My internship experience

Being a student of computer science, or a related field, is a luxury position. Because when the time comes around to do an internship, you have a range of companies to choose from. The reason being that your skills are in demand. Today I will walk you through my internship experience at Dept and explain to you why it is one of the better options to choose from.

In September, my backend development .NET internship at Dept started. It was kicked off by an induction day. During this day, we were introduced to the company's strategy, services and culture. One of the co-founders shared the story of Dept’s birth. The day was filled with activities to get to know our new colleagues better.

After this day, it was time to hit the ground running. Additional introductory sessions during the first few weeks ensured I got to know all the different teams in more detail. Like everyone else, I was assigned a buddy. These buddies are to show you the ropes and make sure you quickly adapt to the way of working. The guidance and onboarding made me feel right at home and will do the same for you.

One of the reasons Dept is such a great place to work is because amazing projects are going on all the time. Even as an intern, you can make a difference while working on these projects. Your input is valuable, and your work will be seen by a large audience once it goes live. For example, I got to work extensively on a project for NVM, where I built some really awesome features.

One of the goals of an internship is to gain experience and develop yourself. During my internship, working on projects for intriguing and interesting clients amounted to invaluable experience. Not to mention, being surrounded by great minds has an inspirational effect. Your friends at Dept will have answers to every question you throw at them, but more importantly they will also make you think for yourself.

From a more technical standpoint, there are many practices in use at Dept that will help you get better at your craft. For one, pull requests and code reviews will provide you with continuous feedback. This process makes you gradually better and better at the tasks at hand. Beyond that, automatic code quality testing procedures are in place that also help you develop yourself as a programmer.

You are able to challenge yourself and reach new heights. My field of expertise is backend development, yet frontend development has always piqued my interest. Fortunately, I got the chance to work as a frontend developer for a period of time, and even full stack. This expanded my horizons and made me learn a wealth of new skills.

Not only the work itself makes Dept a great place. One of the primary reasons I was attracted to Dept is the working culture. Your colleagues at Dept will not only be coworkers, they will become your friends. The people you get to work with are best described as young, friendly, transparent and hard-working. One team with one goal: get things done. To get things done, hard work is needed. Taking initiative is welcomed and proactiveness is key. If you identify with these values, I think Dept will be a great place for you to do an internship.

However, as you know, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And Dept is as serious about its play as it is about its work. Both the Rotterdam and Amsterdam offices have table tennis tables where you can blow off some steam. Both offices also have a bar, where you can enjoy some lovely Friday afternoon drinks with your new friends. And on a regular basis, Dept throws unforgettable parties. Dept even has its own Festival every year; how cool is that?

Now, six months later, after I made many new friends, learned a lot of valuable lessons and wrote countless lines of code, I can reflect on an amazing internship experience.

One of the most important lessons you will learn during an internship was regarding commitment, motivation and receiving feedback. During the final week of one of the projects, the team worked tirelessly and relentlessly to finish all the features and squash all the bugs, before the deadline.

After we were done the client showed a real lack of appreciation and delayed the g go-live because they themselves did not insert enough content.  I was quite disappointed and frustrated by this, because we all did our very best. The lesson I learned here is to have a bit of distance between yourself and your work.

I took the lack of appreciation of the client personal. In my opinion this is hard not to do, when you care about your craft and the work you deliver. Even though it was a bit of an unpleasant experience, it was a very useful one. I am sure that the next time I am faced which such a situation I will be able to handle it a bit better. I think this is something you learn with age and experience.

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