2015 Summer Intern: Jacob


Jacob Rodgers, a rising senior at University of Iowa, is a computer science major and amateur musician. Although his CS coursework hadn’t given him lots of exposure to practical applications like webpages, Jacob proved that he could quickly pick up the CSS and HTML skills he needed to make real contributions to AllSet Learning’s efforts.

Over the summer, Jacob provided audio editing software training for our staff, helped with various technical aspects of both the Chinese Grammar Wiki and the Chinese Pronunciation Wiki, and even helped Mandarin Companion (AllSet Learning’s partner) implement a total redesign of the website. It was quite a productive internship for Jacob.

Jacob’s account:

I first came to China for a two-month program in the summer of 2014, and before I had even left, I already knew I wanted to find a reason to come back to China. Within a few months, I found out about AllSet Learning, and felt that an internship there would be a very fitting opportunity to come back to China and at the same time gain some work experience.

I knew I would be focused in the area of IT, but I feared that my lack of experience might prove to be a burden. But John set me loose on developing the styles and layout of the Grammar Wiki eBook, and despite having very little experience with HTML, and none in CSS, I was quickly able to pick it up and actually accomplish real tasks. I also worked on the design of the Mandarin Companion website using WordPress, something else I’ve never used before. And, as most interns will do, I also worked on editing of the Grammar Wiki. Overall, I was quite pleasantly surprised that I was able to do real things despite not having experience in these areas, and having done them, I know these kinds of skills will be valuable to me in the future.

I will miss everyone I’ve met here, including John for his guidance and introducing me to web development, and Weiwei and Chen Shishuang for their company and the interesting and humorous conversations we would have, in English and in Chinese.

You did some amazing work here, Jacob, and we know you’ll go far with your already impressive Chinese. 加油!