First Internship, What I learnt
Everyone's experience is different, here is mine.
Last week was my final week at my internship. It was a 2-month frontend internship. I learnt a lot from this experience, and I wanted to share with everyone what I learnt.
Before we start, a little background:
This was not my first internship; I had another one before, but I left my other internship for this one. Both were great opportunities, and I will write about why I left the other internship in the next section. I wanted to make this clear because the internship I went through was not the first internship I get accepted in, but the first internship I finish.
For the sake of this article, I will name the first internship (the one I left): internship A and the second one: Internship B
Why I left my Other Internship
Both my internships were for startups, I never got the chance to intern for a big company (hopefully next year). So, what is the difference? It was not the size of the company that really mattered to me, it was the people I'm dealing with. The following reasons mattered to me a lot in my experience:
The only plan Internship A had was that they want to create a website in 3 months. They didn't have a structured plan on how to get that done over the weeks. When I first found this out, I found it super sketchy, so I decided to continue applying for other internships because from week one I could feel this wouldn't go well.
We are interns, we are supposed to get help if we get stuck. The problem with internship A is if I asked the senior developer to explain something to me, they'd find resources and just send it to me to read. That is not real mentorship, I already read those resources, but I wanted to know how we will apply that on the website we are building you know?
Usually, tutorials on the internet make quite simple applications to help you understand the basic concept but applying them in a real-life example is more complicated.
That was another thing I hated. I felt like I was self-studying for someone else. I would much rather self-study for myself and make projects that I could put on my resume. I want an internship to learn from people.
I'm a firm believer that networking is a huge benefit that you get from internships and colleges. Now in internship A, we were exactly two interns, yet we would get separate tasks, I never talked to the other person in my whole time there, and I stayed there for a month and a half! That was honestly very disappointing for me because I was expecting to at least make new connections.
What I learnt
Internship A was a bad first internship for me, so I kept applying and thankfully, I got a second offer!! Good news is it didn't have any of these things I mentioned above, it was an amazing and wholesome experience overall. So, let's talk about Internship B and what I learnt from it:
I can confidently say that knowing how to work in a team is way more important than any tech stack the team uses.
We learnt agile methods and how the sprints are organized in companies. I never felt I had worked too much throughout my entire time there even though we did a lot, that's because the way things were organized and everyone in the team being helpful made things smooth.
Shit Happens Sometimes and That's Okay
In Internship B, at some point we were building this e-commerce app that UX design interns designed. Problem was that UX design interns were late, and we didn't know what to do because we depend on the design for implementation.
Things like this happen, even in big companies.
What we did was that we tried to code the components that the UX interns had in mind. We would find similar designs and try to implement them, so that when the UX interns are done we only had to change minor things like colors and positions of elements.
Connections are GOLD
I met so many amazing people in this internship that I got inspired from. I hope we stay connected throughout the years because they were amazing team members and I've only seen good from them.
Mentorship is underrated
I asked my mentor in internship B about EVERYTHING, even things outside the scope of the internship and he was one of the most helpful people I've ever met in my entire life. I learnt in my stay there more than I did this entire year. I'm so grateful.
Having a mentor is a terrific way to learn fast.
No one has the perfect opportunity from the start, it takes a while to find a place that you fit in. I hope you all enjoyed my experience in internships so far and found a piece of information that would help you if you're looking for internships and what to expect there. If you have a thing to share about your experience too or if you want to add a point, feel free to write that in a comment!