Zain joined Netsells three months ago as a Front-End Intern.
On her (sadly) last day in the office, we asked Zain to reflect on her time with us and share her views on how to make the most out of an internship:
Three months ago I walked into the Netsells office for my first day of work. This was my first ever job and I was a messy soup of excitement and fear. I had no idea the extent this experience would change me as a person and developer and I have my coworkers to thank for that. So, as I prepare to head to the office for my last day, I am once again a messy soup of gratitude, sadness, and reflection. Here’s what you can expect from an internship:
You will learn a lot. Fast.
I remember spending my first week or so making a header and footer, something that I could now probably do in half an hour.
Apparently, I am told, 3 months have gone by since then, it truly feels like yesterday, but it also feels like I gained a full uni degree’s worth of knowledge overnight.
You see, during an internship, you are suddenly put in a situation where you’re actively learning, for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Something that would otherwise take an immense amount of willpower and motivation to do on your own. More importantly perhaps, you are sat in a room full of people eager to help get you unstuck, who love to share all that knowledge stored in their beautiful brains, and who are genuinely rooting for you. This exemplifies the speed at which you can learn because you’re rarely ever stuck for more than 5 minutes. I was terrified of asking questions (...still am) but asking questions and receiving help is what got me up on my feet and kept me going. This is not to say that you should ask for help with every bug you run into, but don’t be afraid to ask for it when you’re stuck.
During my time at Netsells I learned Vue, Nuxt, Vuex, some Laravel and PHP, (all in 3 months, what?!) but mostly I learned how to learn, and that’s by doing. Jump into the deep end, even if right now you don’t feel like you can swim, all the amazing people around you will make sure you don’t drown while you learn to navigate the deep oceans of your craft.
The people you work with will make all the difference
Previously, I mentioned how fast you can expect to learn new things at an internship because you’re working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it’s practically impossible to not learn anything when you’re spending that much time working at it.
However, you may ask, what makes an internship better than freelancing or working on a passion project all summer, two things I considered doing before deciding on an internship, and the answer is people. Your coworkers make all the difference.
I found myself excited to get to work every morning because I knew I was heading to not only a warm and welcoming environment, but to one in which everyone is extremely passionate about what they do, and that stuff is contagious! Apart from that, being surrounded with people to look up to everyday, that have made it to positions you want to be in, is an endless stream of motivation.
Lastly, an overlooked aspect of working in an office is the social aspect. In an increasingly isolated world, it was refreshing to be surrounded by fun, passionate people all day!
People don’t know what you don’t tell them
Put yourself out there! I would say this goes to us students, but equally as important, it goes to employers. I met Netsells at the York University Tech Conference and then emailed them a few days later asking for an internship.
We found each other because we both put ourselves out there and it resulted in a mutually beneficial agreement.
So package your CV up, make a list of companies you’d love to work for, and write 3 emails a day until you land the right opportunity. You’ll likely get rejected from some, don’t take it personally, move on and keep writing those emails. Unfortunately, humans can’t read each other's minds, so if you’re looking for an internship, you need to let people know you’re on the hunt, and opportunities will come.
You grow when you’re stuck
I previously mentioned that you should ask for help when you’re stuck, but it’s also good to stay stuck for a while before jumping for help. By that, I don’t mean sitting and staring blankly at the computer screen hoping the issue will fix itself. I mean actively trying to solve it yourself (with the help of our trusty friend, Google) and when you start to get really frustrated, or truly believe you can’t solve it, then ask your coworkers and there will surely be someone happy to help.
Don’t leave loose ends behind
When I say don’t leave loose ends behind, I don’t mean with the work, because that’s not always in your control, I mean with people, things you want to do, goals you want to achieve. Plan for the end of your internship before you even start by outlining exactly what you want to get out of it and ensuring you achieve all that before your last day. If you meet a coworker that seems interesting and you’d like to know them better or pick their brains then tell them! Don’t leave wishing you’d done something you didn’t do.
Lastly, make sure you enjoy your time and loosen up, you might be nervous at first but try to remember that the time will go by extremely fast, and hopefully by the end of it you’ll be wishing you could go back and do it all over again, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Interested in internship, placement and graduate opportunities at Netsells?
You can see current roles on our vacancies page.
We would also encourage you to get in touch directly with our team on firstname.lastname@example.org as we always welcome speculative enquiries and informal chats with anyone wanting further information.