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Summer Intern Spotlight

September 14, 2018

Merchants was pleased to host Salem Ozaki this summer as an intern in our IT Department. Salem is a student at Cornell College, with plans to graduate in December 2018 with a Computer Science degree. 


When asked to describe his experience working with Merchants this summer, Salem shared: 

It was phenomenal, I had a wonderful time learning from my mentor and others. I have never programmed in Ruby on Rails until I took the internship with Merchants, so I listened and asked questions when I had them. I never felt like I could not share my opinions. I was also able to apply what I learned in class about SQL when I was working with the database and analytics team. The environment is extraordinarily open. I could walk up to other developers or employees in the company if I had any questions. 


My favorite memory from my internship has nothing to do with the work. I fell off my bike while riding to work. A kind police officer dropped me off at work after they patched me up. People genuinely wondered what happened and made sure that I was alright. The people actually cared about me as a person and not just another worker. I do not have that much experience in the workforce, but this was truly a wonderful experience. Before I did this internship, I was terrified of what my future would look like, but now I feel ready for whatever may come in the future. 


Salem added that he also enjoyed the added bonus of free hot chocolate provided at the Merchants’ Café coffee bar, as well as the valuable advice he received from his team on “real life” situations that aren’t taught at school. 


The goal for Merchants’ internships is to not only provide an environment for learning in the intern’s field of study, but also offer a culture where interns are able to obtain valuable career guidance from mentors and team members who truly care about the development of talent. “Merchants Bonding internship programs are important for both the students and the company. We want to offer a rich learning experience where students are mentored and contribute daily to the teams they are a part of. Our goal is to expose the students to our business as well as concepts that will be important to them as they pursue their careers, whether that path includes Merchants Bonding or not.” - Brad Rasmussen, CIO 


We wish Salem the best of luck in his Computer Science career!