Summer internships are nothing new. Every company has been doing it for a long time and great things have come from that. Well...we are not like most companies. Even though we have internships at Nmbrs, summer internships were a foreign concept to us until very recently.
In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, we decided to give one more challenge to ourselves (why not?) and welcome our first two summer interns ever! It was great to know Margarida Oliveira and Guilherme Nunes and learn from them as much as they learned from us. Margarida joined us as a QA engineer and Guilherme as a .NET developer.
After this experience, we reached out to Guilherme to understand what made him go for a summer internship and what he believes it brought to his career.
Could you give a short introduction of yourself?
Hi, I’m Guilherme and I joined Nmbrs’ summer internship for a little over one month in 2020. I’m studying at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon (FCUL). Now, I’m taking my masters in cybersecurity.
Were you able to connect your internship to your master and understand how to deal with cybersecurity within a company?
Not directly because I had a specific project. It was great timing actually because the week when I had to decide what to study for my masters was also the first week of my internship. I asked everyone’s opinion and they gave me a few tips. I was afraid of the responsibility that security brought with it and they showed me that responsibilities will always be there no matter what I choose. Might as well not be afraid to fail and go for it. So I did!
Why did you decide to do the summer internship? Why now?
I started considering it at the end of my second year. At job fairs, companies always preferred older students in their third year. I waited until then to know the reality of working at a company before I threw myself into the job market. A friend of mine was also looking for an internship so we motivated each other.
On my first day in the internship, I was so happy! It’s a new and different experience in an environment I have never been in. Completely different from college.
Did you have any expectations about what you wanted to learn?
No. When I applied, I didn’t mind if I went to development or QA. I wanted to learn about the day-to-day of both roles and understand how a company works, how they organize its projects, meetings, updates, commits. I wanted to have the big picture in a large scale environment.
I learned that it takes a lot of coordination between people. I gained knowledge in new technologies I didn’t even know existed. We didn’t talk much about them at University. It gave me structure.
What has the summer internship brought you in comparison to what school or other activities have?
Working in a group at companies is different than at University. I had the responsibility to deliver my work at a specific time. My mentor didn’t tell me when I had to start or stop working. He gave me projects and whenever I had questions or was feeling blocked, I could go to him any time. This gave me a lot of freedom and helped me stay motivated because I wasn’t alone. It was a daily challenge. I would tell myself that I had to finish a ticket that day. It was motivating to work and see the tickets being solved until the project I was working on was done. I liked that feeling!
In what way did the summer internship contribute to your professional and personal development?
It helped me approach the projects in my masters in a different way. I learned new technologies and how to be strict with my code, how to organise and document it so that other developers could work with it. This was very important and the way I see projects is different now.
I had to show a group of 40 people what I was doing. The first time I was so scared because our COO, Leon, was there. But they were all very supportive and kept telling me that my project was very useful and would be helpful to them and the company. It had a meaning! People were actually using it after.
What soft skills did you learn that you consider important to your future career?
I took one full week to study things and I understood this will happen constantly everywhere. I will have to take the time to get into the rhythm of things.
I also learned about asking for help. I was afraid of it in the beginning, but there came a time when I had to ask, and it was ok. It was good to make me feel comfortable. I always thought asking for help in companies was a sign I was not good enough.
Were you still able to enjoy the summer while doing the internship?
Yes. Summer is from July to September. There is a lot of time. I had one month of vacations before my internship started. Many people from my group also found a job. Plus, there were drinks at the office with everyone at the end of the day. How could I complain?
Looking back at your time at Nmbrs, would you recommend a summer internship with us?
Absolutely! I told my friends to consider Nmbrs if they ever have the chance. I felt very welcomed and that I was contributing to something real. My internship had a purpose. I learned things I didn’t know, development-wise and more. Due to all of this, I was always very motivated to work. I met new people every day.
I learned to deal with situations that I had no idea how. The bachelor degree limits us in a way. This experience is short but very positive. It took me only two weeks to understand how everything worked. Maybe I will have a smoother experience when I start my professional experience because I already know how it works. I left Nmbrs thinking that I wouldn’t mind working here forever after I finish my studies!
Are you in Portugal and looking for a tech Summer Internship?
About the author
Andreia dos Reis
I'm a designer turned marketer turned Employer Branding Specialist who is passionate about helping create an enjoyable experience where candidates, employees and HR professionals are all equals. How do I do this? By talking to people. A lot of them!