September 9, 2021

What's it like to co-op and intern at TextNow?

Written by austin


TextNow believes that communication belongs to everyone, and we work hard at building a team to make that belief a reality. TextNow’s roots are firmly planted in Waterloo, Ontario, specifically the renowned University of Waterloo. In fact, TextNow started out in a Waterloo student housing apartment. Flash forward ten years, and what was a company that could fit comfortably around a kitchen table has ballooned to 170+ employees scattered across offices in US along with our spiffy Waterloo headquarters. Some of these employees even started out as co-ops or interns working on our various teams. As we look to 2022, our co-op/internship program is finally coming back--- stronger than ever. And who better to tell you all about it than one of our very own co-ops...

Meet Zachary Keller!

Zachary Keller started as a co-op student with us in September 2018, coming straight from the University of Waterloo. Zachary was looking for a new job in Waterloo. “The process for finding jobs at Waterloo is busy. You fill out a lot of applications and go to a lot of interviews in a short period of time. It also always seems to hit at the worst time, but it is certainly effective, I always got a job that interested me,” Zachary shares. He had heard of TextNow because he used the app before and knew some older students at his university who worked with TextNow.

Not every student knows what they want to do out of college, but a co-op program or internship program can help guide you in the right direction. Zachary shares that he was not sure what he wanted to do out of school. “I picked what I thought was the most general engineering program in order to keep my options open. Throughout the co-op program, however, I got some really interesting jobs doing a variety of software engineering and really found my passion for making great mobile apps as an Android developer.”

textnow lounge

The TextNow lounge. Nice, right?

Zachary found TextNow and went quickly through the interview process. He shared that it was “the best I had ever experienced. Almost all interviews at the time were entirely technical and I always felt that the questions never reflected the job’s work. Since most candidates would be able to answer technical questions, it didn’t help to set students apart. My interview at TextNow was essentially a chat with someone who would end up as my manager and it was clear the focus was on a cultural fit.” Culture Add is such an important piece of the puzzle at TextNow, which is why we share our Culture Manual and Values with everyone who is going through our interview process.

Zachary joined TextNow on our Android team, working to support our Android application to keep it stable and make it better. “I joined and as a member of that team got to work on a wide variety of Android related projects,” he shares.

So what stood out differently about TextNow? He told us: “Hands down the company blog was what convinced me after the interview already sold me so effectively. I read an article about how TextNow had used its employees to develop its core values and how it was committed to living by them which has continued to this day. That co-op cycle I turned down an offer for a job which at the time I thought was my dream job and was the reason I started into Android development in the first place but have had not an ounce of regret since then.” (Kudos to Kevin, our company blog editor.)

What you get out of a TextNow co-op

What does someone get out of a co-op or internship? Turns out quite a bit. Zachary says he gained “way too many skills to count” and that “my manager strove to help me develop. With the help of my mentor and manager I was able to succeed as the lead developer on a few major projects which gave me a whole host of new technical skills. I also developed as a public speaker by giving a talk at the local KW Android developer meetup about the work I had done on one such project.” Real world experience, during a co-op!

Zachary spent 2 co-op work terms with TextNow, a total of 8 months of work. Close to the end of his last term, his manager asked about him joining TextNow full-time. Zach’s tips to anyone looking to join TextNow? “Just apply! The company has been expanding quickly and will be searching for a super diverse group of students to come work with us next year.”

Our Recruitment Team is working hard to find the next group of students to join TextNow in Canada! We're looking to have 9 co-ops by Jan 2022. Check out the University of Waterloo career site to learn more.