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Student Spotlights

Addison Mangum: Anthropology & Linguistics

Addison interned as a coding and curriculum developer for Nonsense during Winter Semester 2022.

Describe a day in your life as an intern.

As an intern, I expanded the French branch of the language learning app Nonsense. I coded linguistic constructs and queried subtitle databases. I color coded these queries for the app and wrote simple grammar explanations. I also grouped constructs into grammar lessons for more in-depth grammar explanations.

What industry/job specific skills did you learn?

This was my introduction to coding in general. I was glad that it was only JSON (Java Script Object Notation), because it took me a little while to get used to. I also started many projects on my own.

What are three things that you learned from this experience that could be applied to other settings?

1. It's okay to ask for help. Sometimes I get into a mode when I'm given a project where I think I have to do it on my own and show that I'm capable, but I learned that it's okay to ask for help, opinions, and advice, and that oftentimes, things turn out better when there's collaboration.
2. I like working with a team. In past work experience, I've always worked with a team, but with this internship, (which was remote), I was on my own. I realized that I like being able to share with people and work can be boring if there's no workplace culture.
3. There's always something you can make better. I always found ways to improve the queries I worked on, whether it was organizing them to make them easier to find, coding colors to match grammar constructs, or rewriting explanations for simplicity.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

I liked being able to open the app and see the queries and explanations I wrote appear in the movie scenes as I watched them.

How did this experience affect your future goals?

I have decided that computational linguistics is not for me, and that while I want to go into media production, storyboarding, and the audio and video creative processes are what I want to do, not coding.

How did you get your internship?

I was recruited by the founder of the company through LinkedIn.

How did this experience contribute to your growth?

I think it gave me better insight into what it's like to run and work for a startup company. It was amazing to see the sacrifices people were willing to make, and the optimism and faith they have in the project.

Nonsense Language Learning App - "Keep watching! It will make sense!"