Four GMIT software development graduates completed Globalization Partners’ first internship program remotely. They are now permanent.
According to Sagheer Ahmad, a software development graduate, doing a distance learning internship has been a positive experience.
âIt was a better idea because I didn’t have to travel anywhere,â said the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) graduate.
âJust say it was in Dublin or whatever; I didn’t have to go to Dublin, find a place and all that hassle. So having it remotely allowed me to work from home, which was really cool.
Ahmad was one of four GMIT graduates who joined Globalization Partners for an intensive 13-week paid internship program. The American recruiting technology company established a European technology base in Galway last year to help it with its ongoing software development, and has expanded its Irish team.
The internship was led by senior software engineers Chris Loughnane and Jennifer Jarnstrom at the Galway hub of Globalization Partners. Both were selected as mentors due to their previous teaching experience.
But, as Loughnane explained, the experience was kind of a learning curve for them too, albeit a very rewarding one. This year was the first time they had managed the program. Wasn’t distance education for trainees a huge challenge?
Not really, as it happened. Loughnane had years of remote work experience as a freelance writer under his belt, so, he said, he was “used” to it.
The interns had also become accustomed to attending distance learning courses during their last year of college. âWe didn’t have to teach them from scratch. They already knew what it was about, taking care of their classmates and taking care of the lectures. So from our perspective, I found it easy. It was just a natural progression, âLoughnane said.
âEven though we just graduated, we all found that we had so much more to learn,â Ahmad said of himself and his fellow interns, AndrÃ©s Penas Palmeiro, Grace Keane and Klaudija Medeksaite.
“When I arrived at the course, I was a little afraid to ask questions”
– SAGHEER AHMAD
Since the end of the internship program, all four graduates have found employment with Globalization Partners. Ahmad is now a graduate software engineer in the Loughnane department. His role requires him to work mainly upstream, while some of his former fellow interns are now working downstream.
Throughout the internship, Loughnane and Jarnstrom made numerous one-on-one calls with interns and communicated with them through private channels such as Slack. Although they may have missed the discussions about the water coolers in the office, Ahmad said they have found their own ways to socialize and collaborate.
Globalization Partners had hotdesks available for employees at Galway’s Portershed, a coworking facility for tech workers and start-ups. Ahmad said it was good to have “a quiet environment” to take refuge in if his house got too noisy during working hours.
It may not have been a traditional office experience, but the four graduates were exposed to a great deal of both the corporate culture of Globalization Partners and the types of career paths they could possibly follow. . Via Zoom, they were put in touch with professionals working in quality assurance, project management, DevOps, management and other technical departments.
âWhat I especially liked was that not only did we have an intern experience, but we also found out what this ‘work from home’ phenomenon is all about,â Medeksaite said. “We also had experiences like meeting with senior management and attending important meetings that we might not have had in an in-person program.”
Work at the pace of the trainees
Loughnane said he and Jarnstrom were aware of working at the pace of interns rather than the other way around. âWe slowly introduced them to the easier tasks, but we stepped up to them,â he explained.
âWe figured out where they were in their knowledge base, got them familiar with the technologies, and then we started to introduce them to easier tasks that we knew they could do at all levels. “
However, they quickly escalated the pressure and Loughnane said the interns “were moving tickets across areas and within three weeks.”
The interns also attended mini tutorials to refresh them on the things they had tried in college to take their knowledge to a professional industry level. Ultimately, Loughnane said everyone in the company was so impressed with the interns that they didn’t want them to leave.
“I’m really glad they got a job at the end because this program started out as a pure internship program,” he said. âBut I think everyone was so impressed with them, and someone decided it would be crazy to let these great people go. So an offer was made and they accepted and we were delighted.
Future plans and ask questions
So will Globalization Partners renew the program next year to find more talented graduates? Loughnane said he is open to all company decisions, but whatever happens he is always interested in introducing interns to a variety of different career paths.
When asked what advice he could give to future interns, Ahmad recommended that they âask questionsâ.
âWhen I got to the internship I was a little afraid to ask questions because I didn’t know if they were stupid questions and I didn’t want to disturb others to ask for help with a task because I did not know. find out if they were busy or not. But always ask for help, âhe said.
Ahmad’s initial worries were quickly forgotten once he got down to business. It helped, he said, that the trainees were encouraged to think for themselves. âThey wouldn’t give us the answer because they want us to learn and improve,â he said of his mentors.
âSo they would give us advice or pointers on the right path. So you are still learning how to fix this problem, and if it occurs in the future you still remember it, because you did.
âSo always ask questions. Never be afraid to ask for help. And just, you know, try to take advantage of it as much as you can.