Skandalaris Center

The background image for the website. It is a multi colored mosaic.

A Summer of Project Management and Coding

Chris Lopez (LA '25)
August 26, 2022

It was 6:00 PM, the day before my internship was to begin when I got a phone call from my boss. He had just finished talking with the CTO, and had decided that I would be the project lead for the coding projects this summer. I had no idea what to expect. The first day came, and after meeting my new team, we got to work brainstorming various ideas for a very basic, functioning iteration of Mozi. 

Mozi’s goal is to take people off their screens and into real-world interactions and events with their friends and to help people struggling with isolation. We initially created an email-based system that automatically sent emails to those who signed up. Despite coming in knowing nothing, as I began asking many questions, by the end of the week we had this first product finished. 

This was a grand success, considering where we started at the beginning of the week, but it was not enough. We wanted to step into the professional world, and thus I worked with a few mentors to set up a website from scratch. Since then, our team of five has made great progress. 

Chris and the Mozi Team

The hardest part of being a project lead is actually leading the project. There were no real guidelines or instructions for me other than “make an app” and “make the app work well while looking great”. As a result, almost none of my job is actual coding, but rather assigning and planning for my team to code. I spend a lot of my time planning out goals, plans, roadmaps, and the like. What makes this also slightly trickier is that my founder, Minju, has certain visions and requests that I have to meet. He provides the vision and my job becomes grabbing the idea, splitting it into smaller projects, planning out steps and design for each project, and then assigning them to my teammates throughout a development stretch.

The best part of the internship, apart from the experience, is the people. There are a total of four programmers working on various projects. We also have two people in marketing, and of course our founder Minju. Our group is a fairly well-oiled machine with talents that are diverse enough to cover the breadth of what we have to do. We may not be the most talkative group, which is to be expected among engineering groups, but we get along quite well and joke around a lot while still getting our work done.

We mainly work out of the Cortex Conference Room Spaces, meaning that we have access to their free food, and more importantly their ping pong tables. Every now and then we will grab breaks together and release our coding frustrations on the ping pong ball. 

My favorite times of the day are during our standup meetings where we share our progress, as well as a personal question which has been a nice opportunity to get to know my fellow coworkers better. 

I am overall grateful for the opportunity that the Skandalaris Center has given me to work with Mozi. Despite the hectic start, going back, I would have definitely done it all over again!