Colin, Cambridge, Computer Science

Casebooks Colin

Sometime during my first year at Cambridge, I became aware that I would have three months of holiday over the summer. I wasn't particularly worried about boredom, but it did occur to me that I should probably do something more helpful to both my CV and my bank balance than slowly work my way through Steam's "Games Under £5" section.

With this in mind, I started looking for internships. In what can be described as either arrogance or laziness (probably actually a mixture of both), I only applied to one company to begin with, and after a gruelling series of essay based examinations and an intense technical interview, I was firmly rejected.

I now started looking for other options, and at about this time an email arrived in my inbox informing me that a company called "Ensoft" were interviewing in Cambridge for internships. An interview in Cambridge appealed hugely to my innate laziness, and a fortnight later, after trying unsuccessfully to rearrange my interview around it, I missed a Maths lecture, and cycled to a local hotel. The interview Ensoft gave me was a world away from that of the other company: a short test, followed by interviews which seemed more like friendly chats, and included biscuits and cups of tea.

Upon receiving my offer from Ensoft, I swiftly told another company that was putting me through online interviews in Google Wave that I was no longer interested in them, shouted happily a bit, and accepted the offer.

This turned out to be a very good move, as I've loved working at Ensoft. I've been given a genuinely interesting project to work on with my fellow intern, under the guidance of no less than four mentors, of which two are directors of the company, one is ginger, and the other of whom has a beard. Three of them have iPads.

At Ensoft, I am plentifully supplied with free tea and biscuits, baked potatoes on Tuesdays, cooked breakfasts (admittedly of varying qualities) on Thursdays, and a cream tea every other Thursday! These things are, of course, all vital to a productive working environment.

Ensoft are also wonderfully relaxed about the hours you work: as long as you get the hours in, there is little fuss about when you arrive. I definitely enjoy being able to saunter up at 10 o'clock without being shouted at.

There are a whole bunch of social activities organised by both Ensoft, and also the people in Ensoft. Pub trips of one sort or another are practically a daily occurrence, and at least two lunch buses to different eating establishments leave on Fridays. Despite also being only a lowly intern, I've also been invited on company funded trips walking in Wales, and go-karting.

Despite having been back at Cambridge for quite a while now, I still find myself looking back fondly at my time at Ensoft, and (if struggling with a particularly nasty piece of supervision work) maybe even wishing I was back there. And I can't give any higher recommendation than that!