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Public Relations Intern, Anki
My summer as an intern at Anki
Posted by Lily Gordon, Public Relations Intern, Anki | September 6th, 2018
This past summer Lily was an intern on Anki’s communications team, working at the company headquarters in San Francisco. She is entering her senior year at the University of Oregon studying Journalism: Public Relations and German.
Pursuing my passion for Cozmo-tology.
Like many people, I grew up watching reruns of Knight Rider and The Jetsons. My brothers and I would build LEGO versions of the robot characters we saw in those series. We’d also wonder when we would finally get to meet such characters in person. After seeing Cozmo, I knew - this is the real deal. When I spotted a non-technical summer internship at Anki, I hopped on it. This was my chance to be a part of something bigger - helping create those robots my brothers and I dreamed of while simultaneously addressing artificial intelligence’s PR problem.
In the company war room at 5:30 a.m. the day Anki launched Vector on Kickstarter. (Photo credit: Kaiser Hwang)
My time as an Anki intern was filled with smart people, memorable events, and (as any good internship is) learning. Yes, I learned the PR stuff -- cold calling reporters, fine-tuning blog posts, vetting social media influencers -- but I also learned unexpected things from Anki employees outside of my team, thanks to the fact I felt wholly welcomed by my colleagues.
It takes a family to teach an intern.
Over Mai Tais at the wonderfully kitschy Tonga Room, the Women@Anki group regaled me with stories and wisdom from their years of experience in the tech world. One moment I was helping The Verge’s video crew set up an interview with a founder in Anki HQ to talk about the future of home robotics. The next I was at the company party gladiator jousting with that same founder alongside three other interns.
A brief moment in the limelight while helping the video crew set up in the Anki lobby. (Photo credit: Natalie Friedman)
Whether over the daily catered lunches or at an outing to the bowling alley, I bonded with my fellow interns (14 of us in total) throughout the summer. We were a diverse bunch, pursuing degrees in cognitive science, finance, animation, mechatronics engineering, operations, and computer science to name a few. I was thankful to have intern pals on almost every Anki team. Be it Consumer Insights, Production, or Automation, I had another newbie who I could shoot a quick question.
Last intern standing during gladiator jousting at the company summer party. (Photo credit: Ci Chen)
On the daily the other interns would impress me. Sure, the neural networks and sophisticated robotics they worked on were cool, but so was what they brought to the table before Anki. One intern had created a robotic hand exoskeleton to help people with neuromuscular disorders regain grip strength in their hands. Another had created and directed a short animated film. And yet another had built a face-tracking t-shirt cannon in college. Oh, and there was the guy who brewed his own beer.
So who should intern at Anki?
For those reading this considering an internship at Anki, I’d say go for it - if you want to contribute to the future of home robotics. Do you want to see robot sidekicks that aren’t creepy? Do you want a future with robots that everyone from your grandma to your littlest cousin can understand? Do you dream of a real life Rosie, KITT, or R2-D2? Then Anki’s the place for you.
Bonding with some of the other interns over tacos and a Nerf gun fight. (Photo credit: Natalie Friedman)
During my 10-week stint at the company, I felt included and empowered. If you want to see those friendly sci-fi bots a reality, Anki has a positive culture plus relevant products to allow an intern in any field help build the kind of robots people actually want in the near future.