Inside HomeAway University’s Summer 2017 Class

Back to school, back to school. 

You’re probably familiar with the 'ole jingle, but the classroom looks a little different for the students at HomeAway University. 

HAU is a 2 or 4-week program that teaches recent college graduates and interns everything they need to know about Design, Product Management, Software Development and Data Science at HomeAway. Our in-house university is the perfect cushion to help freshly graduated students transition into a full-time, “real world” job. 

Integrating into a full-time job doesn’t have to be a bore – in fact, it’s the exact opposite at HAU. Students get a taste of front and back-end coding, company operations, and our culture. Each week HAU leaders plan different events and activities for current students. This year the HAU team had a boat party on Lake Travis, took over Topgolf at The Domain, and bonded over pizza and happy hours. Getting to know your HAU class is just as important as learning the ropes!

This year is the first time product designers have been added to the mix. This is also the first summer HAU launched outside of Austin, with a small class in India specifically focusing on software development. 

While we're sad to see our summer class go, it's great to hear about their experiences. Four of our HAU graduates are sharing their stories with us, so keep reading for a day-in-the-life of a summer intern!


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Hi, I'm Negin!

Negin Rahbar - Data Science Intern 

HomeAway has a highly talented pool of employees as well as a great presence in Austin. They are working on many challenging and interesting projects, especially on the data science side.

On a typical day, my partner and I meet in the morning to discuss what our project goals are for the day. We sit together too, so we have opportunities all day to bounce ideas off of each other as we work. We usually reach out to our mentor and other team members to check that we are on the right track and receive feedback.

This internship allows me to get hands-on experience with data science projects that affect real business decisions, moving beyond academia and seeing how problem-solving can be applied in impactful ways.


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Hi, I'm Jake!

Jake Patterson - Cloud Engineer Intern

A typical day for me involves a couple of different assignments. My primary focus has been the creation of an architectural resource-based dependency graph. This project was very early in development, so I spent a lot of time hammering out proof of concepts, making design decisions alongside my manager, and building a code base from the ground up. Whenever I needed a break, I’d spend time in the Bistro playing ping pong, foosball, and Super Smash Bros. with my fellow interns. 

I came from the midwest, so I wasn’t really sure how well I’d acclimate to Austin or HomeAway. All of the folks from UT Austin were very accepting, and we made awesome memories. Austin is such a beautiful city, I’m continually impressed by everything here. I love the scenic drives and campus tours from my UT friends. I also learned more about the local music scene because HomeAway occasionally brings in bands for after-work happy hours!

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Hi, I'm Matt!

Matt Stanley - Product Management Intern

My project for the summer was to scope solutions for digital signatures for rental agreements sent from our partners (owners) to travelers. I typically spend a portion of my day researching possible solutions and documenting that research and product requirements.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on a challenging project that has the potential to have a real impact on the customer experience. Having a meaningful project with access to the resources to actually pursue it really sets my internship apart from those of many of my business school classmate at UT, Austin.

The thing that I have enjoyed most has been the opportunity to work with and get to know people from different functions and products throughout HomeAway. It has been incredibly easy to approach someone with a question and know that they are willing to help.




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Hi, I'm Jenn!






Jenn Wilson - UX Research Intern (Design)

I graduated Washington University in St. Louis in 2004 with a BA in Art History and Archeology and a Masters in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago 2008.  



I was a professor in Art History and Studio Art, but I realized I wanted a career change. I fell in love with UX when I was tasked to help integrate a hybridized online learning management program for my college. 


Now, my career goal is to work full time as a UX Researcher, so this has been an amazing opportunity to help launch my career.  I am so humbled that they took a chance on me! 

The UX team has been open, helpful, and brilliant.  I finished an Accessibility Audit of Traveler.  I was listening to HA's site with SRT and analyzing what the site looked like if a user was color blind.


Interested in applying to be part of the next HAU class? Visit our HomeAway University website for more details!

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