By Rei Ramos ’15
Working as a summer intern is not always all fun and games. However, according to Emily Ansley ’14, employment at LeapFrog Enterprises comes with quite a few perks. A developer and manufacturer of technology-based learning products for children, the company incorporates innovations in software to create educational toys for young children, which are, as the rising senior has found, surprisingly entertaining. “I’ve gotten to play with many of the toys–some of which aren’t even on shelves yet.” Working at the company’s main office in sunny California, Ansley likewise gets to enjoy a warm, West Coast summer.
Serving as a software engineering intern working with a team of mainly post-baccalaureate interns to create and update software tools to be utilized by the company’s professional developers. One of her first projects involved revamping an outdated audio mechanism. “The current tool was made when LeapFrog had only one or two different platforms. LeapFrog has grown tremendously since, and we need a new, easier tool that accommodates all the current platforms and has the ability to be extended for future ones.” As such, her code-writing efforts impact both the company and the development of its educational products.
Majoring in computer science, Ansley is already familiar with electronic coding and software. Through LeapFrog, however, she is able to see firsthand how they are used by a large scale corporation. With this, she is acquiring valuable skills that will remain beneficial even after her graduation in the coming spring semester. “For me, this internship is my first step into the corporate world. I’m learning many of the techniques they use to meet deadlines and get projects finished on time.” Through weekly collaborative meetings with different departments and the mentorship of company employees, Ansley is gaining valuable experience that simply can’t be taught in a classroom.
After graduation, Ansley hopes to partake in an English teaching assistantship. She aspires to work closely with young children in the near future. “I’m applying for a program in Taiwan where I’d help teach English to elementary kids for a year. After that, I’m not sure yet,” she admits. But even with her future seeming a bit uncertain, Ansley is sure that her current internship will truly help her to develop professionally and grow by leaps and bounds. “Although LeapFrog is a very unique company, I’m finding that I will be able to carry over many of the skills I acquire here to every other job.”
This story is part of the Summer Plans Series, a collection of stories about how undergrads at the University of Rochester are spending their summer. Know of someone doing something cool over break? Email The Buzz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us all about it!