Industry: Computer Science/Technology
Type of Internship: Software Development/Programming
Student Name: Zach Kirsch
Graduation Year: 2018
Major: Computer Science, Mathematics
Minor: None
Position Title: Forward-Deployed Software Engineering Intern
Hours: 50 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

I worked on the mobile app development team and on two customer deployments. On the Mobile team, I helped develop the main mobile app that Palantir produces, added new features to the app, and learned a lot about React and React Native in the process. I worked on two big features for the mobile app and plenty of smaller features as well. My work for the two deployments involved leveraging Palantir products (like Mobile) to help achieve the customer’s objectives, and I was able to meet and engage with the specific users I was writing software for to learn their needs.

How did you find this internship?

I got the e-mail address of a Palantir recruiter from another Tufts student, and I emailed her my resume with a brief summary as to why I was interested in Palantir.

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

I enjoyed how much responsibility I was given at Palantir. Even from Day one, I was pushing changes to the codebase and taken seriously by the other employees. Nobody treated me differently because I was an intern, and I learned a ton as a result. I also really enjoyed meeting the clients who use our products, and for the mobile app in particular. It was very motivating to see the actual people who would be using the product I was working on.

What do you find challenging?

I was never given strict deadlines or told exactly how to get something done. I think this was by design; nobody was interested in treating me too differently just because I was an intern. At the start, this was challenging to navigate and I felt too inexperienced to make decisions. I was trusted to do a good job of researching the options and get my work done at a reasonable pace. Within a few weeks, maybe as a result of this autonomy, I had gained a lot more confidence in my ability to contribute to the team and no longer felt that this was a challenge.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

For applying: I would be sure to do a lot of research about Palantir, talk to alumni who work there, and know why you want to work at Palantir. I would reach out to a Tufts recruiter by e-mail in the fall semester to talk about the position(s) you are interested in at the company. For interning: I would try to meet as many people as possible and learn about what other people are working on. Palantir is doing a lot of really cool things and it's a great opportunity to learn what problems they are tackling, and from the technical side, how they're doing it.

About the Organization

Palantir Technologies
Washington, D.C.

We’re focused on creating the world’s best user experience for working with data, one that empowers people to ask and answer complex questions without requiring them to master querying languages, statistical modeling, or the command line. To achieve this, we build platforms for integrating, managing, and securing data on top of which we layer applications for fully interactive human-driven, machine-assisted analysis.