Can you believe it? Our newest class of Discord Interns has left their mark on the platform.
They came from different places and focused on different fields, but they all worked on one overarching goal: to help make Discord better for everyone. They’ve all grown immensely, overcome challenges, and even flew in to meet each other in person during this year’s company-wide on-site event!
So, let’s meet ‘em! We sat down with this year’s Discord Interns to ask them how they found the opportunity to spend a summer at Discord, what they learned, and advice for anyone looking to become an Intern in the future!
⭐️ Meet the Discord Intern Class of 2023! ⭐️
Serrana, a Software Engineering- Machine Learning PlatformIntern, grew up in Uruguay and was living abroad during Covid. During the height of the pandemic, Serrana started using Discord to help feel less alone.
Lee, this year’sLegalIntern, discovered their passion for Law during college and took the opportunity to join Discord as a summer Intern for more hands-on in the legal field.
Thijs joined as a Product Engineering - MessagingIntern, but this wasn’t their first Discord development experience — he’s already an App developer for the well-known Truth or Dare Discord app in over a million servers.
Computer science student Caleb joined Discord this year as a Product Engineering - Design SystemsIntern. Thanks to their inspiring college professor, web development and UI/UX quickly became their focused passion.
Liang is a data science and machine learning Ph.D. student, always wanting to learn how to apply ML models in real life, making Discord a great place to put some of that excitement to work as a Data Science Intern - Machine Learning Intern.
Paul grew up in a small town in the Philippines, but his view of the world grew exponentially when he met friends from all over the world playing online games. Starting his adventures in Runescape and soon traveling to more than forty countries in the real world, he eventually moved to the US to study at Stanford and found an opportunity to be our Strategy and Business Planning Intern.
Kaylee is a Security Intern who also happens to be aStanford University student, is a computer science major and a long-time Discord user using the app for what it’s best known for: being a great place to game with friends.
Throughout these interviews, you’ll also see responses from Kelly, a Product Engineering - Revenue Infrastructure Intern, and Chenxi, who joined as a Data Engineering Intern.
We’d also like to give a shoutout to Janelle, this year’s Product Design Intern who made the banner on this very blog — it’s a beauty!
How’d you land an internship at Discord?
Lee: Just through searching on LinkedIn. As soon as I saw Clyde, I literally jumped and thought, "I have to at least try". The interview process was amazing. I got to meet a ton of awesome people [who] gave me such great advice. When I was pushed to the next round, every time I thought, "No way!”
The process was super transparent and I appreciate how open and honest everyone was. Shout out to the amazing Wendy Wu and Kiersten Sedlar for truly being amazing representatives of what it means to work at Discord.
Thijs: It's been a dream for me for years to work here. Last year, I noticed it had come up on the jobs page. I didn't know who to contact, so I decided to email Jason directly! Jason had heard of some of my projects and forwarded me over to Stan and others who worked to make it possible (thank you <3).
At first, I was surprised by the amount of interviews, but after starting I began to enjoy them. Most of the interviews were about who you are as a person and how you interact with others. I messed up a couple of times and had my dev environments fail, but the interviewers understood and cared. Despite only being on a call for an hour, we started to really feel like friends.
Kaylee: I found this internship through the Discord Careers site (lol). The recruiting team put a great deal of care into making the process really personable and fun, which is pretty rare nowadays. I walked away from every interview feeling energized and having learned something new. Through my conversations, I could tell that employees were very enthusiastic [about] Discord’s mission and truly embodied the values.
Paul: I stumbled upon this opportunity on Linkedin when I was searching for summer internships in the gaming space. I’ve always wanted to work in a gaming/gaming adjacent company and getting this internship was a dream come true. The kid in me who spent hours in internet cafes playing Runescape and League with friends is so happy I did this.
The process was quite different compared to other companies. People took the time to truly listen to me and get to know me as a person. It felt like a casual chat with a friend rather than some sort of test!
What was your summer internship like? Walk us through what you worked on and accomplished.
Chenxi:During my internship, I worked on server roles and permissions, which was both captivating and exhilarating. The mentorship I received played a significant role in ensuring a smooth onboarding process. I had lots of opportunities to tackle challenges but also received valuable guidance when needed. Support was one of the key factors contributing to the success of my internship, particularly the support from my mentor — shout out to my mentor a million more!
Liang:I worked on exploring a new method to quantify the strength of user connections at Discord. I built a social graph for the users at Discord and figured out user affinities from the graph structure. [Additionally], I evaluated the affinity score and compared it with the current production version.
Serrana: I was given many “title” options, discussed each with my mentor and manager, then did a lot of research myself to come up with a problem that was both interesting to me and valuable for the team. After I had my project selected, I came up with a design and architecture that was discussed with the team. I really liked all the freedom I had to design the system; it allowed me to learn a lot about the company and plan my work in a way where each iteration would add value.
The final version was completed in about four weeks. This involved refactoring a big part of the team’s current system, learning completely new technologies, managing big amounts of data, and learning Discord-specific processes for testing things in staging. I really appreciate all the trust of the team in me to tackle this big task and the freedom I had when doing the work.
Caleb: [It] was fantastic. I got to meet so many awesome and brilliant people here at Discord. My work consisted primarily of internal tooling: I built a mega Figma plugin called Mirage that consolidates a lot of our existing plugins into one mega plugin. Even though I was familiar with a lot of the tech I was working with on a day-to-day basis, I was always learning something, whether it be from the feedback I received on my code, discussions happening in our internal team chat, or from questions I was asking and the responses I was receiving.
What was your favorite part of your internship at Discord?
Lee: Meeting everyone in person is a part of the internship that was definitely one of my favorites. You fall in love with everyone you meet online, just to fall in love all over again in person! (Also being surprised at everyone's height!)
Caleb: HQ IRL!!! It was my first time flying since 2011 and I got to see so many things I never saw before. I hung out with all the Interns and met up with my team — it was genuinely the most emotional I’ve been during my internship. It made me realize that I needed to travel more and see everything the world has to offer. It was also so incredibly sad having to say goodbye to everyone after the Intern event and getting on my flight back home.
Kaylee: All of my interactions with Discordians! Everyone at Discord is very warm and welcoming. Not only was my team very supportive and invested in my growth, but other Discord teams were also open and willing to expose Interns to different areas. Even though I was on the Security Team, I got to talk with people from Trust and Safety, Infrastructure, Revenue, and more! I really appreciated how genuine everyone was. People at Discord truly make the company what it is.
Kelly: Without a doubt, my favorite part of my Discord internship was HQ IRL where Discord flew all the employees into San Francisco for a few days. From hilarious talk-show-style presentations to minigolf at Ghirardelli Square, I got to experience the palpable effect of Surprise and Delight in action at Discord.
Last question, but the most important one: What advice do you have for future Discord Interns?
Serrana: Ask questions and get to know as many people as possible. Everyone is very nice and talented around here, make sure to learn a lot.
Lee: I'd have to say keep asking questions. No one is going to judge you for not knowing something, and you'd be surprised how many people at Discord get excited when you ask one. Take advantage of meeting with literally anyone you want in the organization, because everyone is willing to make time for you. Make the most of it!
Thijs: Meet and talk to as many people as possible!
Caleb: TALK! Communicate your feelings to your mentor, a buddy, or your manager. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone here wants to ensure you succeed! Most of all, if you visit San Francisco, BRING A JACKET!!! IT’S COLD!
Kelly: Don’t be afraid to reach out to other Discordians! Everyone is genuinely so approachable and ready to share their experiences.
Liang: Be enthusiastic about your project and don't be afraid to ask questions!
Chenxi: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone here is so nice and willing to help. Learn as much as possible during these 12 weeks. It will be a truly meaningful, rewarding joinery I promise!
Kaylee: Reach out to people and ask questions! The great thing about Discord is that there is a wide spectrum of roles and teams, but one uniting factor is that everyone is passionate about Discord and the people they work with.
Opportunities Are Open Constantly — Join Us!
You may have noticed that a lot of Interns mentioned they found their internship opportunities through our jobs board! If you’re looking to find your own spot with Discord, stay on the lookout on our Careers page below:
You can make an impact on the app needing to apply for a full-on job at Discord, too! Let us know what you think would be a great addition to Discord over at our feedback forum, or on X, TikTok, or Instagram.