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An Intern @ Cash App: Alexa Liaskovski

Why did you choose to start your career at Cash App?

I interned on the seller-side of Square as a full-stack developer on Square’s Online Store. I loved my team and Square’s culture and knew I wanted to come back to Square again. Through that internship I learned about Cash App. Cash App has its own culture within Square, kinda like a startup-vibe with the security of a larger company. This appealed to me because strong technical mentorship early in your career is really important, but it’s easy to feel like another cog in the machine when working at a really big company; Cash App was the best of both worlds! The product is really impactful too, we serve millions of people and it provides more accessibility to banking services (especially in underbanked areas). The problem-space and culture alone interested me, but what really convinced me to come back to Cash App was their branding! The marketing team is really experimental with Cash App’s brand, which is really a testament to the way the team thinks. It’s a really exciting place to work!

What’s your favorite thing about working at Cash App so far?

The people! As cliche as it sounds, I think a company’s mission or product means little if the people aren’t fun to work with. My team is incredibly supportive of me; they’re accommodating to my interests, flexible around me being in school part-time while I’m working, and forgiving when I have an unproductive day. Especially with everything being remote right now, the team understands that we’re all human and can’t be 100% productive every single day. People outside my team are equally as supportive: whenever I have a question, I can comfortably post in a public channel and trust that someone will get back to me quickly. Everyone in the org is super receptive which has opened doors to coffee chats with incredible people in the company and the chance to shadow full-time technical interviews. If you take the initiative to dig into something you're interested in, you shall receive!

What about your Cash App experience has been the most beneficial to your learning or career development?

Since my entire internship was scheduled to be remote, I was initially worried about not being able to ask questions. When we’re in the office, asking questions is as easy as turning to the person next to me. Thankfully, once I started, my mentor scheduled daily one-on-ones as dedicated time for me to ask any questions about my work, Cash App, or my career. Everybody wants to help interns out! My favourite part: I’ve gotten to meet so many people! We’re lucky to have many incredibly talented and successful people at Cash App. I’ve learned so much just by talking to others and attending meetings and presentations (like Cash Eng University!).

How would you describe the projects you’ve been working on?

My team works on the backend—specifically we’re responsible for peer-to-peer transactions on Cash App. During my internship, my team was focused on breaking peer-to-peer transactions out of our monolith repository into a microservice. It’s been really cool to watch the project unfold since the beginning as interns usually join a team in the middle of a project. It’s also opened up the opportunity for me to champion a really big part of the project: notifications! At the beginning of my internship, I asked my lead for any opportunities to take on bigger tasks with the responsibility to make decisions, and they listened! Building notifications was an incredible challenge; rather than being told how to build it, I got to design a pattern for our new microservice so notifications work better than how they worked in the monolith. I’ve learned a lot through the project and I’m very grateful that my team trusted me with such a big task!

How do you envision your future, having worked at Cash?

It’s hard to plan too far into the future, but working at Cash App introduced me to the world of cryptocurrencies! Cash App (and Square overall) is really invested in bitcoin which allowed me to learn more about how cryptocurrencies work from a technical perspective. Square’s university recruiter team hosts regular AMAs with amazing people throughout the organization. I asked if they could schedule something with someone from Square’s crypto team, so they scheduled an AMA with the lead of Square crypto. I later scheduled a one-on-one with the lead to learn more about how I could break into the crypto space. I’m still not too sure where I plan to go from here, but the mentorship from everyone in the org is helping me figure it out!

Is there anything else you want to mention?

One: Cash App’s instagram page has a bunch of wild and fun posts to check out. Two: Interns get an Ask Me Anything session with Jack every term, which is an awesome and unique opportunity.