The IT Industry is a highly competitive field. People need all the advantages they can get in order to gain a good job with the company of their dreams. A summer internship in the field can be the launch pad towards that dream coming true. It will help you get the experience that most companies are looking.
Actually, a summer internship could help you land a job sooner than you think, since companies in the U.S. offer full-time positions to about 60 percent of their interns. But even if you don’t get hired by the company you intern for, the experience, skills, and connections you make are sure to increase your chances to succeed in the future.
Once you have completed an internship, you have a much clearer idea of how the industry operates, and what is expected from you as a professional. You get to experience first-hand the things you’ve learned about in college, test your skills and develop your preferences.
For those who are not quite sure about the path they will be choosing after graduation, an internship is the ideal way to find out.
While all the above are advantages from the intern’s point of view, companies have a lot to gain from internship programs too. Instead of taking chances hiring people based on interviews and resumes, offering an internship to potential employees is the best way to be sure that what you see is what you get.
However, many companies prefer hiring their interns on permanent positions since they are already accustomed with the way things go around the place. More than that, interns are already integrated within the team and used to the company culture and don’t require much additional training.
4PSA Cool Summer Internship
Here at 4PSA, we are always looking for new talent, and giving young people a chance is a part of our mission. Therefore, each summer we run an internship program for students who are looking to improve their skills and gain real-life experience in the field.
And our apprentices are more than willing to share their experiences with the world 😉 Here’s the story of one of our interns in the summer of 2019.
Before starting my internship I was very nervous and curious about it. I had never worked in an IT company before and the expectations were huge. Following the interviews I couldn’t wait to be a part of a team that develops such a complex software as Hubgets.
First day was dedicated to orientation and meeting the other interns – some very open and friendly people and, most of all, tech savvy.
During the training period that followed I’ve learned a lot of useful stuff from general programming notions to the particular characteristics of Hubgets. I came to realize how insanely complex such a product can be compared to the .c files we’ve been working on during college.
Luckily, the company has organized a team building right at the beginning of my internship. This is where I got to meet many of my coworkers, people with a lot of experience in the field. I found it a lot easier to get to know them better when they are set to having fun in a chill environment. At the office it wouldn’t have been so straightforward. I know from experience that when you run into a problem and try to figure out why your code isn’t working, you get totally disconnected from those around you. But in the team building… 😉
My first task
Having fun together was awesome but work eventually brought us down to Earth again. I have immediately received my first task, which made me quite nervous, but also very excited. I will always remember the Jira image showing the task with my name on it. If I ever thought I was going to do something simple and useless, I was soon to be proven very wrong.
The task required me to implement a multi-linguistic model meant to analyze consumer feedback and attach tags, such as comment, request, bug. At first I had no clue what to do, but I soon realized I could ask my mentor or other team members.
My mentor was very helpful and always there to give me ideas and advice on how to do things. The whole team’s attitude was very different from what I expected. Instead of giving me my task and a deadline to solve it, they presented me with the problem that we were going to figure out together. Their help was invaluable, especially in the complicated situations I got myself into, because of my own bugs.
What I’ve learned
This task has taught me a lot, especially how to write and organize code, which is going to be used by other developers. Once I’ve researched the processing of natural language, I learned about word embedding, how a LSTM network works, as well as different techniques to improve a model’s performance. Everything was new and quite difficult. Even thought I couldn’t get to state-of-art level just yet, I’ve learned a great deal of useful information and some of the good practices of engineering a software product.
I came to realize that software engineering is similar to the process of building a house. In college, you learn what a hammer and a nail are used for, but you don’t actually have the occasion to build the house.
During the 4PSA Cool Summer Internship, I was given the tools and encouraged to beat down those nails that will eventually benefit the users. My first task was just a small part of this construction and I can’t wait to find out what comes next!