Internship at the IT company - a double leap forward

13/12/2019

Motivated, reasoned, aware of what they want - these are the kind of young interns, who joined Centric IT Solutions Lithuania team for three months with bright eyes and a thirst for knowledge. During the period of learning, getting acquainted with and testing various positions, each intern is trained and mentored by his/her internship supervisor - a professional in his/her field. “Educating the younger generation and sharing knowledge with young people is an integral part of every socially responsible company. This is the only way we can help our younger future colleagues successfully integrate into the labor market,” Agnė Jankauskė, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Centric IT Solutions Lithuania, says.

“It is safe to say that all people in this market are like communicating vessels: what we contribute to the growth of future talents becomes a contribution to the future of all the IT companies. And it doesn’t matter if a young person, who has interned and gained knowledge and understanding about the future job with us, will choose to work elsewhere. Other young professionals - former interns of other companies, will join ours.” Agnė Jankauskė, who is constantly interviewing candidates for open positions, says.

According to her, every company invests a lot of resources in students training, who often have little experience and might be even in first or second year of studies. Although interns have specific working hours, the very nature of the activities differs from work in that most of their time is dedicated to learning specific professional subjects and how to gradually apply them.

“In other words, the very essence of internship is to help students see the processes from up close, to try them out, to arrange the knowledge they already have and discover what they like and what fits them. In Centric, interns learn how to be a specialist and when he/she becomes one, they will bring advantage and knowledge to any company,” Agnė says.

The resources allocated by the company reflect its values

Each intern has a personal supervisor - an in-house professional who accompanies the young person every step of the way, giving assignments, evaluating what his/her intern knows and what they don’t know, and how they can be helped to get better in those specific areas. According to Agnė, Centric employees are eager to work with interns and, usually, when asked who wants to dedicate three months to train a young person in addition to their main workload, there’s a lot of volunteers.

“On the other hand, it is one of those values that are very important to us at Centric: a willingness to learn and share our knowledge,” Agnė says.

The second, and equally important, motivation for training interns is that it is an integral part of corporate social responsibility: educating the younger generation, either through internships or through lectures or mentoring in higher education institutions, thus contributing to a deeper knowledge and education of future professionals.

Following this fall’s Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Career Days, a total of 12 students have been invited to internship interviews at Centric IT Solutions Lithuania. The company’s specialists chose 5 interns who have been learning specific skills for three months and, by the way, are getting paid - paid internship is also an internal policy of the company.

“The recent job interviews with interns, the same as interviews before, has left a very bright impression - we communicated with insightful young people who were well aware of how to prepare for and participate in a job interview. Those were personalities communicating freely and reasonably,” Agnė explained.

Brought by very specific goals rather than curiosity

Two of the selected interns - second-year KTU Software Systems program students Kristijonas Karalaitis and Matas Vaitkevičius - say that they came to Centric having very specific goals in mind and not out of curiosity or because they didn’t have anything better to do. On the contrary, there is a lot to do, and now, serious work and study plans will keep them really busy!

“I came here because I wanted to work according to my specialty, not permanent student job alternatives that might help me earn a few euros, but wouldn’t help me accumulate professional knowledge and find my career path. I want to gather experience, learn and understand who does what and maybe, with the knowledge gained, to teach the younger generation, because I believe that the knowledge should be shared. If it wasn’t for such corporate professionals who devote their time for students, our integration into the labor market and this specialty would be much slower,” Kristijonas claims.

Working as an intern in the DevOps and Cloud Engineering subdivision, the young man says that job at Centric not only helps him fill in the knowledge gaps but also gives him a sense of how things are in the real work environment and also allows to touch upon the tools - which he has only heard about before - used by the market leaders.

Matas agrees with him, “You can imagine things but it is very different when you can actually touch upon and see the whole process up close. For example, before coming here I knew very little about DevOps and Cloud Engineering, so I, just like the other interns, find everything very interesting and, of course, I can see how much I still need to learn.”

Although combining work and studies is not easy and one has to push harder, Matas ensures the goal is worth it, “I think this is a necessary step for those who are preparing on becoming experts in a particular field and are interested in the market itself, its innovation and technology. Although I am attending a web design academy besides my studies, I already see and am convinced that the experience gained through the internship like Centric’s is extremely valuable. In general, the internship period is all about trying everything out and discovering what you want to do. What would I want today? Perhaps to learn programming better and maybe try a project manager or similar position in the future.”

When asked what he would advise his colleagues who are only considering internships at IT companies, Kristijonas says, “I would like to encourage those who often unduly underestimate themselves, delay and hesitate: try it and come for an internship interview. So what if you will not be selected? It is not a setback, on the contrary, you will see where and what your gaps are and how you can fill them.”

Here are some of Kristijonas’ tips for students getting ready for their first job or internship interviews:

  1. If possible, choose your workplace based on your interests and not just a good salary.
  2. Always be prepared before going to a job interview: take the time to look for information about the company, its products, the environment and the people working there.
  3. Knowing what the company is doing and what the future position might be, it is worthwhile to learn the work involved in that position (perhaps working on a particular programming language or reading the necessary files).
  4. During a job interview, first, highlight what you can do for the company.
  5. And more: relax. There is nothing to fear. I believe that a calm and relaxed person makes a good impression because they seem confident and positive - one that the company can trust.
  6. And most importantly: instead of only talking try to listen. After all, the interview is not about interrogating your prospective employee, but about exchanging information: just as the company wants to learn about you, you should want to learn about the company.

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