“I know many students out there are scared about how will they handle both school and work. So was I, but let’s face it: if it would be easy, then where would it be the satisfaction when succeeding? That was one of my thoughts when accepting the offer to become part of the Yonder team at the end of my internship.
Yes, this is how my journey started: in the summer of 2015 I applied for an internship, having in mind only one thing: to stay in Cluj-Napoca for the summer. I remember even now that hot day in June when I went to take the ‘test’ , followed by a technical discussion and a HR one. The flow of those discussions felt like a friendly dialogue and not at all like an interview.
During my Internship I had the chance of meeting great people who shared their experience with us and of learning new things – both soft skills and technical ones. This is what that period was all about: not only acing our technical skills, but also learning how to interact with teammates, how to present and sell products as well as seeing how our work can actually impact and help the others. All these reasons helped me make my mind pretty fast when I was offered a job here.
Learning by doing
Therefore, in November 2015 I was both a student and an employee. In my first few weeks, the workload was gradually increasing, I had to read documentation at first and learn about different frameworks and tools used for the project I was going to work on. It was actually pretty much like school – you had to learn some things and after find a practical purpose for them. I felt really confident about it, because it seemed that the project’s structure was not so different from a school project. Indeed the complexity was far higher, but in essence it was almost the same thing. I remember times when I was able to apply all the theoretical things learned in school in a practical way at my workplace and the other way around. I still do that, although that now is more the other way around: I have learnt different things at work which helped me in my school projects. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”
I think it is all about this when you are a working student: to find a way to apply the things you learn in school at your workplace and vice versa, otherwise you will not see the importance of any of it.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Nevertheless, being a developer is not all about technical skills and staying in front of a computer for 8 hours a day and then go home and the next day do the same and so on. I am not saying to neglect improving those skills, but to see beyond all the code and embrace the opportunities which can help you grow. At first it might seem like a huge thing, but with time you realize it was actually just another step you had to take. I can say I had this kind of growth and is an ongoing process. In March I was given the chance to be one of the company’s representatives as a speaker at an IT event (CariereInIT) where I had to share my work experience to a group of students. Even if I felt somehow scared when I was told about this, I knew is a great place to improve my public speaking skills. Not long after, in a one-to-one meeting with my Career Manager, while discussing my objectives for the coming period, I was asked what my opinion is regarding a Junior Focus Group, a place where we, the juniors, could create our environment to grow together. I was excited about it, so together with a colleague decided to organize the first meeting to see what activities would suit each one of us. From that meeting on, we have had a couple of presentations and went together at different events.
Teamwork above all
I am lucky for being part of a team where I have the support I need and for having teammates from which I can learn new things. What I like the most is that I feel we connected somehow and is nice to see at our hangouts after work also colleagues which used to work in our team.
As a conclusion
What I have been trying to say with all these is that if there is one thing I have learned during this year is that there are so many ways in which you can improve yourself – both as a professional and as a person, you just have to be willing to do it. And, yes, it might seem like an impossible mission to be a working student, but it is worthy”.