge that links two software platforms. The cartridge hadn’t been touched in three years, so I brought it up to date. At previous internships, I’ve been relegated to low-level duties that have very little value for the overall business, but here at LYONSCG, my responsibilities are very similar to a full time developer; it’s been great!

Morgan’s Story: Secret Shopper

intern-morgan lyons

Who doesn’t like shopping? But doing it for work has given me a different perspective. As a “secret shopper,” I visited a site to accomplish specific scenarios – shopping for an outfit to wear to a wedding or buying a birthday gift for a friend – and reported any problems I ran into. What really fascinated me was I could then go into Google Analytics and see if the issues I found were reflected in the data – and they were! If I had a problem at checkout, I could see a drop-out rate at that point in the shopping process.

In another project, I reviewed how well previous emails about sales and promotions did. Again, I went back to the data and saw jumps in traffic and buying around the time the emails were sent.

I even got to sit in on client calls with my mentor where they discussed roadmaps for digital marketing and social media campaigns. Being able to witness what it’s like to work with a client was definitely something I wouldn’t get to learn at school. I’ve had great hands-on experiences at LYONSCG that I’ll definitely take with me for the future.

Jacob’s Story: Practical Problem Solving

intern-jacob pepe

When I started in May, my supervisors at LYONSCG asked me to learn Magento, an open-source platform for eCommerce. I very quickly realized that it was a lot more complex than anything I had worked on in school (there are almost 30,000 files in my local installation), so I was more than a little worried I’d be able to learn enough to work on real projects in only one summer.

However, my mentor focused on teaching me the fundamentals so I could learn the more advanced concepts on my own through research, as well as trial and error. It was intimidating at first to be working on such a large system with developers who have years of experience, but by sticking with it, I now feel confident in my skills and am proud of how much I’ve learned.

I was assigned to work on a custom product LYONSC is developing to make it easier for companies to get a Magento eCommerce site up and running with a very quick turnaround. Because the project is internal, I don’t have to stress about client deadlines. I can also take my time making sure I understand what I’m doing. Still, I’m expected to report my progress to my team lead and go through code reviews just like all the other developers. Like last summer, I’ve been learning a lot during my time at LYONSCG and appreciate all the guidance and education I’ve received from the many skilled developers here.

Supportive Company Culture

All three interns want to give a shout out to their co-workers. Tony is proud his team gave him a real sense of responsibility and knows what he’s learned will “make him a much more well-rounded developer”.

As someone just starting to explore the business world, Morgan was attracted to how you could identify a problem or propose a solution in eCommerce and then use data to back up your findings.

Jacob has enjoyed all the great discussions he’s had with other developers about how to solve programming problems. He explained they even started “a group where we get together to solve brain teasers and coding challenges”.

LYONSCG is always looking for the best and brightest to fill internships, along with many other positions. Want to learn how you can become a part of the premier eCommerce digital agency in the industry? Check out our careers page!

Lisa Mayer

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Lisa Mayer

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