We joined Switch to take part in a new adventure, working as summer interns. We are three students with very different motivations and backgrounds.
Ana studies computer engineering at FEUP and is from Porto. She is an active member of the computer engineering student branch and already had the opportunity to work for an oncological hospital in a previous research grant. In her free time, Ana is a gymnastics fan that loves to exercise and eat chocolate.
Luís, born and raised in Coimbra, has just finished his Bachelor’s in Software Engineering at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra. Early on in his university days, he joined a junior enterprise named jeKnowledge, where he learned a lot about developing software for startups. He was also a summer intern at Nest Collective. In his free time, Luís is a sports enthusiast - he loves football, basketball, and snowboarding.
Tiago is still finishing his Informatics and Computing Engineering Masters at FEUP. Although this is his first internship, Tiago is a very active member of his faculty, being the projects manager of NIAEFEUP, and taking part in various academic and musical groups, such as the Board of European Students of Technology and NEEM FEUP. During his free time, he loves to hang out with friends, play guitar and even practice martial arts.
Why would we renounce our vacations to do a summer internship, you may ask? We took part in this experience because we wanted a more realistic look at the industry and to understand how much different it was from our degrees. In addition to this, being an intern at Switch is an excellent opportunity to learn and understand all the different career possibilities we have available as computer engineers and which ones we like the most. Moreover, this experience would help us learn and grow our skills and experience.
We chose Switch because we found the projects made available to us very interesting and aligned with our future prospects. Furthermore, the possibility to think through and come up with our own solutions while contributing to the company's product was very appealing.
Ana: Switch’s product architecture was also an important factor, it seemed to be something quite interesting to explore. Besides, working in a product company was something that I was looking forward to.
Luís: I was very attracted to Switch’s product because I truly think it can add value to plenty of different businesses. I was also hoping that Switch interns would be able to speak their minds and have code ownership which would be very beneficial to our learning experience.
Tiago: I always had the dream of having a big impact in the world, and although Switch still doesn’t send rockets to the moon, it was still very appealing since it had a project where I could learn how to do just that! Additionally, I picked Switch because of the great company culture I witnessed, and also because I felt I could have a big impact on the final product since it’s a medium-sized company.
Although the internship was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, we still had the privilege of working at the Porto Office, following all the safety and health guidelines, which significantly improved our experience. We were really surprised at how everyone was extremely welcoming and helpful. Every time we had even a small doubt, the other more experienced engineers would stop their work and help us for hours until our problems were solved! It would be impossible to ask for a better team. Besides, the daily meetings, lunchtime, and other team activities and events were perfect to meet everyone at the company.
Regarding what we gained from this internship, I think it is safe to say all of us learned loads of different things! During the first week, we were bombarded with information on how payments work and with general financial information. We also got a chance to better grasp how our future work life could be, learning the ins and outs of how a company operates, namely how different departments work together, how they relate to the customers, and how employees can have an impact on people’s lives.
Technically, we found that code reviews helped us understand how a company codebase is maintained and how to write clean and readable code. Furthermore, one of the most interesting points of this internship was that it helped us expand on our academic knowledge by applying its concepts to real-life products. This helped us better understand the decision-making process when working in a real business environment.
We would definitely recommend Switch for other students or recent graduates looking for an internship or a junior role. Here you can grow substantially during a small period of time whilst simultaneously working alongside great people.
So, what comes next? Ana and Tiago still have to finish their degrees but are both considering conducting a master thesis at Switch. As for Luís, since he’s finished with his bachelor’s and has enjoyed his summer at Switch, he is considering carrying on working at the company after the internship.
Interested in joining our team? Check out the job openings in Careers.