Mandeep Kaur is sure that without her internship at WIMTACH she would not have been able to get her current job. “I didn’t have any other job experience, it was just WIMTACH which helped me to gain that experience,” she said. “And then I was able to apply further.”
Mandeep’s entry into professional development began in late 2022, when she joined the WIMTACH research team as a Student Researcher and student Front-end developer in a project collaboration with Special Compass. The partnership centered on the development of a web application to enable educators in providing assistant learning resources to students in the Toronto District School Board. Her Student Researcher role enabled her to learn React, a new programming library that she hadn’t had the opportunity to work with before, but in just three weeks of her internship, she was able to apply her knowledge on the front-end portions of the Special Compass web application. It is now the predominant library that she uses for web development. “After getting into that internship, I learned how important this language could be for web development,” she said. She explained that during her internship she made herself accessible to the team, often working in other areas such as Back-end development and designing. “I was like yes I learned a new language in such a short frame of time, that I am implementing now,” she said. “It was a good experience.”
Recently graduated from the Software Engineering Technician program at Centennial College, as she reflects on her journey towards her current position, Mandeep believes that joining WIMTACH was the right choice. When she was initially applying for her student developer role at WIMTACH, she was able to use some of her completed course assignments as a portfolio reference for an interview, and once accepted into the WIMTACH program, she noticed that the key skills she was learning in her studies were enhanced. She gained an in-depth look at the application of the knowledge she acquired from school and learned how to circumvent development challenges in a project cycle. She had always been interested in technology and coding and the internship experience at WIMTACH helped her to showcase her aptitude for working in a professional setting with deadlines and deliverables for a client. “This was my [first time] learning a language and implementing it with the business partners or showcasing my official projects,” she said.
Her involvement with the Special Compass project helped her to understand how to work in a professional software development culture and it also helped her to assess her knowledge gap, particularly with the experience of working with other developers who were also learning. “Whenever you go to a company teamwork is the most important thing and I think so I learned … how to work in a team, how I need to communicate with other people, how to show my leadership skills,” she said. “Overall, I learned a lot.”
Earning WIMTACH on her resume was big. So big, Mandeep explained that it prepared her for the job market, and it was instrumental in her ability to secure a job just four months after graduating. As a result, she recommends other students to join the program to build their professional background. “Sometimes I think, if I didn’t have the internship at WIMTACH, [how would I know] how teams work? Right? [Or] how sometimes you might feel like’ I can’t continue anymore,’ but still you know you have to do it … how to work under your manager, how cooperation works so … I think the internship helped me to learn all these things,” she said.
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