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Blog

CROZ Summer Accelerator: better than ever

If you were to ask our student interns – mostly college sophomores and juniors – how they liked their experience at CROZ student internship, their answers would be somewhere in between OMG best internship ever!!! and I’m having the time of my life! And no, we would never force them to say so; our summer internships really are that great. After all, CROZ Summer Accelerator is the most wanted student internship at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in 2020., and here’s why.

54 of our interns – developers, business analysts, data engineers, integration engineers and UX/UI/FE designers work in 11 different teams on 11 different real-world projects for almost three months, starting from scratch! They first have a two-week training on technologies they will use. Then, having chosen the project they will work on, the whole team meets with their client (the so-called Product Owner) to discuss the application’s features. Having discussed it in detail, the whole team supported by their mentors, maps out the tasks that will be part of their two-week development cycles – sprints. And then the real fun begins – the actual application development.

“We had training in the Scrum framework and agile development which was completely new to me at the time, but today I cannot even think of myself working on a project in any other framework. Then we had training in technologies we would use at the project – JavaScript, Spring, React… We went through theory and had tasks to accompany it. Our lecturers were really helpful and ready to answer every single question we had. Honestly, I think I learned more in those two weeks than I learn in college in the whole semester.”

a developer intern at CROZ

Ready, steady, work!

Great variation of developer, BA and data projects are getting their contours: smart city app, an ecological app for children, an employee time tracking system for time management and application, a handyman hire app, a digital marketplace, an app for food recipes, a student internship application system and an employee management app. Integration engineer interns and mainframe interns work on their integration and mainframe projects respectively. All teams work on their projects from start to finish, plan everything themselves and think of the solutions themselves, while their mentors are continuously there to help and guide them. At the end of summer, each intern can proudly say he/she has already worked on a real project in a successful IT company and gained valuable experience and applicable knowledge. Sounds amazing? Wait till you see what their usual day at the internship looks like.

A usual day at the internship

Each day interns arrive at CROZ at about 8. Or 8:30. Or 9… We are very flexible. They have some coffee with their teammates and other interns and then they start their workday with the daily stand-up – a 15-minute meeting to sync with their teammates and mentors.

Afterwards, they work. And then they work some more. We’re all about teamwork – developers discuss the Product Owners’ requests with the business analysts, UX/UI/FE designers work on the design, consulting with the rest of the team. Business analysts work on documentation and application specification, data engineers analyze the data models, integration engineers work on integration solutions. Whenever any of the interns encounters a problem, their mentors are always there to help them and guide them. This year, 58 CROZ employees have taken it upon themselves to mentor the students. Not only do they share their knowledge, experience and competencies selflessly, but they also make sure that all interns understand their tasks and that the team functions well together. They give extensive feedback, encouraging the students to seek new, creative solutions. CROZ mentors lead by example, not with their authority.

“Our mentors are absolutely fantastic. They are always there to answer our questions and to help us. They are so deeply knowledgeable that I sometimes feel like they know everything about Data Science. Or at least they know where to look for answers and solutions. I’ve learned so much in the past few weeks from them. They are also great people, too. We often have coffee together or go for after-work drinks and I don’t feel that it’s ever a burden for them to hang out with some students. They’ve treated us as equals, as colleagues, from the day we arrived here.”

a Data Engineer intern at CROZ

Although our interns always have tasks that need to be implemented, they also always have enough time to take a break, to enjoy their lunch, to stretch their legs on our sunny terraces, to hang out in the lounge room playing billiards or darts and to talk with their colleagues. Our interns are never idle or bored, yet they always have enough time to take their minds off their code. You could say we’ve found a perfect balance.

“I’d say that we do work a lot but we always have time to take a break. The atmosphere here is so great, though, that working comes naturally, it’s never difficult or annoying to think of solutions, to fix something, to make adjustments... I think it’s because I actually enjoy working on this web application. All of us could choose to work on the project that most interests us and I think that’s an amazing thing.”

a UX/UI/FE designer intern at CROZ

Quite often they discuss various technical topics over morning and afternoon coffees with their colleagues, and even more often they go for unofficial after-work drinks with their teammates, colleagues and mentors. Each two-week sprint ends with two famous Scrum ceremoniesa sprint review where all teams present their progress to all other interns and mentors and a sprint retrospective where each team discusses the good and the not-that-good things from the previous sprint, together with their mentors. The sprint retrospective is a unique opportunity for team-level introspection, enabling the teams to learn from their mistakes, and improve and optimize their work in the next sprint. And it is also great for group therapy, especially when it’s followed by after-work drinks.

3, 2, 1… Lift-off!

During the internship, all teams have developed functional applications ready to be used. They proved it to absolutely everyone at the CROZ Student Show Off, an amazing event which traditionally marks the end of the CROZ Summer Internship.

“We made an app for kindergarten children and adults who are interested in ecology. The idea was to educate children about the importance of recycling through fun games. So far, we’ve made an interesting game and a complex search engine that tells you how to recycle certain products and it works wonderfully. We’re also adding some finishing touches and getting the application ready for use in real kindergartens.”

a business analyst intern at CROZ

Most of the participants say they like CROZ so much that they want to stay after the internship (actually, all of them do but the remaining minority first has to get on top of their college exams and other obligations). To be more specific: 40 out of 54 interns will stay at CROZ and we couldn’t be more happier about it! It seems that their summer projects were only the beginning of their story at CROZ.

Would you like the CROZ Summer Accelerator to skyrocket your career at CROZ, too? Stay tuned for more.

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