As a UK technology company, Pro-Sapien is committed to helping the next generation of software developers launch an outstanding career. To this aim, we’ve been running a highly successful internship programme since 2013—so how can you get involved, and what can you expect?
With a senior developer as a mentor, it’s a great opportunity to gain invaluable experience in modern software development in the growing and global Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) industry.
Considering levelling up your skillset at Pro-Sapien? Get an insider’s perspective from Aaron and Pavels, Student Developers at Pro-Sapien in 2023:
Can you tell us about your educational background and what motivated you to apply for the internship at Pro-Sapien?
Pavels: I’m studying BSc Hons Software Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and completing a 1-year internship is a part of the course. The placement at Pro-Sapien seemed like a perfect fit for me when I learned about it. The technical requirements were very reasonable, Pro-Sapien’s values aligned with mine, and I felt like I would learn a lot because of the range of technologies the team is using.
Aaron: I’m currently in the final year of my MSc – also in Software Engineering but at the University of Glasgow. I started my degree in 2019 and I’m now in my last year. Completing a 12-month work placement was also a requirement of my degree, and for this I chose Pro-Sapien. Initially, I thought of doing my internship at a big company but I’m glad I chose Pro-Sapien. I found that the work is more hands-on and you’re exposed to different framework technologies over a range of tasks.
How did you first learn about Pro-Sapien’s internship programme?
Aaron: I saw the role at Pro-Sapien on the job board on one of my university’s computing science web pages. They advertise different positions that might be relevant to students from my course.
Pavels: I received an email from one of the lecturers about the internship opportunity at Pro-Sapien. After I looked more into it, I became intrigued and decided to apply.
What are some ways in which your skills or knowledge have grown or improved?
Aaron: My coding abilities and industry knowledge have significantly grown during the 12 months at Pro-Sapien, which I can quantify by comparing what I could create at the start and the end of my placement. And it’s really rewarding to see that.
Pavels: I learned a lot during my year at Pro-Sapien. I was able to work on real-world applications and put my skills and knowledge from university into practice and improve on them as well. This kind of experience was one of the main reasons I wanted to do an internship.
I‘ve gotten more comfortable picking up and using new technologies and have gained more in-depth knowledge of concepts like cloud computing, agile methodologies, and the process of software development in general.
Can you describe a project or task you worked on that you found particularly rewarding or impactful?
Pavels: Recently, I was involved in a project to let clients give external users access to some parts of the app. Usually, our software is designed to be accessible to users within the client organisation only, but certain scenarios might require external access such as contractors.
It was quite a challenging project that required me to work on various parts of the product, utilising several technologies, working with front-end, back-end, databases, and external APIs. I was able to leverage things I have learned throughout my internship while also learning new skills. Not only will this feature be used in the field, it will also be adapted for different scenarios by other developers, which is inspiring!
Aaron: There were a couple of projects I found really impactful, each with its own rewards. For example, there was a project where we created a tool to help us developers handle client updates. That gave me a much greater understanding of code structure in general.
Then there was also an in-house Pro-Sapien project I worked on where we improved syncing principals significantly. It was really rewarding to see that I was able to make an impact at Pro-Sapien and contribute to the development of the products.
How did the internship align with your career goals? And do you feel that it gave you valuable insights or experiences related to your desired field?
Pavels: Absolutely, I participated and learned a lot about real-world software development, using and applying different technologies to get desired results, and taking part in client interactions, all while getting work experience which is extremely valuable in the IT field.
I don’t have a very specific niche in mind right now when it comes to my career, I am more interested in software development in general – designing, programming, problem solving –and I feel like Pro-Sapien helped me improve in those areas. Even if I were to work on a personal project now, I can be more efficient and achieve better results because of what I have learned here.
Aaron: Yes, 100%! The role at Pro-Sapien was a fantastic opportunity for my career goals and aligned well with my aspirations. I gained valuable insights into the software industry and what it means to work there.
Did you have the opportunity to collaborate with other team members or departments? How did that experience contribute to your overall growth?
Pavels: Yes, I worked with other team members almost every day which allowed me to get an idea of what most people were working on and the overall flow of company operations.
I had an opportunity to observe the entire software development process, from early discussions with a client to full implementation and deployment. We also had regular sessions where people shared their knowledge and results with the rest of the team. I have learned something new from everyone, improved my teamworking skills, and hopefully helped others learn something from me as well. I had to demo my work to others quite a few times, so I feel I am more confident at giving presentations now.
Aaron: There were several occasions where I was able to collaborate with other team members, especially during a project where we developed an Employee Repository. It was really good for my personal growth, and I learned a lot about my own and everyone’s strengths and how to apply them for the best project outcome.
Were there any team-building activities, events, or initiatives that stood out to you?
Aaron: Oh, there were quite a few! The ones that stood out the most for me were the social events. They were ideal to get to know my colleagues better outside of work. Go Karting was really fun – that was my favourite. Or when we went for a hike this summer.
Pavels: Yes, the most memorable event for me was the first company event I participated in, which was an Escape Room. It was only a week or so after I started my internship, I hardly knew anyone at that point and was a bit nervous. However, everyone was very welcoming and I had a great time solving riddles with the rest of the team.
I also enjoyed all the other activities we did together, such as climbing Ben Ledi, learning to throw axes, and many more.
Looking back at your entire internship journey, what advice would you give to future interns joining the program?
Aaron: I’d say, at the start, it might feel a bit overwhelming because it’s very hands-on and you get to learn a lot. But once you’re a few months in, I can guarantee you will feel a lot more comfortable, and looking back from the end of your placement, you will notice a huge personal improvement!
Pavels: My main advice would be not to worry if something is unknown or feels overwhelming, it’s only natural that a project of such a scale requires time to get familiar with all the different parts. The team always gives you enough time to learn and understand what you need to accomplish a task, and everyone is very helpful and will guide you through anything that might be unclear, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Also, be curious, don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different ideas. Not only will it broaden your knowledge and give you a better understanding of the things you are working on, but also help you in the future when you are working on something else.
And, have fun!
We strive to make Pro-Sapien a rewarding place to work and are proud of the fact over 50% of our interns go on to receive a permanent position.
If you’re inspired by Aaron and Pavels’ experience, register for job alerts, view our careers page, or follow us on LinkedIn to be the first to know about new student placements!