Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Strong
Jen Strong

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Jennifer Strong, and I’m a Software Engineering intern at SIBI.

I originally come from a small beach town called Soorts-Hossegor in the South-West of France, but I moved to the U.S. six years ago and have called Arizona home for four.

After arriving in the U.S., I quickly completed a GED and enrolled in a local community college to start my engineering education. Today, I am in my third year of a Software Engineer degree at Arizona State University.

So, why did you decide to become a Software Engineer?

There are a few reasons:

  1. It started as making a wise choice. I knew I was going to spend money on a higher education, and I saw it as a financial investment I needed to benefit from long-term. This particular degree seemed to be the best candidate to achieve a return on my investment.
  2. The engineering field will always offer stimulation and growth, which are aspects I value. With each passing day, I find myself enjoying the challenges presented to me in class, on projects, or at SIBI more and more. It requires constant problem solving and forces me to push myself.
  3. I am contemplating eventually becoming a Project Manager and, perhaps later on, a Scrum Master. To reach those goals, it is important for me to gain experience as a Software-Engineer to one day full understand the challenges and processes of the engineers on my team.

How did you find SIBI?

I use to live next door to one of the employees named Amy, and we became good friends. She told me about SIBI and its culture, and it sounded like a company anyone would want to work for! I started meeting other SIBI members when I stopped by the office to say hello to Amy or when they would hang out after work.

Eventually, it just seemed natural for me to officially be part of the SIBI family, so I applied for the internship position. I went through a pretty laid back interview process and have been here since August.

How has your role at SIBI surprised you?

Specific to my role as a Software-Engineer intern, I could say that all the tools I have been working on are new to me. I found that my classes focused on theory, so unfortunately there is a bit of a learning curve with specific tools and applications. On the other hand, school helped me to develop an engineer mindset, understand algorithms, and persevere through particularly difficult problems. I apply these skills every day at work.

Overall, I was expecting my internship experience to be radically different from the classroom, but I found there was some overlap.

How has your role at SIBI shifted your perspective as you move forward in your career path?

I am a very practical person, so I always thought I would choose the “best” job that came my way. Working at SIBI has made me realize that my definition of best was incomplete.

When I joined the Properties Engineering Team, one of the first questions asked to me was, “what do you want to learn about?” There weren’t any expectations. Instead, it was a dynamic exchange with my team to help me discover what I really wanted to do. Their role was to provide me with the best tools to make my internship a successful journey. By providing a no pressure working environment and the support to continue to explore what excites me, SIBI allowed me grow as a person.

So, I do not know what my career path looks like, and I don’t have to. What I know is that SIBI will support me as I grow and we will always do its best to allow me to express myself to the best of my abilities. That now ranks pretty highly on the list of things that are important to me!

Looking for an environment like the one Jennifer describes? Check out the different SIBI opportunities here.