By Mikolaj, BSc Computer Science
This summer, I had the pleasure and privilege to work as a Software Developer Intern in a fintech company called TradingHub. In this post I’ll be answering some common questions about this experience.
How did you arrange the internship?
My family, especially my older brother who’s also a computer scientist, encouraged me to look for summer internship opportunities. I took their advice and applied to any software engineering internship I could find online. The emails sent every week by the King’s Careers and Employability Centre were my starting point, I then moved on to some other websites, mostly LinkedIn. I applied wherever I met the minimal requirements, making sure my application was as good as it could be. Some companies never got back to me, some did, and I had a couple of online interviews and coding tests. I did two interviews for TradingHub and a hackerrank coding test. They were satisfied with my performance, and I was excited about the role in the company.
What did you do?
I was a part of the Market Data and Pricing Team, and worked on lots of different projects. Every day was different and exciting with new people, new challenges and after a few weeks new projects to tackle. My biggest project over this summer was incorporating a certain group of financial instruments into our mathematical models. I also helped with a bunch of smaller projects, mostly working with data, and sculpting it in a way that’s most useful to our software. I also worked on some internal tools for the Market Data team, to make it easier to spot erroneous data from our vendors. I was a part of a 7-person team, and worked closely with other interns which was very interesting as I could see different parts of the development stack – for instance, the intern sitting right next to me was working on some UI stuff when I was working with raw data. I could also learn professional practices, master tools such as git, and use new programming languages such as C# and an in-house big data query language called Sozy. My main takeaway – it’s so cool!
What did you learn through this internship, and has it changed your mindset?
I think I’ve learned a lot of professional skills such as project management and planning, but my internship experience also sharpened my problem-solving abilities and broadened my horizons. I had no prior experience with raw data and learnt two new programming languages through my internship – I also had to learn half a dozen new programs and technologies and all that makes it way easier to learn a new thing now. I think I’m better at adapting and more flexible in general. I am more open to new things and learning from others. At first I was mainly listening and learning, but after a few weeks a new person was hired in my team and I was entrusted with coaching him and teaching him things I had to learn a month before. He found my help very valuable, and we quickly became friends. I discovered that work can be very fun and rewarding, every morning going to the office I was excited to see what my team had planned for me to do.
What is your advice for anyone thinking of finding a summer internship?
My main advice is – don’t worry about the details, just go for it, and do your best. You’ll learn a lot from it if you’re open to listening, and will have the opportunity to absorb knowledge and learn good practices. You’ll also quite likely meet very inspiring people and maybe make some friends. Apply to all openings that seem interesting and don’t worry if you don’t get replies from some of them. Good luck!