A Summer in the Carriage House

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From LA to the Bay

Upon arriving home from my junior year at UCLA, I was faced with a very unique office situation. I would be an intern for Interactive Intelligence in it’s “Livermore Office” working under my father, who serves as a senior solutions marketing manager for the company. The “Livermore Office” is our affectionate term for my father’s remote workspace, which happens to be atop my grandparent’s garage in Livermore, California.

While I was ready and excited to work, I didn’t know what to expect. In the end, this summer would turn out to be an unforgettable experience. I worked with amazing people and was exposed to a revolutionary product, PureCloud. I also learned more about myself and my family than I could have ever imagined.

What I learned about Interactive Intelligence

On my first day at Interactive Intelligence I was tasked with reading through the entire website to become an “expert” on how and what we do as a company. As I began reading, I quickly realized that everything about Interactive, from the attitude of its CEO and founder Dr. Donald Brown (from what I saw on videos) to the incredible company culture that was unlike any I had ever heard of or seen, had an appeal, which is hard to explain. I was immediately on board. Each day I was surrounded by a team who genuinely loved their job and who helped me learn and grow. They taught me that work can be enjoyable when done alongside the right people. Ultimately, my summer internship turned into a model for what I will look for in a company upon graduation.

What I learned about PureCloud

For years I had been hearing about “the cloud”, and how cool PureCloud was from my dad. I never really listened enough to understand how revolutionary the product actually was. As I began learning more, through formal sales training and the marketing projects I worked on, I began to realize my dad was right, and I was a part of something really special. PureCloud is made up of such cool technology and features! Things like microservices and omnichannel/multimodal capabilities. It’s funny, I even started talking about PureCloud with my friends, just like my dad had done with me. It finally made sense why he and everyone I spoke to at Interactive was so excited—they knew they were part of something that would change the market forever.

What I learned about my family and myself

On a personal level, the summer working for Interactive provided me with a different outlook towards my father’s side of the family, the Alleys. Upon taking the internship, I became the third generation to work in the contact center market. And while this fact alone is pretty cool, it was not the reason this summer was so special. Rather, while I had always been close with my father and grandad, this job allowed me to connect with them on a new level. If I had a question at work, my dad was there to explain it to me and help me solve it. When I needed help with ideas or editing, I was able to ask my grandad for advice. Sometimes my asking for help would even turn into stories of “how they did things back when [he] was in the market,” teaching me things about my grandad that I never knew.

Working on the product marketing team at Interactive taught me more about myself than I expected too. Throughout my life, I’ve drafted various “plans” for what I’d do following graduation from college.  This included becoming a professional baseball player, high school P.E. teacher and coach, as well as technology sales. Marketing never crossed my mind. Coming into the summer I saw the internship more as an opportunity to add a key element to my resume, rather than a path to my future occupation. However, after a full summer on the job, writing blogs, helping create solutions stories and taking part in creative hackathons, I can honestly say that I am excited about marketing, and it is my top career pursuit upon graduating next summer.

So here’s to Interactive Intelligence, a company that treats everyone like family (even the interns); to PureCloud, a truly amazing product that will revolutionize its market; and to the carriage house, an office that lodged my best summer to date and taught me more about my family and myself than I ever could have imagined.

Best,

Ryan

Ryan Alley

Ryan Alley

Ryan Alley the product and content marketing intern at Interactive Intelligence. Alley is focused on cloud and emerging technology. He is currently a student at UCLA and will be graduating in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.