Intern Spotlight: Corbett Blair
Q&A with an Asymmetrik Software Intern
Jul 11, 2019
Meet Corbett Blair, Asymmetrik Software Intern. In just his first week with Asymmetrik’s healthcare team, Cory made significant contributions to our client’s website. As a result, patients will have a more accurate experience while searching for doctors with expertise in the areas they need.
Since then, Cory has worked on translation service software for Spanish-speaking patients. He’s also supported infrastructure for a website serving patients throughout the Baltimore-D.C. area. So far, he’s having a great time using what he’s learned to solve real-world problems. “I showed up day one, the team trusted my abilities, and I was immediately thrown into the deep end.”
Though Cory was originally a journalism major, he realized that the rigid journalism program did not allow for much creativity. “There are only a few ways you can order the details of an obituary,” he says. Since he was also interested in computer science, he decided to switch majors at the University of Maryland. It was like a breath of fresh air. “All of the sudden, I was working on projects where the prompts were, ‘Here is a problem, do whatever you need to solve it.’ The freedom was really amazing to me.”
What have you learned so far this summer?
This internship has been a lot of “learning how to learn”.
For example, there will be something going wrong with the software and I’ll be tasked with finding out why it’s happening and fixing it. Then I’ll look and it’ll be in a code base I’ve never seen before, in a language I’ve never really used.
If there’s anything this internship taught me it’s that I’m able to solve problems of the scale on my own, even when they’re real issues and not just projects in a university setting. It was overwhelming but definitely what I hoped for. And if I can’t solve it, I can probably just bother my tech lead, Peter.
What inspires you?
I’m definitely inspired by my family. They’re the best support group I could possibly hope for, especially when I virtually re-started college nearly 3 years in.
I’m also constantly inspired by people who take risks, especially musicians. Kanye West comes to mind. I feel obliged to say I don’t endorse anything specific he has said or done, and think an ego like his has no place in the workplace.
Supposedly before he was famous he locked himself in his room for 3 summers in a row and made 5 songs a day, honing his craft. Dedication like that makes me want to put in the time and become the best I can be at everything I do, even something as small as a school project.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I wrote and recorded a full-length concept album. It was the culmination of a couple years of work and I’m really happy with how it came out. It’s easy to start something ambitious and lose steam somewhere along the way. That definitely happened multiple times, but while creating this project I learned how to push through those blocks.
I want to make another one, and I also want to write a book. But, the idea of going through another creative process of that magnitude is daunting. It definitely made me better at making music though.
What’s the most fun or weird experience you’ve had recently?
I went to a “Kitten Café” where you pay to spend half an hour in a room filled with kittens. Maybe two or three kittens want to interact with the people, at least when I was there. So it’s a bunch of adults chasing after tiny kittens who obviously just want to be left alone.
Since everybody paid money to be there, the staff is going to make sure you can hold as many kittens as you want, one way or another. There’s no escape for them. You feel almost like a tyrant. Although, supposedly it’s socializing them for adoption so maybe it’s good.