Meet Nicholas Cochran! Nicholas will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Software Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas and is now a part of the Copart family as a new full-time employee. Nicholas began with Copart as an intern for the IT department in software engineering. Through Copart’s strong IT internship program, Nicholas experienced and performed real-world work. While an intern with Copart, he grew into a professional ready to take on challenges, effectively contributed to his team, and received an offer to join the department as a full-time employee.
Previously, Nicholas had only done projects with smaller companies; however, by interning with Copart, he had his first experience with organized and professional software engineering within a large international company. Nicholas’s career goals include having his own business while continuing his role as a Copart Auctions Developer. For fun, Nicholas develops a wide range of products, from Video Games to an Artificially Intelligent Digital Assistant.
Nicholas offers advice and insight into his internship experience, his time with Copart, and the value he found in interning with the company:
When you were looking for an internship in your department, what made you choose Copart?
Initially, I chose Copart because I heard from a friend, who is a former employee, that a lot of influential people visited the company. This made me want to apply because it validated to me that Copart is a serious company. I then decided to stay with Copart because of the professional atmosphere as well as Copart’s financial stability.
What is the most valuable part of your internship with Copart?
The most valuable part of my internship was being forced to learn about new technologies that I would have never learned about on my own. This knowledge is extremely valuable to my other projects and to my current position at Copart.
What is one way in which you have grown/ learned something new during your internship with Copart?
The biggest ways I have grown comes from learning about new unheard of technologies as well as working with an organized Software Engineering department.
What advice would you give to college students who are looking for an internship in your field?
Above all, don’t settle for a company. Smaller companies may give you unrealistic expectations of how software engineering is done at a professional level. You could most likely be stuck on production support instead of something you really want to do, like product development.
What is one of your favorite memories while interning with Copart?
My favorite memory was answering challenging questions asked by Copart’s most talented developers before I even started. I knew then that Copart was serious about its software engineering and that it was a great company to work for.
How do you feel Copart has equipped you to enter the “real world” after you graduate from college?
Even though I have just recently joined the team as a full time employee, the skills and experience I developed working in a professional software engineering environment helped boost me into a career as a software engineer. Copart’s internship program really supported the development of the skills I need to start a career as a professional software developer.
Anything else you want to share with others about your internship experience?
Copart was very flexible with my schedule as an intern while still expecting a certain level of work from me. The work-life balance is right at the sweet spot so that I am not too stressed about the internship, but I am still actively engaged, learning a lot, and doing a lot of meaningful work.