Software Engineering Internship Experience 2.B: Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Java for Advertising and Optimization of Software for Nonprofits (Prerequisite: Java, ML, and NLP knowledge)
Rolling Start and End Dates All Year; 100% Remote Participate-from-Anywhere Position; Full-time and Part-time Options; Unpaid Internship for Training, Practical Experience through Project-based Learning, and Possible Academic Credit: check with your college about credit and visa requirements before applying.
Please apply for only 1 position at a time, even if you are interested in several, and apply now for all start-dates at any time of year. You do not need to supply your resume or transcript initially; we will ask you to follow up with these and other information via email, if we invite you to be interviewed.
About Us: Nonprofits need our help to provide disaster relief, prevent suicides, feed the hungry, educate children, rescue animals, protect our environment, and benefit the world. We create and sell technology to help nonprofits gain online visibility and automate marketing functions, namely our upcoming PromoterMotor.com software. It automates what we have done for years by hand: help non profits get and make maximal use of free advertising from Google. Also, we create ads for nonprofits in ways that actively counter misinformation by educating the public. Bashpole is a for-profit company that exclusively serves non-profits as its clients.
Emerging Growth Company: Bashpole Software has a start-up-like environment with fewer than 10 employees plus many bright interns; our growth in terms of clients and staff is accelerating, which makes this an exciting time to get involved. Check our Careers Page to see all open positions and testimonials from past interns from departments such as Marketing, Digital Media, Business, Software Engineering, Information Technology, Technical Writing, and Human Resources: bashpolesoftware.com/careers
You MUST have already completed at least one data mining or machine learning course plus have taken or be enrolled in at least one NLP course before applying to this position.
Project-based Learning: This team will learn and practice applied machine learning techniques including but not limited to Natural Language Processing. One project we have is to extract information from nonprofits’ web pages that we can use to eventually generate ads for them. We call this the Information Extraction project. Another project we have is to use this information to automatically create ads that we will run on Google. We call this the Ad Generation project. Finally, we will be analyzing and improving the performance of these ads. We call this the Ad Campaign Optimization project. Other projects may be available depending on business activities during the time of your internship.
Training and Responsibilities May Include But Will Not Be Limited To:
- Apply previous training in NLP specialization within Machine Learning, making Artificial Intelligence understand text-based user input
- Work in data preparation and analysis, becoming familiar with data outside of just testing and creating algorithms
- Apply and expand their knowledge for machine learning, statistics, and natural language understanding (NLU)
- Apply NLP to generate automation of creating ads by extracting required information from the websites
- Participate in a remote-work environment and learn how to participate in a diverse workforce
- Build a strong connections with other interns and staff people through networking meetings while remaining socially distanced
- Attend regular meetings to prevent isolation and facilitate collaboration
Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of the many projects taking place. You might focus on some of these to the exclusion of others. Tasks and training will change according to business needs.
Relevant Future Careers: Natural Language Engineer, Machine Learning Researcher, Data Miner
Resume Accomplishments: After completing this internship, here are the top accomplishments that you may be able to add to your resume:
- Worked as a full stack developer adding frontend and backend to landing pages
- Learned and worked with at least 5 different programming languages
- Created a whole software platform that automates nonprofit online advertising and helps evaluate their general marketing performance
- Pair Programming: Connecting with both your coworkers and supervisor with a positive personality, analytical mindset, and sense of humor in order to accomplish tasks
- Communication: Gather, specify, document, and share project requirements and operational information through your entire internship
- Creative Problem Solving: Searching for an original and previously unknown solution to a problem and generating innovative and up-to-date ideas while being able to train, learn, and apply the code
- Reading and Writing Comprehension: Excellent oral and written communication skills in work related documents
- Time Management, Organization and Coordination: Staying focused on different tasks, and using time, energy, strength, mental capacity, physical space, etc. effectively and efficiently in order to achieve the desired outcome
- Service Orientation: Deepen knowledge of the nonprofit consulting sector
- Telecommuting: Working remotely in both a team and individually
Required Prerequisites about which we will quiz your knowledge during an interview, that serve as the starting point for more advanced topics to be covered during an internship; read/watch these to PREPARE for interviewing with us:
- The NLP specialty within Machine Learning / AI, such as youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVYtzYiUdm4ThHyh_pnhNQwdmN_OmryLc and youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoROMvodv4rOhcuXMZkNm7j3fVwBBY42z
- Java, such as w3schools.com/java
- Unit Testing, such as javatpoint.com/unit-testing
- SQL, such as w3schools.com/sql
- Knowledge of statistics, calculus, and linear algebra
- Google Suite, especially spreadsheets and documents that can be edited collaboratively
- Good Meet video conferencing software, such as cloudskillsboost.google/course_templates/198
- Meeting recording software, such as obsproject.com/wiki
- Systems for Continual Process Improvement
Preferred knowledge and additional items that you will be required to use during an internship:
- HTML, such as w3schools.com/html
- CSS, such as w3schools.com/css
- Git, such as w3schools.com/git
- Eclipse IDE for Java EE, eclipse.org/downloads
- Amazon Web Services, such as aws.amazon.com/ec2/getting-started
Apply to One Position, Maximum: Do not apply for more than one internship position at a time. Apply to the one that interests you the most. Then, if you are invited for an interview, you may indicate interest in other positions at that time, and we can discuss which position would be best suited for you.
Minimum Education and Experience: Applicants need to be enrolled in a college or graduate program at the beginning of their internship. Previous internship experience is beneficial but not required. You must have completed some classes relevant to your internship prior to beginning and must show examples of what you know during your interview.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Us? Gain real, professional training with one or more internship experiences at Bashpole Software, Inc. Apply your creativity and drive for project-focused, hands-on learning experiences. You can participate in our training as an intern or a volunteer, using your time to make a difference. We are all linked, so help us help nonprofits help the world.
Why Participate Remotely? We are creating the workplace of the future. It is akin to what the CEO of the multi-billion dollar company Automattic calls Level 5. As a 100% remote company for many years, we have developed remote internship processes that prioritize and achieve freedom, socialization, organization, and personal wellness. See below about networking and meetings.
What can we offer you?
- Real, Hands-on Experience: Rather than the coffee-fetching of a typical internship or the text-book learning of a classroom setting, we provide interns with hands-on experience with real projects. Each intern will have a main project along the lines of the title of the internship position to which they were accepted plus several side projects, which together create a diverse set of learning experiences. Moreover, your training and participation in our research and development can directly help nonprofits around the world to connect with donors, volunteers, constituents, and more.
- Make a Difference: In volunteering here, you can help nonprofits help the world on a larger scale than by interning for any one nonprofit. Join us in the pursuit of truth, knowledge, and how best to help the world make itself a better place. This allows you to have a larger impact than if you were to volunteer with a single nonprofit or government organization alone. We are developing a first-of-its-kind system to help non-profits gain the publicity that is currently more desperately needed than ever.
- Teamwork and Mentorship: Bashpole Software, Inc. enables you to work in small teams of typically 3 to 5 interns. You’ll meet regularly with fellow interns on your team. You’ll also meet weekly as a team to gain direct supervision and mentorship from the company’s CEO, senior staff members, and/or more seasoned interns.
- Network with Peers, Mentors, and More: Bashpole creates networking opportunities by helping you to learn how to effectively communicate with executives. This will allow you to build lasting impressions and have direct interactions with staff members and fellow interns around the United States and the world. Interns often report connecting with more people in our remote internships than they do in physical classrooms of comparable size because of the ways we encourage and facilitate networking meetings.
- Company Culture: Bashpole believes it’s crucial for interns to feel comfortable speaking up for what they believe in. We value suggestions for improvements on all aspects of our company and voicing opinions about projects in team settings. Additionally, we seek interns with the ability to pursue the career growth that they want and the courage to request the kind of work that they want to do. Bashpole looks for intellectually honest individuals with a spirit of independence and interdependence.
- Workplace Readiness Training: Employers expect students to understand communication soft skills and corporate culture, however, colleges offer few opportunities for students to learn day-to-day workplace fundamentals for behavior. As a result of this, we’ve developed something unique: our Rules-of-Thumb (RoT’s) training process. The RoT’s’ are the otherwise unwritten rules of professional etiquette straight from hard-learned experiences of industry professionals. We’re developing a book and a training system for explicitly teaching this kind of advice to our employees, interns, and eventually to others which will be valuable for their future career.
- Portfolio: With approval from management, this internship also offers opportunities for you to add examples to your professional portfolio, which you can later use for future job applications.
- Academic Credit: If you want work-study or school-credit for the internship, we can almost always provide the kind of oversight your university would require. Some educational institutions require prior approval before the start of an internship. It is your responsibility to check with your institution to be sure you meet all requirements for participation before you interview with us. We do NOT require you to enroll in a class or get credit for your internship; some universities do require this of you, others make it optional, and still others do not allow credit.
- Letter of Recommendation: If you successfully complete one or more internships, we will sign compelling letters of recommendation for you. Previous interns have used these letters to get into our nation’s top graduate programs and excellent post-graduation careers. We can also serve as a reference for various applications you may pursue.
- Leadership Opportunities: In addition to encouraging each intern to demonstrate personal leadership within their team of fellow interns, Bashpole also has “Level 3: Management” internships in every department that people can apply to as long as they have participated in at least one prior internship with us. This advanced position gives smart, responsible interns training and practice for leading teams of other interns, while under the supervision of a Bashpole employee.
What does a typical day look like? There is no typical day, but there is a typical week.
What does a typical week look like?
- You will work either collaboratively in a team or independently on a project of your choice from a list that we will provide.
- Every week, you will use your “Personal Syllabus” to complete weekly tasks and log your process.
- In weekly team meetings, you will be guided by Bashpole employees who typically have 10, 20, or more years of relevant work experience and will be your supervisor. In these meetings, you’ll show your syllabus log to your team via a screenshare, as well as show, get feedback on, and take notes for next steps with your project.
- In addition to this, you'll have intern-only meetings throughout the week for collaborating with your peers, reviewing each other's work, and answering each others' questions.
- Every other week, we will have an “All Hands and Rule of Thumb (RoT) Meeting” where all interns will work collaboratively on the Rule of Thumb (RoT) book. The book contains our advice about corporate culture and communications soft skills: these are mostly from lessons that we learned the 'hard way' in the workplace, things that no one taught us in college classes but that most employers expect you to know.
What are the schedule expectations for this internship?
- We have team and individual meetings every week via Google Meet. We expect you to be generally available for meetings during business hours of US Eastern time.
- Aside from scheduled meetings, you will have your choice for daily start and stop times; you can create a routine that works for you, as long as you make your internship your top priority.
- For internships taken during the fall or spring, participate part-time. For internships during the summer, participate full-time. Internships can be a mix of part and full time.
- Manage your personal schedule such that you fulfill the weekly internship time you agree to.
- Internship begin and end dates are flexible according to your university’s calendar for classes.
What is the expected time commitment?
- We offer both part and full-time internships with rolling start dates.
- Full-time: strongly preferred in summer and available throughout the year, 40 hours/week (or whatever is the maximum your college allows) lasts for 3 to 4 months.
- Part-time: during school session, 12-20 hours/week (or whatever is the maximum your college allows) for 6 months.
- You are able to switch from full-time to part-time, or vice versa, as long as the duration adds up to a total of about 60 work days or 480 work hours.
When may I get started? If Bashpole then makes you an internship offer, you may start either as soon as you like or later in the year when your schedule permits: we have an orientation/onboarding meeting almost every Thursday for new interns.
Who is more likely to succeed in this internship position? People with:
- a genuine interest in the nonprofit consulting sector
- classroom experience relevant to this position
- proactive mindsets that like their voices to be heard
- detailed note-taking habits
- time management skills who are organized and dependable
- an eagerness to take initiative with their ideas and communicate early and often
How does the interview process work? First, if an applicant meets our preliminary qualifications, we send them a message with detailed instructions for setting up an interview that must be followed precisely, or else we will decline the interview. Generally, each applicant has at least one interview during which their aptitude and knowledge are evaluated. If this goes well, the applicant will be given a follow-up task to examine how much they understand about our company and their position. Then, Bashpole may send out an internship offer decision within a few business days.
If I apply, what are the odds I’ll be accepted? Bashpole Software posts its internship positions to nearly 1,200 colleges across the USA and receives hundreds of applications for each position for each season of the year. We generally select between 1 and 5 people per position per season (Winter/Spring, Summer, or Fall/Winter). Although our interviews are friendly and conversational, there are a great many factors that we carefully consider before, during, and after each interview. If you are selected for an interview, it is not a guarantee that you will be given an offer. Upon selection for an interview, we will send you a message with everything you need to do to prepare for your interview, and you will be expected to follow all of the instructions completely. You should take some time to prepare for your interview.
Can I participate in more than one position? Not simultaneously; you may only participate in one position at a time. However, we welcome and encourage sequential internships, meaning participating in one team at one time and then another team at another time.
How will I be supervised, and who will be my supervisor? Each team will report directly to their Department Manager (that will be the title of your supervisor) every week by screensharing a log about their training and accomplishments. (See also “What does a typical week look like?”, above.) Your manager may be assisted by other employees and sometimes by interns who are more senior than you, so treat them all as sources of authority. If you ever have concerns about your peers or supervisors, you can contact people at any level of the organization. We prefer that everyone communicate early and often about their concerns... and their accomplishments!
How often will I work with employees compared to other interns? This varies from position to position and changes from the beginning to the end of a typical internship, however, generally: you will meet with your supervisor for at least one, if not several hours a week. You will meet with fellow interns for at least a few hours a week, if not up to about half of the time per week that you spend on your internship. The rest of the time, you will spend working on your own on your projects and training. If you want to spend more (or less) time working directly with other people, just let your supervisor know, and they will sometimes be able to make adjustments. We will encourage you to collaborate with others as often as possible.
How will I be challenged throughout the internship? We believe interns grow by dealing with such challenges and working through them; this is how the real world works. This internship is going to take hard work and sometimes will be an imperfect experiment in training. There may be occasional communication at odd hours due to time differences and urgent matters. There will be more intern-intern interaction than with employees, and you can expect a mix of training from supervisors and finding and developing training yourself. Tasks may be vague and unclear at times as some assignments will be new. Our organization is run by real people — and while we are not perfect — our intentions are to work hard and be the best we can be. We look for interns that have the humility to admit the same about themselves.
What have previous interns said? Check out testimonials from our previous interns on our Careers page: https://bashpolesoftware.com/careers/
There are no costs to participate in our internships of any sort, ever. Our internship is like a class that you get to take for free, and yet even though our internships provide substantial experiential learning, we recognize that sometimes personal financial situations are an obstacle. If this is a concern for you, then check with your career services center and academic advisers about whether your college offers any form of support that helps students take unpaid internships. Some colleges have scholarships, grants, stipends, or options for gaining class credit; some do not; either way, there are never fees nor expenses of any kind related to our internships, and you should be wary of any company that would try to charge you for anything for an internship.
Why is it an unpaid internship? Bashpole is a for-profit company that’s rebranding itself, which explains the start-up-like environment. Due to these circumstances, we currently don’t provide compensation. In lieu of payment, we provide interns with rich learning experiences such as receiving mentorship, the responsibility to create training, strong recommendation letters based on performance, and the opportunity to graduate to advanced management-based experiences. Bashpole Software, Inc. complies with all US Department of Labor Federal Internship Guidelines per https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm. This position also complies with NACE Criteria for internships per http://www.naceweb.org/about-us/advocacy/position-statements/position-statement-us-internships/#sthash.WbfvUjco.dpuf.
What if I’m an international student? International students are encouraged to apply for any and all internships. Make sure to show your university this internship description and check with them about their requirements. If selected, confirm everything is approved through your university before beginning internship. Bashpole will provide documentation for the university in the form of an internship offer agreement.
Non-Discrimination Policy: All nonprofits we serve are required to be compliant with Google’s non-discrimination policies, meaning that Bashpole works with a diverse set of nonprofits such as nonprofits working with crime to mental health issues to combatting misinformation. Thus, Bashpole interns are expected to be non-discriminatory themselves and help us serve any nonprofit that fits the eligibility guidelines. See more at bashpolesoftware.com/careers.