Coffee, Docker, ping-pong, Redux, fish tank, React, quizzes & barbecues, CSS, no regrets.
It could be the output of a word randomizer, it could be a brainstorming session or it could be a postmodern poem.
But it's none of these, actually.
These words were pulled from a discussion I had with our disarmingly cool interns who graced the Around25 office this summer. Five in total - four on development, one on marketing -, all of them were willing to share the acquired wisdom with us and future summer interns at Around25.
Swipe to see Alex, Iulia, Alex I, Ana, and Andrei all smiles - although being put in the hot seat within their first week:
Now, this is how it will go: I'll write down an overview of their experience on the whole, while also letting them do the talk from time to time. Because they did have lots to give out. Take a look.
A Summer of Sighs
While the experience is different for each participant, there was one point which kept coming into discussion: the fact that, yes, this internship is no rainbows and unicorns when you get in the thick of things (as warned by Paul in a post a while back).
You've got to arm yourself with lots of patience, be open, and get prepared for hard work and "smooth sailing turning into a bumpy ride at the end", as all five interns agreed.
Aside from the technical leaps and bounds the five undertook, internship time taught them an even more precious lesson: the perks of showing up to work. Each day. 100%. Permanently figuring stuff out and going the extra mile - with coffee breaks and crazy-fun times in between, of course.
Mentors, Mentees & Win-wins
The internship is not a test for interns only; it's also a growth opportunity for us who get to share the knowledge - and this is not always the easiest of tasks.
That's why, of course, I was curious to learn how my colleagues performed as teachers. Apparently, they stirred this kind of heartfelt messages:
You're like the Docker of our internship. Silently working behind the scenes so that everything goes smoothly.
Thanks for being so patient and helping me when I was extremely stuck. Don't worry, I really understood all the stuff you explained to me (eventually).
And here I come with a personal note: a bunch of my dev workmates volunteered to mentor the interns, indeed. But this didn't mean the rest of us refrained from switching our coach mode on. The result? Just some pieces of advice to be followed for a stellar career in tech:
When, at some point, I asked my summer colleagues about what they're going to tell their pals once they get back to school, I got some replies which I seriously think of using for next year's recruitment campaign.
I mean, you don't always get people say stuff like this about their experience at your company:
"It was gruesomely awesome"
"Go try your luck with them!
It's seriously a lot more fun than you'd expect."
So when you do get this feedback, I guess you have no other choice than let the world know about it. Thanks, guys!
A-HAs and UHMs
No learning experience would be complete without some flashes of understanding. When asked about them, our interns reckoned they did have some:
But besides these A-HA moments, there were other kinds of illuminating ones - those where you challenge assumptions and replace them with more accurate info.
Ana, for instance, claims that "this internship, I changed my opinion about working in a small company. I thought that since it's not a very big business, people wouldn't have to work very hard or that there wouldn't be difficult projects going on. Oh man, could I have been more wrong?".
Her words are seconded by Alex, who got to know "what company culture really is".
For Iulia, enlightenment came both on the tech side ("I changed my mind Mostly about how web applications work. Now when I see a web app I can silently judge parts of its implementation because I kinda get what's in the background, which is pretty neat.") and on the company culture side. She particularly recalls being struck by the amount of activities Around25-ers packed into a two-month time frame.
And then, of course, there was Andrei who had an entirely different kind of epiphany: "PING PONG - it's an unforgiving sport".
Oh, and also: all five were surprised to learn how much stuff is happening during afterhours: quizzes, trivia boards, barbecues, game nights, trips to lunch places. Everything wrapped up in complete openness and inspirational companionship.
All's well when it ends well - in this case, with a Demo Day where the dev interns presented their projects.
That was it - the moment of truth, the proof of a two-month's worth of work.
Would some of them have liked to spend more time on CSS or on studying overall? Or wished they didn't use inappropriate coding styles and that much coffee to stay awake? Sure thing.
But Demo Day was no time for regrets or second-guessing. Only accountability, poise and loads of humor.
Summer Dev Internships? Wait a Second
One of the coolest things about the Around25 office is that it's brimming with new people each season. People with a special drive for learning, people who go all in or come from thousands of kms away (as is the case with our international interns).
My point is: this year, we teamed up with young professionals on different departments - not only software development but also business development and marketing.
On the business development side, I have to give a shoutout to Frank and Simon who came here via AIESEC internships, went straight into achiever mode and delivered (not only sales-wise but also content-wise; check all about Frank's internship experience here and Simon's here).
On the marketing side, we had Alex I - our first marketing intern.
How does a marketing intern find their creative groove in a product development company?
Well, as Alex I points out, it's about the degree of freedom you get (at Around25, at least). Having been struck by it at first, he completely owned it and soon became an all-hailed master of newsletters, hilarious social media posts and first-rate copywriting.
If Alex were to recommend anything to future Around25 interns, this would be it:
Whenever you have a great idea, go tell your mentors about it until they implement it or they tell you to shut up about it.
Great to hear his advice, because this kind of assertiveness is what we aim to teach our apprentices in the long term. So I'd say if you want to achieve this skill early-on in your career...
Come to Around25 for Summer Internships
We've got A-HA moments, free sweets and intense brain workouts.
But most importantly, hands-on work experience and growth.
If, after reading this, you fancy being a part of the Around25 extended family, keep an eye on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) for internship positions. Or just drop us a line here - we're happy to chat about your perspectives of joining our crew.