How two interns became valued team members after they struggled to find placements within Sheffield’s technology community.

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

Last summer The Curve was fortunate to work with two amazing interns who were looking to gain real-world experience in the software industry whilst planning their next steps to University. Although we weren’t actively seeking to bring interns into the business, the decision to do so has resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership. The interns gained valuable work experience delivering several projects and an understanding of how a technology business operates. In turn, we increased our engineering team’s capacity with our interns contributing to internal and client-facing projects. During the time our interns were with us, we learned from them that it wasn’t plain sailing for them to find a business willing to  take them on. Numerous applications were rejected, whilst in some cases, emails and phone calls often went unanswered and ignored by software or technology companies both in Sheffield and around South Yorkshire. Although this was undoubtedly disappointing for them, they carried on their tenacious outreach and contacted us at The Curve.

While we had no formal apprenticeship or internship programme, it was an easy decision to provide them with an opportunity – after all, each person sought to contact us off their own back. Not only did we value being able to supplement our development team, but we also appreciated the opportunity to support  future software engineers who were clearly dedicated and committed to their personal and professional development.

During their time with us, our interns delivered key functionality into production across numerous projects whilst also providing some internal tooling that would benefit The Curve in our own  day to day operations and project planning. This consisted of building functionality into our internal business management platform that allows us to plan work for employees effectively. Thanks to the interns, this process is now much more efficient – especially as our team of engineers has continued to grow.  A vital area of the interns’ work also consisted of developing features and addressing bugs in multiple projects whilst shipping code to production throughout the development process. We were delighted, seeing the value gained from having the interns on board and members of the team was undeniable. This led the interns to transition into part-time employees where they could continue to supplement and develop their learning whilst also retaining key on-the-job experience throughout their studies.

Read what the interns said about their experience and what CEO and Co-founder of The Curve, Paul Ridgway had to say about the interns and how they became a valuable part of our team;

Suhaib “I reached out to The Curve as a first year university student. Most companies only look for penultimate year students, so I am really grateful to The Curve for considering my application and then accepting me after the technical assessment. 

My time at The Curve was spent developing and adding features to existing  systems. This taught me a number of industry best practices and the technologies involved. The projects that I undertook were all deployed during my internship, so I could see the impact of my work in almost real time. In terms of mentoring, James and Paul were brilliant at teaching difficult concepts both simply and concisely for my understanding. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Curve”.

Dan “My application to The Curve was one of a number of applications for summer internships I made, and of those, The Curve was the only one to get back to me at all – I didn’t get so much as a rejection email from anywhere else. This was my first real experience working as part of a larger team, and so introduced me to many industry standard tools and concepts that I have since taken and used in my university studies.

Paul, James and the rest of The Curve team were so helpful and really supported me in learning all the skills I needed to contribute. In addition, working with another intern was such a huge benefit as it meant that we could support each other in learning languages, ways of working or techniques we were unfamiliar with.”

“While we had no immediate aspirations of implementing an intern program, through discussions with the applicants it was clear this was a good opportunity for all. The interns were able to quickly get up to speed and were able to provide support throughout many different projects.

They proved to be valuable team members and we were thrilled to be able to subsequently offer them employment on a part time basis whilst they continue their studies”.

Paul Ridgway, CEO and Co-founder