In Wirtek, internships have become part of our company’s most valuable programs. It’s not just any temporary job, but rather a bridge between the life of a student and a career that might be of interest. We do our best in answering one of the main questions a student might have: “What’s in it for me?” And we have come to the conclusion that it’s an opportunity to gain experience and the right way to help them understand what it means to be employed.
Over the years, we’ve had multiple summer internships, the one we just finalized is already the 10th. It has become a tradition to engage young students or anyone qualified and willing to get on board and try to succeed in the world of IT, by offering them employment opportunities.
In the process, a company gains an educational statute, which also involves a great responsibility. In Wirtek we are trying our best to comply and even exceed expectations. To this end, employees from different backgrounds and with skill sets come together to plan, manage and run the program.
The web internship this summer was the 3rd program for entry-level professionals organized at Wirtek since the beginning of 2018. It started on the 16th of July and lasted six weeks. During this period five trainees worked hard to fulfill the tasks necessary for successful results on the project assigned to them.
The project we designed was meant to offer the students a fun and practical app. More specific, it is a quiz web app that we named VikinQuiz. As one of our mentors describes it: “VikinQuiz brings happiness and fun for everyone. Create quizzes and play them with your friends. Everyone gathers around a big screen where the questions and answers are displayed. Players give the right answer from their connected mobile phones. Giving the correct answer is the way to go, but being the fastest will win the game!”
This year, the web internship had three sprints: the first one completed on the 27th of July, helped students learn and embrace the SCRUM methodology. They succeeded in reaching the objective towards which they were heading: the implementation of responsive design that ensured the web app to work on both mobile and desktop. Sprint two has ended on the 10th of August for the internship team with the sprint goal being met. The VikinQuiz web app has gained new functionality like creating and editing quizzes, adding pictures for each quiz, adding editing and deleting quiz questions and also laying the foundation for players to connect and play a quiz. The 24th of August, the end of the last sprint, found the apprentices working on creating the web app designed for mobile devices which the players will use to answer questions during a quiz game. They learned to use SignalR for implementing bi-directional communication between the game and the players, and blob storage for saving the player pictures on the server.
The mentors for each Internship program play a crucial part. They become teachers and advisers and they have to train students into understanding how to handle a day-to-day job. For this year, six of our finest specialists worked closely with the students, guiding them and helping them along the journey. At each impasse, they had to offer some helpful methods of problem-solving, without giving away the answer. The purpose is to help them find the best approach on their own by giving some guidance and not the end-solution.
The entire process is one of professional evolution and learning for the students driven by their ambition and their mentors’ dedication. In the end, we see changes in the way they approach difficulties or how they handle stressful situations.
One of the interns said about this experience that: “the people have great personalities (funny and helpful) yet they also seem professional and technically competent. In addition, it seems like a place where you can be challenged while also keeping a work-life balance and just have a bit of fun in the process as well.”
Although an internship does not guarantee employment, Wirtek, like all other companies uses it as a way to train and evaluate future employees. The interns sometimes get the opportunity to get full-time jobs, and in Wirtek we have a rate of employment that is quite high. So we perceive these programs as being successful ways of increasing the teams by bringing young and fresh minds that surely will increase the overall productivity. We take chances and we offer chances, and we strive to always have quality Internship programs.
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