I fell off the raft.

Today we’re kicking off a series of posts written by Redfin’s summer 2013 interns in Engineering, Marketing, and Analytics.

Post by: Michael Z. – Engineering Intern – Seattle

I fell off the raft.

I fell off the raft. Of course it would be me, the only one on Team Redfin who didn’t know how to swim, yet I still thought it’d be fun to sit in the front of the giant inflatable (and unstable) tub as it careened down the crashing river. As I thrashed around in absolute horror, worrying that I’d smash into a stray rock and end up with a third knee— I paused, and I realized how fortunate I was. Because without Redfin, I never would’ve had the chance to live on the edge and experience whitewater rafting from the wrong side of the raft.

Ok, so I definitely didn’t pause and come up with that grand realization. I was too busy gasping for air. But the rafting trip (which Redfin completely subsidized for interns) was characteristic of the thrilling and motivating experiences that make Redfin the company that it is. I was certainly motivated to learn how to swim after falling off the raft; and after being around so many people who are passionate about their products and how to make even one homebuyer’s life easier, I gained both perspective as well as a deep-rooted fire to keep developing my skills and create something myself that was on par with the features at Redfin.

The people are chill. We’re athletes who excel on the kickball field (made it to playoffs whoo!), jam on our guitars, and make gnocchi like an Italian grandmother when push comes to shove. But for me, the most important thing was that people just love to code. People code at work, people code at home, people play around with APIs the night before the Redfin hackathon, and people talk about code, math, and startups in the fully stocked kitchen. I can’t begin to explain the extent of my technical growth from interactions with full-timers as well as my fellow interns who I lived with. And I think that’s awesome.

At the end of the summer, I know that Redfin will have given me so much more than I’ve given Redfin. Beyond the free lunch and fully subsidized weekend trips, Redfin gave me all the freedom in the world to learn, contribute, and grow with low pressure but high expectations. A summer at Redfin left me energized, motivated, and prepared to build something cool during the upcoming school year, which is more than I could’ve ever asked for.

If you’re interested in reading more posts by interns, check out the Internships category.