Internships are meant to teach young people the ropes of a profession. It is an opportunity for them to learn by doing, while being guided and mentored by more experienced professionals. For a student, an internship is a chance to peek into the life after graduation and earn valuable skills.
For a company, internship programs are an opportunity to discover new talents and an investment in the future. On average, companies in the US, eventually offer full-time positions to about half of eligible interns. Experience shows that employees who previously had intern positions within an organization integrate faster and have shorter learning curves.
The Cool Summer Internship
At 4PSA, we are dedicated to investing in the future, and we’re always looking for talented people to welcome in our team. Many years ago, we’ve started our own internship program. Every summer, students join our team and get a unique hands-on experience.
This year, one of our interns wanted to share her story with our readers. This article reflects her views and opinions at the end of the program. Here’s how Alexandra spent her cool summer with us 🙂
Many people asked me why I chose an internship with this company instead of applying to more places and having more options on the table before making a decision. For me, the reason is pretty straightforward – I wasn’t going for the easiest path. I was ready to get out of my comfort zone and learn as much as possible, from every little thing I was going to accomplish.
Meeting the team
One of the perks of a medium-sized company is that you have the chance of getting to know almost everyone. Besides that, I was lucky enough to have been invited to take part to a team building organized right in the weekend before the internship began. Getting the chance to meet the team outside the office made the integration much easier and faster.
The carefully planned, in-depth onboarding process and the friendly Hubgets Team Board also helped a lot 😉
First days as an intern
Every beginning is tough and even the best people can get nervous when starting a new job. But considering that I would be a part of the Front-End team, I was mostly aware of what to expect in terms of tools and programming language.
During my first days at work, I learned how to use Git, a versioning file system that is widely used by professionals, and also got familiar with SPA (Single-Page Application).
While I was expecting to receive some simple test tasks with no real impact over the product, I was surprised to discover the exact opposite 🙂 All the interns were asked to work together with the team, doing valuable work that was actually going to be used in the final product.
At first, I was in charge with solving bugs in the Hubgets Desktop and Android apps. Next, I moved on to implement classes for converting several components.
A bit about challenges
One of the biggest challenges was to get over my own fears: that I was going to break something; that I wasn’t good enough. Everything seemed so new, and totally different from the way I had been used to during college.
Luckily, the mentors were extremely supportive, always ready to guide and encourage me. Only with their support I have been able to overcome my fear, which means a lot to me!
The most valuable lessons
This Cool Summer Internship helped me grow both professionally and personally.
First of all, I realized that the structure of a web application is a lot more complex than meets the user’s eye.
In my time with the 4PSA team, I understood the importance of writing quality code, not only functional code. The main difference is that poor quality code, which you write just to make things work, can create huge problems with future adjustments. Or, as one of my senior teammates put it, it will come hunt you after 😉
I have also learned how to perform proper debugging. In college, we have been taught that debugging means inserting console.log/prinf into the code in order to find the problem (if ever). I had never been able to understand how to use breakpoints until this summer. This is another reason why I am being grateful to the 4PSA team.
During the third week of my Cool Summer Internship, after getting used to the office culture, I realized that I shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Everybody makes mistakes, but these can only enable me to learn and become better. And the sole purpose of giving feedback is to help me improve.
Furthermore, having the team always there, ready to jump in and support me at any moment, made me discover that every problem has a solution. Even the tasks that seemed impossible at first. So, not knowing what to do doesn’t mean the end of the world, as I first thought 🙂
Also, I’ve learned just how important it is to ask when you don’t know or don’t understand something. There is no such thing as stupid questions! Everybody has to start somewhere. And it’s totally OK to ask. Many questions! What is the most important at this phase in one’s life and career is to be willing to learn.
More than anything, this experience made me change my mindset. I will never start anything thinking that I’m not good enough to make it. Now I am more confident and trust that I can accomplish anything. And I know that I’ve gotten much more to learn, and this is only the beginning.
Thank you, Alexandra, for sharing your summer internship experience with us. And welcome to the 4PSA team!