Annalina Wheeler is a third-year student in the Bachelor's Programme in Software and Systems Engineering in Lahti, planning to continue her studies at the master’s level after completing her bachelor’s studies in the upcoming year. Last summer, she had the opportunity to work for Kempower, Growth Company of the Year 2022, and she now wants to share her experiences.
DuuniDay and student excursions as networking opportunities
I found out about the job through the DuuniDay event in Lappeenranta last November, but I had actually visited the Kempower headquarters during a student excursion a couple of weeks prior. I was already interested in the company, so I approached their representative at the stand to start a conversation.
My tip to students who are looking for summer jobs is: don’t be afraid to start a conversation and ask questions. You might just get a new opportunity, and even if you don’t, at least you’ll have the confidence to do it again next time.
Guided first steps into the working world
My tasks were similar to those of a regular employee; I worked on developing new features with my team, improved existing ones, joined regular team meetings, and participated in other work activities.
I didn't have much previous experience in this field, so I was definitely nervous at the start. Luckily, my coworkers were understanding and always willing to give their time to help me when I needed it, which I am very grateful for.
Learnings and takeaways
My main takeaway is that you can learn a lot in three months. You don’t need to already know everything, but you do need to continuously work hard to learn more.
During the summer, I worked together with experienced software engineers as well as employees from other areas of expertise. I had the opportunity to observe their work and learn from it. Getting to work in a company is the best opportunity you can have to gain experience and confidence in what you’re doing. Also, getting to know people and working with them is a lot of fun.
Summer jobs are a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve learned at university to a real-life context.