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Maria, Oxford, Mathematics

Casebooks Maria

Having considered working for Ensoft before, when I found out they were offering a microinternship, it seemed like an obvious choice to apply - the internship was only for a week so I didn't really have anything to lose!

The application was straightforward: it was clear from the description what kind of skills would be needed, and having had some experience with virtual machines and setting up development environments before, I was able to point to relevant experience I had. I had a Skype interview which lasted about 30 minutes (Ensoft were very flexible with this, as I was actually away over the 2 days they were holding interviews so they arranged mine on another day for me). It felt relaxed, with questions about the work I had done so they could determine whether I would be able hit the ground running as there wasn't going to be time to start from scratch in just a week. A couple of days later, I was offered the microinternship and set about finding accommodation - I ended up staying in a nearby Airbnb to save me commuting from Oxford to Harpenden all week.

Even though I wasn't working on things that the company actually do (my job was to set up a development environment for the company intranet to make it easier to add things in the future - maybe floor plans, for example), I still felt like I got a true experience of what working at Ensoft is like. I was assigned a mentor, James, for the week, who explained the project and was someone to ask any questions to at any time. He also gave me an introduction to the project he was working on, and I was invited to be part of his team's meetings - of course, a lot of things went over my head(!), but you really got a sense of how things were organised and the attention to detail and quality that was given. I was also invited to some other presentations, including a company-wide talk on the future of networking and a presentation from someone who had joined Ensoft that year to other new starters, which was at a more understandable level.

Even though I was only around for a week, I got the sense that there was a lot of social stuff going on all the time - breakfast Thursday morning, a 'beer bust' (essentially microinterns being around was a reason to have a party one afternoon!), Friday lunch, and of course a pub trip on Friday evening. Overall, everyone was super friendly and really easy to get along with, as well as being interested in what I was up to!