Interning @ AND Digital: 6 Months So Far…
12 April 2017 |
About a 4 minute read
Applying for a placement year around halfway through my degree, I had no idea what to expect. I have always been told how rewarding it was to do one, but all I really expected was to gain enough discipline so I won’t procrastinate as much in my third year, and also have some experience in the tech industry. Upon finding and applying for the internship program at AND Digital, my expectations changed. Reading the Through the Keyhole blog posts on the website gave me good insight to the company culture and I looked forward to the possibilities.
The process of the interview alone deserves a special mention as being one of the most relaxed, low-pressure interviews of the summer. The interview was a very friendly atmosphere, opened with some great brain teasers and other fun group exercises and made us feel completely comfortable, which is always difficult to get right in that situation.
The first couple of days at bootcamp contained a lot of information about the company. Personally, this is exactly what I needed. The morals, ethics and procedures helped me get a better idea of what AND Digital do, what goals they have and how exactly they go about achieving them. There was a lot of group exercises and socialising involved, which was great in getting to know the new joiners and understanding a bit more about the general employee culture. In these initial weeks, we were put on the internal backlog team, which in terms of getting set up and on our feet, was a great opportunity.
So, it’s been 6 months now, and in that time the two of us (interns) have been between both client and internal work. The exposure to both sides of the system has been significantly beneficial in seeing how teams operate and work on different projects. There are a lot of interesting projects to be involved in, providing chances to use a variety of different technologies and frameworks and plenty of learning opportunities. I’d say most of what I learn on a daily basis comes from the company’s strong learning and up-skilling culture. Everybody is very keen to share their own knowledge and as the company is made up of diversely skilled individuals, there is always something new to learn and apply in practice. Personally, this has influenced and improved a lot of my own development from the technologies I use, to design patterns, and even future project decisions.
AND Digital’s focus on agile has improved my own ways of working both from the practice and actually seeing the benefits and progress it can bring to certain projects. My time here has evidently made me more confident in getting out of my comfort zone to tackle new projects, as I know any help I require is available whenever I need it. Receiving useful feedback from colleagues allows me to recognise and develop on my areas of improvement, which is especially helpful in such an early stage of my career. I also appreciate the visibility of my progress in the feedback, as recognising strengths and even interests becomes that much clearer.
This placement at AND Digital has also allowed me to test out living in London, which has been a great experience. It’s been fun to explore the city and what it has to offer, especially with the main offices spread around central London. Being a small tech community in central London, AND Digital encourages attending Meetups all over the city. This has been a great to learn about new and interesting concepts, have fun and network with people in the industry.
But I have to say, for me, one of the main reasons why this internship has been an absolute pleasure so far, is because of the people and the culture. From the minute we joined, everyone introduced themselves to us and were very eager to learn more about us and our interests. It was made very easy to feel a part of this company, and not “just the intern”. Events such as socials and internal Meetups (ANDchat shout-out) keep everyone interacting and social, which I can see builds great relationships between employees across the company. Never would I have thought that Friday Fun @ 4:44 could have been such a thing!
You can tell employee culture is of high value to AND Digital. Learning from fellow ANDis is a natural part of the development process and is highly encouraged. Even as an intern, I feel involved and informed of company affairs and business AND the planned socials (both squad and club) never cease to be so entertaining and are always organised superbly so that everyone has a blast.
It’s been delightful to be apart of the AND Digital community and all their traditions (long live the Marquis) and I’m definitely looking forward to the next 6 months!
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