Introduction to Daniel
Hi, I'm Daniel, I'm a 3rd year Software Engineering student at Queen's University Belfast, and as I am writing this, I am 5 days from the end of my placement year, having spent just over 12 months with the company. These questions and answers should give a perspective on my impressions of the placement year and whether an internship with Instil would be a good fit for you.
1. How have you found placement?
In a word, Excellent. The team here at Instil made me feel welcome from the get go, receiving world class training from the training team, working closely with senior staff to complete a starter project with the other interns and graduates, to moving onto more permanent teams working on live projects. Everyone I have encountered along the way has been willing to listen to what I had to say and help me out when I needed it.
2. Can you sum it up in 3 words?
Collaborative, Enlightening, Successful
3. What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I think some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced throughout the year have led to the biggest sense of accomplishment following their completion. The initial ramp up in learning when I got placed on my team was a scary task but with the ongoing support, I quickly found my feet. The main thing with all of the challenges I have faced, is that I have received constant support from senior staff to help me overcome them.
4. What was the biggest learning curve?
I think teamwork is something Universities tried to focus on heavily but they absolutely failed to mimic what it is like in the real world, since students are not working on the same project 9 to 5, Monday to Friday and therefore, the idea of doing a daily standup is ludicrous. However, in the real world, these things are totally necessary to help everyone understand what progress is being made and who in the team may need help or if someone is blocked by work that is yet to be completed, this collaboration is something I had never experienced before.
5. What are your key takeaways from placement with Instil?
I think the most important takeaway is that I want to work in this industry. Going into placement, I think everyone hears horror stories from someone they know who went on a placement and discovered that they hated the work after committing 3 years and thousands of pounds to their degree and getting stuck at a crossroads. Another takeaway that is arguably just as important is that I am capable of working in this industry. It’s quite a scary jump from the classroom to the office but I have made that transition successfully, and can finish my education comfortably knowing I’m going down a good path.
6. Do you have any advice to those coming behind you?
I think I have quite a unique perspective, given I have worked 99% of my placement from home however, I would suggest to never feel embarrassment about lack of knowledge, you are there to gain that knowledge. If someone asks if you’re familiar with X, or have worked with Y before, tell the truth, it’s not a test, you’ve already got the job. I would also suggest not to fear pestering senior staff when you need help, that’s what they’re there to do, they are more than willing to help.
For more information on current roles available at Instil visit the careers page.