It is widely acknowledged that an internship empowers students to gain the skills and experience that they need to get started with their careers later on. It can also provide students with real working experience, letting students know if their aspirations match the job reality.
Why Imago can provide students with real-world experience?
Imago is the University of Manchester’s student software company, where students can create beautiful and useful software for paying clients, using the skills and experience gained during the time at university.
Everything that we do in the company follows industrial standards, from the rigorous recruitment processes to daily operations – it is very different from working on a university coursework-based project. We become a formal employee from the very first day of our contract, and all payments are paid through the university’s HR department and finance team. Unlike assessments, we are not given rubrics nor even direct instructions and pre-planned requirements: we usually need to have weekly meetings with our clients to gradually understand what exactly they are looking for. Most of the time, the expected outcome can change based on the project progress, as the client and us gain a more in-depth understanding or realize something is not feasible. All decisions are made by the teams, and all the tools and development approaches used are in line with the industrial standards. All of those make students working in Imago gain “industrial experience”.
For more information about our company, please read About Us – Imago Software
This is a paid learning opportunity
Have you ever calculated how much money you have spent on education? For most the people, education is a process of time and money for knowledge. Can you imagine how great it is if you can earn money while you are learning? Fortunately, Imago pays every hour that their employees spent on projects, including any learning required for the project! We choose the technologies that fit the requirements the best. When we are not familiar with certain technology, we are given the opportunity to learn them, and it is paid!
The experience allows me to understand my own weaknesses
When I learn something, I always have a clear objective of what I need to learn – this makes my learning more effective and productive. However, sometimes I don’t know what I need to learn, as computer science is a very broad discipline. Therefore, knowing what I am interested in and what will be used in my later career is the key to my personal and occupational development. For instance, you might not have learned about containerization, but it is a handy and commonly used tool in software development. The recent project experience at Imago let me realize the importance of this tool and we learned the knowledge as we worked. If you also want to learn how to use Docker as a container, please read Everything you need to know about working with Docker and Docker on Windows by Nadine, one of my team mates at Imago.
The experience helped me a lot in job interviews
The most challenging thing about finding an early career is we need some sort of prior experience to get and pass a job interview, but we cannot gain any experience without having a job. Imago Student Software Company can help to break the cycle. This employment can not only look good on our CV but also helps us during interviews, where we can talk about the technical skills we gained, and more importantly, we can demonstrate soft skills like communication and teamwork ability.
In conclusion, the student software company is the perfect place to gain some real-life experiences in the industry at our own university while getting paid. You will learn many industry-standard tools that are not taught in the classroom, which will significantly help you in your future career.