Mike Norton is the President of Railbox Consulting, a small company that creates digital solutions for the buying and renting of shipping containers. The shipping industry has experienced its share of setbacks lately, but at Railbox there’s still opportunity for growth. This year, Norton decided to hire a front-end development intern to tackle an important internal project.

“This most recent internship has been about an internal order fulfillment an enterprise-type management system for our internal business,” Norton said. “Customer portals, order and invoice tracking, things like that. If we can centralize all of that and make it simple for our employees to use, that was the idea.”

When interviewing candidates for this position, Norton was looking for someone who could handle a lot of different tasks, someone willing to take on the potential chaos that a project like this would entail.

Through the SciTech Internship Program, he found that and more in Varsha Ijeri, a graduate student studying computer science at St. Cloud State University. She came to this position already proficient in Java and familiar with the C, C++, and Python coding languages. Her time spent at Railbox, she says, helped take her skillset to a whole new level.

“I was a frontend developer back in my hometown, but Railbox really gave me the opportunity to work as a full stack developer which gave me a lot of exposure to newer technologies,” said Ijeri. “During my internship, everyone on the team were supportive of my work. In case somewhere I get stuck when I am developing, they always took time to guide me.”

An opportunity to explore
One of Ijeri’s main responsibilities was developing Railbox’s new Galaxy Project. It’s an internal tracking feature, and Norton gave her free range when designing the user interface.

We want to allow for creativity,” Norton said. “The idea is to macromanage more than anything, focus on the goal and let the people who have to enact that change have the room to figure out how to do it. Varsha has been the lead on many of the new implementations we’ve had and led the exploration of how we’ll fill these gaps.”

“It’s really cool that Varsha, and the rest of the team on the development side, have that level of interest,” Norton added, “to go out and explore new technologies and then figure out how to plug them in on the backend for us.”

The result of this creative freedom can be seen in the confidence and progress that Ijeri made during her time here.

“The role I fulfill is the most important thing for me,” Ijeri said. “I have been thinking about becoming a full stack developer for a very long time. I’m passionate about programming and coding and building applications, and Mike and the team gave me that opportunity and I’m really thankful for that.”

Ijeri was happy to share that she recently started a new position working as a Sr. Full Stack Developer at Optum Care, an opportunity made possible, she said, thanks to her time at Railbox.  

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