What are their thoughts about MakoLab? How do they like it here? And why did they choose our internship offer? Read on to find out!
The university I’m at regularly sends us information about internships that are available and that we can undertake during our course. I always knew that I didn’t want to do an internship in the same country that I’m studying in... in Germany. I saw the MakoLab internship offer... and here I am!
It was a bit different for me. I’m a member of IAESTE. I joined two years ago, when I started at university. I had the chance of finding out how the employers’ offers are obtained and I was an internship mentor during the holidays, helping interns to find their feet in their new environment.
This year, the time had come for me to apply for one of the offers. To be honest, MakoLab wasn’t my first choice. When I first applied, it wasn’t available. But then the employer in India that I’d initially applied to, rejected me as a candidate, which was a blessing in disguise,ecause that’s when I came across MakoLab’s offer. It turned out that your headquarters are in Poland and that was one of my dream destinations! Before I joined IAESTE, I didn’t know all that much about Poland. But when we had exchange students from your country, I had the chance of finding out something about your culture. And it turned out that we really are alike.
Our university collaborates with IAESTE. One of my friends got really involved in it. He even became the chair of the local community in Valencia. Although I don’t belong to it myself, I do know a huge amount about it. That’s thanks to my friend, of course, who talks to me about it non-stop and is always telling me about the opportunities that taking part in this kind of exchange gives to students. That’s how I found out about the initiative and about MakoLab’s offer.
The friend I mentioned was pressing me to choose an offer. He kept on and on saying that the offers were coming to an end and I had to make a decision... fast. In the end, he sent me your offer and was full of praise for MakoLab. I read the offer and it really seemed to suit me. What’s more, I have a relative in Poland. I recognised that this would be an excellent opportunity not only to gain experience at work, but also to meet up with him, make the most of his knowledge of Poland and delve into your country and its culture.
It’s quite an amusing story. I had two offers to choose from; one from Austria and the other from Poland. The truth is that the MakoLab offer didn’t really have quite enough detail and it wasn’t entirely clear to me what the internship was about. A friend even advised me that, because of that, I should choose the option of going to Austria, which was offering work in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which also interests me. Despite that, I didn’t give up, but did some searching for more information about MakoLab. And it turned out that there, on your website, was a section devoted to your collaboration with IAESTE. Added to that was the fact that it was Poland, as I said earlier. So the choice then was simple.
One of the most important things for me was not to go too far from Berlin, which is where I’m studying. I assumed that, if there was any kind of problem, I could always get back home quickly and safely. In addition, the offer was really well put together and described. Something else that helped to convince me was that your work covers both back-end and front-end. There was also the fact that there are quite a lot of Poles living in Germany and I’ve always thought of you as really friendly people... but no one in my family had ever been to Poland. So I thought ‘Right! That’s where I want to go, then!”
My impression is that, having been here a month, I’d learned more than in an entire year at uni. Carrying out a task in practice is very often a whole different thing from doing it in theory. You really can learn a huge amount from working and the knowledge and experience is very valuable.
In Spain, we often say that, when you attain an academic degree, you know a lot, but it’s only once you start work that you really learn how to put that knowledge into practice. It’s also turned out that quite a few of the things we learn at uni aren’t really useful at work any more. HEIs strive to stay up-to-date and keep up with business, but it’s not always doable. That’s why internships in flesh-and-blood companies are so valuable. As I see it, taking part in UAESTE is a wonderful opportunity not only to explore other parts of the world, other countries and other cultures and get to know different people, but also to learn how to solve technical and job-related problems and gain life experience... such as what it’s like to travel alone, for example.
At uni, we focus on a huge range of different subjects, technologies and programming languages. When you’re carrying out a specific task, you can focus on one aspect and specialise in that. I have the chance of doing that here. And, paradoxically, by focusing on that aspect, you learn all sorts of other things at the same time and broaden your general knowledge.
At school and at uni, we’re taught that we have to be perfect, that we can’t make mistakes. What I like most here, at MakoLab, is that there’s room here for mistakes and, thanks to that, it’s a place for learning. There’ll always be someone who picks up on the mistake and makes sure that a project is done well and explains where we’ve gone wrong. So we’re free to learn, to try out various solutions without the fear that a mistake we make will have irreversible consequences.
Right from the start, I knew that I was taking part in an internship that was going to take the form of a boot camp. I knew that I’d be given specific tasks to do and that I’d be able to learn stuff that was new to me. What I hadn’t expected was that it would be so amazingly well organised. The amount of feedback we get during the daily follow-up meetings, where my progress can be verified, all that’s outstanding. If we see that I’m lacking specific knowledge, then my colleagues will advise me. That means I’m getting support in solving problems independently and not by being shown how to do it. My supervisor, Marcin, is always saying “I want you to learn and to think independently”.
Exactly! Thanks to that, we’re discovering how there’s not always just one solution. Sometimes, I manage to solve a task and then I’m given a solution to it that you’ve created and so I find out that it could also have been done that way.
Same here! Support, feedback and room to be creative... they’re the fundamental pluses. We put ourselves to the test. At uni, we have to proceed in line with the fixed scheme of things. Here, we can demonstrate our skills, our talents and our potential. I’ve happened to hear “Oh, I wouldn’t have come up with that... of implementing this like that”. So this is a chance to exchange knowledge and learn from each other. We can swap ways of looking at the same problem.
I really love that question! It was my first contact with an IT company. When I arrived here, the building and the offices made a major impression on me. My first thoughts... “There’s going to be a lot of seriously hard work and there’s bound to be a huge amount of stress”. I felt a bit lost. But the reality turned out to be completely different! Everyone’s so helpful and you can see how they really trying to make sure that we feel good here. You’re really hospitable.
I was captivated by the architecture from day one. The office building is huge and it’s really impressive. I was expecting something similar to IT companies in Tunisia... a small place with three rooms, max. Kasia from the HR team was really nice. She showed right round the offices and gave us the chance to have a coffee, check out the chill-out room and all that. And then there’s the welcome package! Awesome! I sent some photos to my friend and he said that I was really lucky to have landed with you. The IT training was also quite a surprise... on the plus side! Particularly the fact that we were given the equipment we need. I was sure I’d have to use my own. Mateusz from the IT admin team took us through everything and explained it all very thoroughly. I was rather stressed at the beginning, but once I started getting to know the people on the team, everyone was just so nice and helpful.
The very journey to a foreign country is a challenge in itself. Initially, everything seemed frightening. But right from the start, everyone at MakoLab was just so kind and helped me to acclimatise and settle in.
I’ve still got six moths at uni and six months of internship ahead of me. I don’t have to do it in Tunisia. I could even come back to Poland. I’ve been thinking about whether to stay at home or go abroad. What interests me most is software engineering... and artificial intelligence, as well. I’m looking for the best way forward for myself.
I’ll be graduating in June 2024 if everything goes according to plan. I’ve also been thinking about combining being a student with a professional job. I don’t want to take a break from my studies because I know I can still learn an awful lot, but I’d like to enrich that with practical knowledge. At the moment, my course is directed more towards electronics, but I’m also interested in artificial intelligence. I can see huge potential there.
I want to do my bachelor’s degree and then call it a day educationally. I’d certainly much rather start working as soon as possible and learn through doing. Right now, it’s C# that I’m enjoying the most.