Internship Experience: Overture

It has been three days since my internship started. Three days before this, I gathered a very grim outlook on the coming three months. Three days in and I have mustered yet another, this time a surprisingly opposite mindset.

The night before my first day, I was very anxious. A lot of questions remained unanswered. How am I going to get there? What should I take with me? Who am I going to work with? This kept me awake through the early hours of the morning until I could find rest. I woke up earlier than I planned and got to the office almost an hour early. That was how nervous I was.

When the office finally opened (which was almost ten minutes after the time that was told to me ) I met my supervisor  who was to be my mentor for the upcoming months. Since this was a small local company, there are only a total of 5 staff in the whole company, and the only person I saw in the office was him. This for some reason made me feel more at ease. It gave me the feeling that this job was not going to be that strenuous. When I had finally introduced myself to my mentor, who from henceforth shall be named Edward, I became very much comfortable with the work environment. Ed is a very friendly person. He is helpful and informative and treats me and everyone around me with respect. I knew from that moment on that this job would be something I would enjoy. This was corroborated by the fact that Aaron, the boss came in almost an hour late.

Aaron briefed me on what I would be doing within the three months I am here. He told me about the projects the company is currently working on as well as the things I would need to learn to program and develop with my mentor. Most of all, he told me the things I already suspected the second I walked into the office. This company’s working environment is like nothing I had heard from my friends. It had flexible working hours to a point where Aaron told me that eventually when I am more well versed with the programming framework they use, I could actually work from home. The only rule of the company is that you must finish your work on time. It does not matter where you complete it or how you complete it, only a matter of when it is completed, that is all.

I had felt so much weight being lifted from my chest at that moment. My hopes were renewed and I had gotten strength to work even harder through out these three months. As this was just the first day for me, they did not give me any work. Edward explained to me all the things I had to pick up within the week to hit the ground running. He told me about the Bootstrap framework and the MVC model for development using php on web applications. He told me to go through database management and manipulation as well as web development tools such as HTML, CSS, Less, JavaScript and CodeIgniter. I installed a plethora of programs on my laptop within the first few minutes in and I did not feel even a bit overwhelmed. I knew deep inside that this was a great opportunity to increase my skill-set with the help of my mentor. I took the whole of that day to do research on all the programs and languages that I needed for the next day. Working with both of them made me more relaxed about the whole situation. We even went out to eat lunch and dinner together and learnt more about one another. Overall the whole day was very much the opposite of what I was expecting and that itself was amazing.

The second day was the day I really started to work. The company had just been commissioned to develop a new web application. As Edward was the sole programmer in the company, he delegated me with the job of creating the database for the application. Thinking about it now, I have much respect for Edward as a person. He is strong-willed and determined to succeed in anything he does. He is a very skilled programmer. The speed at which he codes is amazing. You would think that he is writing a book but whenever I would glance at his screen, it would be lines upon lines of code. As we got to talk and know more about each other, I found out something I would never have guessed. Edward is the head of the company. I never thought of it that way since he sits with me in the main room while Aaron has his own office. Even just by his demeanor and his casual look, compared with Aaron’s more formal and professionalism anyone in my position would think the same. This only made me respect him even more. While I worked on the database, he treated me like his equal, which I clearly am not. I do not have even a fraction of the skills he possesses yet he treats me no different. The day flew by without us even noticing. Before we knew it we had come up with a final structure for the database and normalized all the tables. I went home satisfied knowing that I learnt something new and that every day I come to work would be a great day for me.

Today was almost about the same deal. It was just me and Edward in the office the whole day. We started on the front end development for the web app. He trusted me with user authentication and registration while he worked on the back-end connections and coding. I am given complete freedom to do what I want. If I wanted I could just walk around the whole office with my laptop to my chest, coding wherever I pleased (though I would not dare do it; not yet at least). I would submit my designs to Edward and he would tell me what I needed to improve or what needed to be changed according to the stakeholders specifications. Whenever I would get stuck, I could ask him to take a look at my code to see what I was doing wrong and he would point out my mistakes.

I cannot express enough how relaxed the environment really is. I can do what I want when I want, as long as I finish my duties on time. With an environment like this, I will not only survive but I will thrive. I will make the best of this opportunity I have been given. An opportunity I know too well that some people who are with me had not received. I will take in as much as I can and remain focused on my goals and objectives. That is all I need to do and that I will.

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