Three students, two male and one female, sitting on beanbag chairs and looking intently at their laptops. They are all interns at Oath.
From left: Glen Curtis, David Weir and Sarah Whelan, all software engineering interns at Oath. Image: Connor McKenna

Yes, you can have a real-world impact during an internship

11 Oct 2018

How do you know the skills you’re learning during an internship have a real-world application? For the interns at Oath, it was all about being able to see their code have an impact on some of the biggest online brands in the world.

Why do students take up internships? People have their different motivations, but there are a few commonly cited reasons for joining a company as a first small step into the working world while completing third-level education.

Yet how do you know that what you have learned during your internship will really serve you when you proceed into employment? As a software engineer, being able to log on to the websites of some of the biggest online brands in the world and see your code in action is probably a good indicator.

Oath is a digital communications company that oversees brands such as Yahoo, AOL, HuffPost and Tumblr. Each year, it takes on a number of interns from institutions dotted around Ireland and various EMEA countries, for between six months and a year. We caught up with the latest group of interns who said, among other things, that they appreciated how many practical skills they gained during their time at Oath.

Conor Hanlon, who is studying computer applications and software engineering at Dublin City University (DCU), worked with a remote team, split between Dublin and Germany. This was such an invaluable experience, Hanlon explained, because of how closely it mirrors the real working world. “In this industry, you’ll be working for a company that has many different offices around the globe, so this is very important.”

Meanwhile, Glen Curtis, a computing student in IT Tallaght, praised the fact that while interning with Oath, he was able to have “real-world impact on the sites that Oath have under their umbrella”, something he said many of his friends who interned at other companies didn’t get to experience. “I can go on to a website like AOL and actually look at code that I have put together.”

David Weir, who is studying computer applications in DCU, added: “We got to work with a lot of industry-standard tools that we don’t really get a chance to [work with] in college.”

For Sarah Whelan, a student of electronic and computer engineering at DCU, she was almost surprised that she loved the experience as much as she did. “It was an industry I had looked into before but I was really excited to get into it.

“Coming from an engineering background, I really wasn’t sure if this would be my thing but, from working here, I realised this is what I’m really passionate about and this is what I’m really good at … I think this is the career for me.”

To hear more from some of the interns at Oath, check out the video above.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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