Editor's note: Joel, one of our beloved interns, recently won the 2019 Student of the Year (Small/Medium Company) Award from the University of Calgary Faculty of Science Co-operative Education and Internship Program. We could not be more proud of him! Read on for some thoughts from Joel himself, as well as from Nicole, his Project Manager.
From Joel (an intern’s perspective)
Being an intern at Arcurve is a blast. I know that might sound inauthentic coming from a self-published blog post on our own site, but I guarantee you I mean it without a shred of sarcasm. When I started at Arcurve I had very little professional industry experience. A little bit of research work here, a little bit of writing Excel scripts there, but I was never a real developer. As such I was appropriately nervous on my first day, but it turned out my fears were completely unfounded, as I was immediately embraced by a company culture so positive and welcoming that I cannot even begin to compare it to anywhere else I’ve worked. By the end of the first day I was playing darts with people from every department, and by the end of the first week I felt right at home.
Of course, being an intern isn’t all goofing around, there’s work to be done! In my time at Arcurve I’ve had the opportunity to work on several interesting projects and learn a ton of valuable skills. I’ve run the gamut of tech stacks, gotten my hands dirty with deploying to the cloud, navigated the tricky business of meeting with clients, and worked with a great team who supported me the whole way through.
As it turns out my team appreciates me as much as I appreciate them, they nominated me for the University of Calgary’s Science Intern of the Year award, and I won! I attribute this award the amount of autonomy I was given; there’s been no pigeonholing into the stereotypical inconsequential “intern tasks." From the very beginning I’ve had the opportunity to tackle broad, complex tasks that forced me to flex what I’ve learned in my degree, challenged me to develop my skill set beyond my comfort zone, and allowed me to distinguish myself in my position at Arcurve.
From Nicole (a PM’s perspective)
Interns at Arcurve form an important part of the company. I’ve had the pleasure of working with multiple interns this year on a few different projects as well as with recent interns that have just graduated and joined Arcurve full time. A lot of work goes into mentoring the students by the experienced developers they are paired with and the project teams, but the return is huge.
Interns add a freshness to a project that invigorates the rest of the team and are great at adding levity to the general team environment (with or without Nerf guns). They offer a new perspective, an eagerness to learn and contribute, and often, an unexpected and impressive technical ability and maturity.
Working with younger developers ensures the team is thinking about the decisions being made as they need to be prepared to explain why things are being done a certain way when inquisitive interns ask. Students add diversity to the project teams, and by expanding the breadth of knowledge and experience we have, ultimately, we produce a better product and deliver more value to the customers.