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The power of the people! – A summer at Trustpower

By Ruth
September 7 2020

Posted in Employer Resources, Employer Stories, Student Stories

Izzy Joe landed a software developer internship at Trustpower for the 2018-2019 summer, and has stayed on with the company since. She chatted to us about her experience as an intern and as a graduate. 

Learning to swim in the deep end

Like many university students, Izzy wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her career after she graduated. Especially in the tech industry, there are so many different pathways that it can feel a bit overwhelming to start! This meant that Izzy went into the Summer of Tech programme looking for a role based more around the culture and people she’d be working with than the work itself. 

I knew that I was going to gain an abundance of knowledge at the end of ANY internship, but it is the people that really make a lasting effect. It was important that I could bounce ideas off the people in my team and feel comfortable to do so.”

After meeting the Trustpower team, the fit was clear and the rest is history! The team was fun, friendly and just what she was looking for. Not only that, but the role was great too! Despite feeling a little overwhelmed at first, especially having not worked with a Microsoft stack before, Izzy was able to build her confidence with new skills with the support of her co-workers. 

The team thrives on curiosity and the passion to learn. I was given space to increase my knowledge in the area and encouraged to ask questions. 

Culture is key

In any company, culture is one of the most important drivers of job satisfaction. Trustpower is no different, and they certainly aren’t lacking in the culture department. Going into her first corporate job, Izzy was expecting boring offices and long meetings but says she couldn’t be more wrong! Trustpower uses an activity-based working (ABW) environment, which is ‘all about collaboration and adaptability’. For example, Izzy is able to work from home for the majority of the week if she likes! 

The proximity of the Trustpower offices to the beach also helps with the fun and relaxed company culture – they even have a beach volleyball team! 

“I have a really cool boss, who is a clear reflection of the culture and the type of people at Trustpower. He’s not only my boss, but also a mentor and a friend.”

The Trustpower culture has clearly been a selling point for interns, as many of the Summer of Tech students stayed on as full time developers in the company. 

Fast-track your career

Not only do they provide impressive learning curves and new skills, but internships are also avenues to grow your career. After Izzy finished up her internship, she stayed on at Trustpower as part of the Apollo programme. This is Trustpower’s ‘next generation’ programme, where participants – a mix of graduates and non-graduates –  are able to rotate around departments, and are able to apply for a role anywhere in the business when they finish.  

Trustpower also supports professional development for their employees. Izzy has attended many conferences around New Zealand to develop her software skills. 

One of the conferences I went to was Codemania. Myself and 3 other developers from Trustpower attended.  We learnt a range of different things whether it was leadership, microservices networks,  open source rules, the craft of engineering etc. Trustpower encourages us to attend conferences that add value to our knowledge base.”

Especially for someone at the beginning of their career, professional development is super important! There’s always more to learn, and challenging yourself will only lead to further growth. 

Key learnings and takeaways

I’m so incredibly grateful for what Trustpower and Summer of Tech have enabled me to do to fast-track my career.”

As a Summer of Tech expert now, Izzy says her most important advice is to be open minded, especially when it comes to the tech industry. There are so many opportunities that you just need to jump into the deep end! Also, it pays to understand the culture of the companies that you’re interested in – do they align with your values? Although a job role will tell you what work you’ll do, the company culture will tell you how you’ll do it. This can be just as important sometimes! 

Also, when you’re building your skills to be job ready, don’t forget about soft skills. These are communication skills, which are key to any career.*

Technical skills are great, but soft skills are even better. Being able to bounce off ideas with other people in the team and have fun while you develop is invaluable.”

And finally, remember that no question is a stupid question! People are here to help you, whether it be the Summer of Tech team, or the company that you’re interning for! No one expects you to be perfect, and questions show that you’re interested in learning more. 

To apply for 2020 paid summer internships, register here. 

*Summer of Tech host a range of soft skills bootcamps, found here. You must be a registered student to view our events.  

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