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Once upon a remote internship

Emoke Laszlo

May 26, 2020

This year we wanted to expand our programs for students by introducing the new spring internship, but as you may know, we faced a huge obstacle: physical distancing. Despite all the challenges, we managed to continue with this project and organize it, as remote program.

We are glad to have on board two amazing young students from the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Paul Beltechi and Alexandru Benchea. They participated in a 6-weeks long full remote internship, which they described as the following:

“These programs are useful because most of the time, you learn something new in a real project and build new relationships with your colleagues.” (Paul Beltechi)

“Everyone should start as interns before getting hired as a junior, since it teaches how to write good code and to work in a team.” (Alexandru Benchea)

We asked them to express the challenges they faced during this remote internship.

“I think the hardest thing was to be patient with myself and set real expectations. Another challenge was to estimate the time needed for a new task. Being remote was not a problem for me, I was able to do things as usual. What I missed, was the experience of the days spent at the office.” (Paul Beltechi)

From our side, the responsibility of mentoring the students was assigned to our colleague, Dan Harangus, who told us about his experience.

“I often wondered during college if the role of a “teacher” would suit me. Since this was my first mentoring experience, I can’t say whether it would have been easier to manage a regular “office internship”, but definitely it would have been nicer to experience all the social aspects. It wasn’t hard at all, to work remote with the interns, because I found them dedicated and willing to learn all the proposed topics and apply them in real tasks.” (Dan Harangus)

Although we managed to share our knowledge quite easily, we still look forward to work with them in the office, having small chit-chats, events and celebration moments thus, share the full, authentic COERA experience. Against all odds, this turned out to be quite an adventure with a sweet ending.

We really hope to continue our internship program in the following years too. This way we can contribute to the education of the young engineers, because we believe that we do not build our set of knowledge just for ourselves. We build so we can share it. This is how we evolve, together.

So, what have we learnt out of this experience?

    1. We can adapt incredibly fast, and we can work with students, no matter what life brings.

   2. The internship isn’t complete without the interactions from the office. Coffee and lunch breaks also contribute to the enthusiasm and daily motivation.

    3. The main goal of such a program – learning technical stuff and building relationships – can be obtained with real dedication from both students and mentors.