How to be an IT trainee and survive – 6 lessons learned during internship

It has been a year since I was admitted to a 3-month internship program with Goyello. After it was finished I decided to stay. Today, watching this year’s trainees coming to the office, I thought: “Perhaps it’s worth sharing some of my experiences as an ex-trainee to make people aware of what is going on in young people’s minds when they start their program.” Here are 6 tips that should let you survive that difficult time. 

#1 Be prepared – you will be assigned to a project right from the start

Oh, yes, you will be assigned to a real project, for a real client who pays real money. Was I scared? I was. My fear was gone very quickly thanks to a great team I had a pleasure to work with. I owe them a lot – countless hours they spent explaining thing to me and reviewing my work. Other colleagues at Goyello also offered their help. Which makes me think of the second tip, that is… 

#2 Don’t be afraid to ask questions

This piece of advice was the most often repeated one during my internship. And I absolutely agree it is important. Every trainee has plenty of doubts. I remember I was embarrassed to admit I don’t know something and that I need help. So I tried to deal with problems on my own. However, when you are a trainee no one expects you have years of experience or loads of knowledge. So stop wondering what people are going to think about you because everyone will have the same thought in their heads: “She needs help. Let’s help her.” And that’s it. 

#3 Take notes

The best you can do for yourself at the beginning of your internship program or in a new position is to be engaged and use tips you get in practice. On my second day at Goyello I came to the office armed with a notebook and a pen. Whenever I learned something new about the project – business facts, tips on how to use tools and applications, workflows – I immediately started to take notes. I was doing my best to absorb new knowledge I was getting from my colleagues. Taking notes, I could be sure I would not miss anything. 

#4 Be ready to face negative feedback and learn how to benefit from it  

Out of all the rules, this one was the hardest to follow. I can still remember the first review with my team leader. I learned how to face failure then. It turned out the way my code looked was far from ideal. I got a long list of tips and I wanted the meeting to end as soon as possible.
No one will avoid failures in their careers. Even people with years of experience make mistakes. We have to take it into consideration and know how to deal with such problems. Luckily, I could count on my colleagues.
After I recovered from my initial shock, I got a grip and started to look through the tips I got from the team leader and implement them. From that day I always made sure to consult my ideas and solutions to be better prepared and perform better during the next meeting. And I made it! At the next review I did great and convinced my team leader I was the right person for this job.  

#5 Show initiative and don’t be afraid to communicate your ideas

Don’t give up if your solutions are not approved of from the very beginning. Keep trying! I was encouraged to put in more effort when I was praised for the first time during a retrospective, when I got my first Kudo, after the first presentation I gave and heard loads of kind words afterwards. These are the moments that give you wings and let you be even more satisfied with your work. At Goyello, we always praise people who deserve it. We don’t compete. Instead, we encourage one another to take actions.    

#6 Plan your work wisely

Experiment to discover when your creativity is at its peak. You may be the most productive in the mornings. But you may also need a few hours to fully wake up and it’s the afternoon you should be spending at the office. Knowing this, you will be able to carefully plan your tasks every day and schedule the toughest brain teasers for the time when you are the most productive.

I hope my tips will come in handy for anyone who’s just about to start their internship programme. Have you got any questions? Would you like to know more? Leave a comment.

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Aspire Blog Team

Aspire Systems is a global technology services firm serving as a trusted technology partner for our customers. We work with some of the world's most innovative enterprises and independent software vendors, helping them leverage technology and outsourcing in our specific areas of expertise. Our services include Product Engineering, Enterprise Solutions, Independent Testing Services and IT Infrastructure Support services. Our core philosophy of "Attention. Always." communicates our belief in lavishing care and attention on our customers and employees.