Everybody struggles

Hello again…

It’s been 3 weeks since my internship started and I already encountered some obstacles in the way.

To begin with, in case I didn’t mention, because this year is the covid-19 situation developing all over the world, my being still in the university has affected my work hours for the internship. My university schedule got a bit delayed, and since this year is my last year of university, I also have to hand in my Bachelor’s thesis. I have it due this week, so I will soon be finally finished and can focus solely on the internship! Lots of thanks to the organizers for giving us flexible working hours during this situation!

Therefore, due to this unhappy situation, I struggled to find sufficient time for both my internship and my thesis. I can’t say I found the right equation for this, because I felt very unstable. I tried planning my time and dedicating specific hours to each of the activities, but I couldn’t stick to it 100% and this gave way to an unbalanced 3 weeks of work. Specifically, in the beginning I had some exams colliding with the internship, for which I had to dedicate some time preparing. Later on, I had to finish my work for the thesis, so whenever I found the right time or an idea sprung to my mind, I worked on improving and finishing my thesis, but always keeping in mind that I have to do some tasks daily for the internship as well, participate in meetings (one thing that I love to do, given that I get to interact with the other teammates and seeing how the work takes shape) and still have a satisfaction at the end of the day for what I’d done throughout.

In terms of code, I haven’t been stuck somewhere yet, maybe because I didn’t work as much as I wanted to. Usually when I get stuck, I google my problem all around the internet and try various fixes until I’m satisfied with the output. I hardly give in and ask for help around, because I want to prove myself that I can do these things on my own, but I have to learn that sometimes it’s faster and even more beneficial to ask someone for help, rather than consuming hours of work in searching for a fix, when it can be right under your nose. I’m happy that our mentor is ready to help us at any moment with any issue we might have. I am also grateful for the code reviews and the work he’s putting in to teach us and point us in the right direction.

So.. I don’t have any out of the ordinary advice to give here.. other than organize your time, make a plan that you know you can follow, and stick to it! Give yourself time, be mindful of yourself and know your capabilities, so you can make an indulgent plan that you know you can follow. Everybody struggles to find a balance, and routine certainly helps you find that balance.

That’s it for the day. See you again in a few weeks 🙂

A bit of background and how I got here


I’m Dana, soon to be 23 years old, finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, or rather just escaping the most demanding 4 years of my life… yet. But I’m not getting into that. Currently located in Bucharest, Romania, but aspiring to escape in a cabin in the Alps at some point in the future.

As per hobbies, interests and stuff like that, if you’re interested in finding that out, I will scatter some here: I’ve played the piano for quite a long time, I love movies of all kinds, I like listening to podcasts when I commute or clean the house or other boring activity, I fancy a good coffee from time to time, miss hiking the mountains right now, and also, needless to say, I can’t resist booking a holiday when I gather some pennies in my pocket.

Transfagarasan Road

So.. experience?

Regarding my professional life, I had my first job last summer, (after the 3rd year of my Bachelor’s) an internship at BitDefender, a Romanian antivirus company, where then I remained for another 7 months. Up until that point I just gathered experience through various university projects.

And now, I’m writing this because I just landed an Outreachy internship with Mozilla and I wanted to talk about this fortunate stumble.

Some old beautiful tree

But first…some beliefs that had an effect on me with reference to the application…

Determination, Boldness and Growth. These are a few values I try to follow in my everyday life. I’m at the beginning of a complex road and I want to grow beautifully and be capable of mastering any challenge that drops in my hands. Boldness is meaningful to me because I’m a person who likes to take on risks and I wish not to be disheartened by anything (or almost anything). And there is also Determination, a value I suppose that comes from my competitive feature; but nonetheless, I want to feel determined when engaging in something so I can focus and give my best.

At the onset of application I had a gut-throbbing feeling that pounded in my body; I was nervous and I did not know what to expect, but things calmed down pretty fast and I passed the first round. I was excited to start working in the FOSS community and gather knowledge about how things will unfold and work out in this environment. The underlying reason that kept me working on the application later was finding out about a Mozilla project that truly sparked my interest.