Software engineering student Rozi Lemon said her internship at Liberty IT has helped her learn new skills and prepare for a career in tech.
Throughout September and October, we focused on STEM graduates and the various programmes they can join as they embark on their careers. However, there are other opportunities students can explore before they graduate.
In fact, a few of the graduates we spoke to said they first became interested in the company they now work for by starting out as an intern before it was time to think about graduate programmes.
Internships give sci-tech students a taste of working life after college in their potential field, be that manufacturing, biotechnology or engineering.
Rozi Lemon is on a placement year as a software engineering intern at Liberty IT. She is currently studying software engineering at Queen’s University Belfast.
‘I have been made to feel like my opinion is just as valid as a senior engineer’s with more than 20 years’ experience’
– ROZI LEMON
What drew you to Liberty IT when you were seeking an internship?
I grew up in an IT-orientated family who always spoke of how important a good workplace environment is. Having done my research, it was obvious that Liberty IT has a reputation as a great place to work, it has even won awards for it. There was also an emphasis on the importance of having a work-life balance, which I think is very important.
What expectations did you have before you began your internship?
I wanted to work with new and emerging technologies that I had not yet been exposed to through university and was looking forward to working in a team environment with people of varying ages and experiences.
What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?
I hit the ground running with meaningful tasks that contributed to the team – within my skillset, but allowed me to develop new skills. I undertook a training academy for six weeks to expose me to the new languages and skillsets, while also demonstrating how teams work in an agile setting.
It was great to be treated like a member of the team from the beginning and it didn’t feel like a typical ‘intern stereotype’.
Has the scope of your work change as the internship progressed?
As my internship has progressed, the scope of work has adapted to fit my growing levels of experience with the technologies I use daily.
As my internship progresses, I will deliver stories that have more leverage using tech stack components at a high level of proficiency and I’ll become more involved in higher-knowledge projects.
Can you describe a typical day in your role?
I begin the day with a scrum to recap what was covered in the previous day and to plan for the day ahead, as my team uses an agile approach.
A typical day could include a number of meetings to plan out our scope of work for the upcoming week within an iteration planning meeting and at the end of the week we look back to discuss what went well, what could be improved on and to go over any questions we have.
I will typically work with other members of my team through pairing or mobbing sessions to create strategies, work on tests for our current project, fix any bugs and configure any new components that are needed.
I also carry out my own innovation and learning time during the week for a few hours. During this time, I am working on an AWS certification that allows me to continue my personal development.
What key things have you learned during this internship?
At Liberty IT, employees are empowered. I have been made to feel like my opinion is just as valid as a senior engineer’s with more than 20 years’ experience, which has really encouraged me to get involved as much as I can.
I’ve learned how rapidly technologies and situations change within IT, which has helped me build strong adaptability skills to keep up with any changes. And I’ve also learned how important communication is within a team environment.
Has this internship made you feel as though you’re on the right career path?
Absolutely, I feel more confident than ever that a career in IT is the right path for me. My internship at Liberty IT has exposed me to many different areas of IT and has allowed me to discover my specific passions that I will use as a guide for my future career.
Do you feel more prepared for working life following your internship?
I definitely do. From the valuable experience I have gained at Liberty IT, I know that when my internship is over, I will feel prepared to go back to my studies and then into my professional career after graduation. I have gained transferrable skills that I do not believe I would have achieved otherwise.
Why should someone take up an internship at Liberty IT?
At Liberty IT, you will be treated with respect from the offset, and you can tell the company cares about your own personal growth which will have a great impact for your studies and future career.
Through all levels of management there is a strong amount of support available and always someone to turn to for advice or knowledge transfer.