Computer Science Major Interns at HBO

Bilal Abdul-Nabi ’13 interned in the information technologies department at the HBO cable network where he worked as an applications developer.

bilalActively searching for a summer internship, Bilal Abdul-Nabi ’13 found guidance from the Center for Career Development and one his professors, who recommended that he apply to HBO. A little skeptical about his odds of landing an internship with the premium cable network, the Bronx techie cast aside his doubts and applied. A week later, he was scheduled for an interview in which he was grilled about the Java programming language. Although he didn’t quite answer the questions correctly, his enthusiasm and deductive reasoning won over his interviewer.

As an applications developer in the information technologies department of HBO, Abdul-Nabi was part of a team responsible for adding features and fixing bugs for a high-management level application, which was implemented in Java. 

“I’m proud that, after two months of steady programming work, a substantial amount of code fixes have been done by my team and me,” he says. “I think most of the software development highlight is saved for when the first deployment of an application is sent out to the users. Diligently working toward that end goal is something I was proud of.” HBO also offered some extracurricular learning and executive mingling for its interns through its weekly Speaker Series, in which highlevel managers talk about what they do and answer questions. x

“It was a great way to connect and network with some senior members of HBO,” says Abdul-Nabi, a member of the College’s Games Club. “Plus, I got to meet Otto Berkes, one of the architects for Xbox, which was pretty awesome!” 

Since his sophomore year, he also has been working in Manhattan’s Client Services (formerly known as JET). He credits his work-study job with helping him to obtain his first internship at Quantum Networks, which, in turn, helped him get his second internship at HBO. 

The internship experience was great because I got to prove what I learned at Manhattan College in a real-world setting.

Among the many perks, his work at HBO has shed light on a few career queries, such as advancement opportunities for software engineers, too. 

“The internship experience was great because I got to prove what I learned at Manhattan College in a real-world setting,” he says. “It also gave me a reasonable amount of confidence in my skills as a programmer, since my changes to the source code are now implemented in a real-world company.” 

After graduation, Abdul-Nabi hopes to go to Japan — a lifelong dream of his — and participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, in which he would teach English to high school students.