How did an Italian engineering student make her "California Dream" come true?
I’d just graduated from Politecnico di Milano (ITALY) with a degree in Energy Engineering. After a visit 6 years ago, I returned to California, on an impossible quest to find an internship while attending a short-term English proficiency course required by the Master of Science program I will be attending next year.
I’ve always had the desire to experience an international internship, but I considered getting an internship here in the U.S. a pipedream. In addition to that, I knew how difficult it is to obtain a U.S. Visa, so I considered accepting a few offers in Italy.
During my month back in California, I had the opportunity to meet Woody Rollins, AppScale’s CEO. After telling him that I was looking for work experience for my upcoming semester, I will never forget the moment he asked me, “Would you like to do an internship here in California?” Not even a second passed before I accepted his offer.
I left my heart here the very first time I visited Santa Barbara with a student exchange program during high school. And who could blame me? The “California Dream” belongs to everyone. Palm tree-lined beaches, sunrises that leave you speechless, surfers, and big trucks - things that are always mentioned in songs and seen in movies. But those are not the (only) reasons why I’m here.
My “California Dream” is far from the OC myth we all have and want to live. California seems the place-to-be for being accepted as you are; it neither asks you to change nor to forget your origins. California wants you in all your diversity and history, and I think that it’s exactly this mix of different cultures, ideas, religions, and races which has made the U.S. a world power in only a few centuries.
Moreover, when I think about California, I think about the place where “new technologies can be brought to fruition” (Elon Musk), I think about Steve Jobs’ advice to students to “stay hungry & foolish.”
California is where eager students with a good idea can develop a billion dollar app “while chilling on the beach,” where you can be successful without a degree...and of course, the place where you can have a surf session after a day at the office!
After almost two months of work on my Visa (thank you again Matthias, Customer Success @AppScale), I finally returned to Santa Barbara, ready to start this new adventure 6,000 miles away from home. I was thrilled…(and a little scared!)
So how’s my experience at AppScale been so far? But first, what is AppScale?
It took me a couple of weeks of struggling and reading articles to figure it out so I am happy to explain.
AppScale is an open source serverless platform that allows companies to run their applications in whatever datacenter they need, solving the typical public cloud platforms’ problem of vendor lock-in. It provides a portable solution for your application and it is easy to use.
“You are not coming to make coffee or copies, I want you to learn!” Woody said to me, and I can ensure you that I’m adding a new piece everyday.
Working in a start-up enables you to learn so much as you can follow pretty much every process that is going on in the company, whether it’s a sales call or a technical team meeting. It’s the best environment for someone who’s curious and eager to learn; everyone is always available to help me out, to answer questions, and to teach me something from their own personal experiences. Especially Woody, who is always happy to give advice and share the wisdom he has acquired during his career.
What is AppScale’s best quality? Being a team and making you feel part of it! As an intern I love being involved and being asked to contribute to the growth of the company. It’s also good to see how there’s no apparent hierarchy at the office but only collaboration and support. I truly appreciate that a working environment can be casual and productive at the same time! Moreover, I think that being part of an international and young team is my main fortune...it’s only been a month, but I would define some of them as friends rather than just colleagues!
I would like to thank Woody for placing his trust in me, my parents for giving me the chance to make my California Dream happen...and for the opportunity. So let’s dive into it now!
-Beatrice Foscoli, Intern at AppScale-