Do Something Big!
Success Stories from iD Alumni
Meet Matthew D.
Matthew has Interned for Facebook, Google, and Now Dropbox!
Matthew created apps—and created opportunity—attending iD Tech Camps and iD Programming Academy to build on tech interests while learning the skills required to land his “dream jobs.”
What do Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and iD Tech Camps have in common? For Matthew, all three are a part of his resume. The iD Tech Camps and iD Programming Academy alum was selected to join Facebook as an intern on the company’s Platform Growth team. And at Google? He spent time as a software engineering intern on the Google Voice team, working on internal APIs and infrastructure for apps that need to make or receive phone calls. Today, he is a Software Engineering Intern at Dropbox, working on Mailbox.
While setting the goal to work at such companies could be considered lofty, it’s something Matthew says he’s wanted to do for years. When it comes to embarking on the journey to satisfy such ambitions, Matthew gives much of the credit to iD.
“iD Tech Camps and iD Programming Academy gave me the opportunity to learn things that my schools hadn’t taught me. You can learn a lot in high school, but there aren’t many, if any, technology or computer science courses.”
At iD Tech Camps, Matthew began by taking a weeklong programming course. The next summer, he followed by attending a pre-college, teen-only session at iD Programming Academy where he learned the ins and outs of iPhone app development. During this 2-week program, he toured Google headquarters—an experience that sparked the idea that working for the search giant could actually be a reality.
“As a student at iD Programming Academy, I remember seeing this big courtyard with the Google logo dominating the entire area…I thought, 'I can see myself here one day…programming.’ And wouldn’t you know it, my dream came true.”
During the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, Matthew had actually considered both Google and Facebook as internship destinations. However, knowing Google wanted more experience than he possessed, he first turned his attention to Facebook.
“Before applying for internships, I attended a Facebook Hackathon where I met with a recruiter who set me up with an interview. I ended up having two interviews, and passed both—which led to an internship offer. It was an absolutely amazing experience.”
During his time at the social network, Matthew was responsible for working on a sales API for applications (used by companies like Zynga). He was selected to present to Mark Zuckerberg himself, and even launched Facebook’s Weddings & Celebrations—an app featured on MSNBC, TechCrunch, and Gizmodo.
Matthew is currently attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, enjoying the college life he was first able to experience at camp. During his junior year, he started HackIllinois, a student-run hackathon. He led a team of roughly 50 staff to raise $175,000 for the event. There was a turnout of 750 students who came to spend the weekend and work on whatever technical project they could dream of.
“Being away from my parents at iD Tech gave me a chance to take responsibility for my actions, learn on my own and make my own decisions…Also, because the camps are held at universities, I was able to get a sneak peek into college life. We stayed in dorms, studied in labs and ate in cafeterias. I also learned to build quick, new relationships, which is something that will surely help me as I go through college or join the work force full-time.”
With all of his experiences, Matthew encourages future iD Tech Camps and Academies participants to take as many courses as possible, while also trying to meet and get to know new people. He utilized such a strategy, has Google and Facebook to show for it, and looks to continue building on the skills he cultivated at iD Tech.