On Monday, in a packed Victoria University lecture theatre full of keen ears, we got to hear all about what Summer fo Tech does and what it’s like going though their programme. We finished up with some pizza and a chance to talk to other SoT students and Alumni.
What’s happening this year?
First up – bootcamps! Between now and August, we will be running bootcamps about twice a week held by industry professionals. They’ll usually be at 6pm and as always they will be completely free! Remember, the more bootcamps you get along to, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to recruitment season. We also run Create Camp in August. Create Camp is an invite only event for designers, developers, testers and anyone in between. It’s a super fun event where you get into a team and, over a weekend, you get the chance to create almost anything. Not only do you meet some awesome students, and employers, but it also looks great on your CV and it’ll give you lots to talk about at Meet and Greet.
Meet and Greet is the biggest event of the year, taking place in mid-September. It’s pretty much a big career fair for employers and students. At this stage most students will have a profile and will have already applied for roles, so Meet and Greet serves as a great opportunity for you to get to know the companies. It always means that you can make an impression on the employers at the companies you have your eye on! Meet and Greet always fills up and there is always a wait list so make sure that you get your profile completed early and look out for emails. Speed Interviews then happen about a week and a half after Meet and Greet. Each interview is 10 minutes long and this is usually where employers will narrow down a big list of potential interns to a smaller list. We will run mock interviews so that you can practice your interview skills before speed interviews.
Then finally a paid internship. The first round of offers all come out at the same time, 10am on the 2nd of October, so that you can see all of your offers at once and decide which one you want to accept. Don’t worry if you don’t get an offer at 10am though, we have placed people as late as December before so don’t lose hope!
And it doesn’t stop there, 80% of our interns get offered further work after their internship so it doesn’t have to end when summer does.
Khushi (ANZ), Nick (Quantum Security) and Anastasia (Flux Federation) joined us to answer our questions about the program and what their experiences were like.
What’s it like going through the program?
Khushi – I was international student and I had only completed one year in NZ. I had so many reasons to worry about getting a job. I was hearing from others that if there are local students going for the same job an international student won’t get a job. Summer of Tech helped me get an internship, especially by helping with practice interviews.
Anastasia – Lots of students think that only people from VUW will get an internship, but I didn’t go to Victoria and I got an internship. Summer of Tech gave me tips with my interviews and CV to help me get an internship. The best event was the mock interviews where you got feedback on the answers to interview questions.
What is Meet and Greet Like?
Anastasia – I didn’t apply for the role at Flux before going to Meet and Great and I didn’t even know who they were. My class mate said that they were a really cool company and that I should go and talk to them. I talked to them first and the next day I got an invitation to the speed interviews. Be yourself, be friendly, be open.
Nick – One of the things previous interns had said to do was talk to a company lower on your list first so that you can have a practice before your first choices. Quantum was the first company I talked to and it ended up being one of my best conversations at Meet and Greet. I think it ended up being my best one because I wasn’t worried about it, I was just relaxed.
What did you put on your CV and what were your interviews like?
Nick – At Quantum there is a long running joke that everyone is hired in a pub. The last interview that you have is sitting down in a pub over a beer and just talking about what you’re interested in. Employers really just want to know what you are like as a person. It’s not about what you can do but what you can learn to do.
Khushi – Creating a CV was a really big fear that I had. I attended all of the CV workshops and followed all of the points. I didn’t have much from my studies so I put all of the other experience I had like meetups and workshops and I really think they helped me get a job. Companies want to see how active you are, and how passionate you are. Companies do see grades but it’s all about how you present yourself in front of them.
Was it difficult at the start of the internship?
Anastasia – We had so many sessions at the start of the internship at Flux. Every Intern had their own mentor and you can ask them any question at any time. One of the first sessions we had was all about learning and they always told us that we’re paying you to learn, don’t worry If you don’t know everything “we are paying you to learn here”.
Thanks to everyone who came to the bootcamp and especially to the presenters who shared their stories! If you missed the bootcamp or want to hear more stories you can check out some of the intern profiles on our blog. If you want to know more about Summer of Tech check out the about us section or flick us a message.