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Formpipe Software AB
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26 February 2024 Blog General News Interview

From intern to permanent employee - 4 essential tips for your IT industry internship & early career

At Formpipe, we place great emphasis on attracting and retaining young talent. The young, whether they are students, interns, or recent graduates, are an important resource for us. We've had a chat with two young Formpipers about their journey from internship to permanent employment, and got their four best pieces of advice for internship and job hunting.

It's Tuesday morning, and Formpipe's Danish headquarters in Ballerup is bathed in winter sun. The light pours generously through the windows, illuminating the meeting room 'Bornholm', where beechwood, strong coffee, and a whiteboard adorned with terms that would make even the most passionate lecturer proud, set the stage for our conversation today.

We've brought together two of our talented software developers, Lukas Bang Stoltz-Andersen and Christoffer Ikizek Wegner, for a chat about their career path, and asked for their best advice for other young people about to take their next career step in the IT industry.

The right internship can be crucial

"I had previously interned at another IT company, and it was really not a good experience. I was given a task that felt meaningless, and I could see that the project I was working on would probably be discarded when I left the internship. And then the lunch was terrible. Food is important!,” he laughs and waves his arms.

He experienced something completely different when he became an intern at Formpipe. Here he and his fellow intern, Christoffer, were involved in the development of an exciting software product, which would make a big difference for Formpipe's customers.

It was motivating to be involved in developing a completely new product.

"The best thing about interning at Formpipe is that you don't just work on hypothetical tasks - what you do becomes reality and is used by our customers in their daily work. We've been allowed to work on the same product during our internship, through our bachelor's and now as permanent employees - it provides some very special opportunities.

Right now, for example, we've reached the super exciting point where we must test the product with our first customer. It's both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking to know that what we've worked so hard on is going to be used by a lot of people," Lukas explains, looking over at Christoffer, who nods in agreement.

A smile on his lips and an employment contract in his hand

During the internship, it became clear to Christoffer that he wanted to stay at Formpipe after his bachelor's thesis was submitted. But it wasn't something he said out loud. Fortunately, there were others in the company who asked about Christoffer and Lukas's plans after the internship;

"I remember it very clearly. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and the conversation turned to what we were going to do when the internship ended. I casually mentioned that I wanted to go out and work after my bachelor's. Many of my friends were going directly on to a master's degree, but I really wanted to get started in full-time work."

That was all it took. After the relaxed afternoon chat, Engineering Director Carsten pulled him aside; "And he just stood there with a smile on his lips and an employment contract in his hand. It was so cool.," Christoffer laughs.

Christoffer wasn't in doubt at all. Of course, he would stay. But Carsten asked him to take proper time to think about the offer. It didn't change Christoffer's decision - he wanted to stay.

”... And the rest is history!”, he laughs and leans back in his chair.

Young talent: An important investment

This is not the first time that we at Formpipe have hired one of our talented interns - and it certainly won't be the last time. Young forces - interns as well as recent graduates - are an extremely important part of Formpipe.

Chief Architect Mike Thomas Bauer was involved in onboarding the two new interns in the early days. He explains;

"It makes so much sense for us to involve young people in our development process and the development of our systems, because they see the system with fresh eyes and can contribute with lots of inputs. And they just have a fantastic drive and a willingness to take on new things, which are good prerequisites when we throw them into new things they haven't tried before.

A combination of us experienced and the young together creates the right balance to reach a good end result. And that's why it creates so much value for us and our company to hire and invest in young people. And we just have so much fun at the same time."

4 effective tips for landing a good internship or your first job in the IT industry

Lukas and Christoffer have, by their own account, developed from 0 to 100 during their time at Formpipe, and on the day of the interview they were sharp with good advice for other young people:

  1. Write your bachelor's project based on your internship

  2. Be open and step out of your comfort zone

  3. Seek internships as a pair or as a group

  4. Reach out and ask for advice and guidance

Tip 1: Write your bachelor's project based on your internship

"The education as a software developer typically includes three months of internship and two months of bachelor's project. Although it is possible to write your bachelor's project based on another company than the one you interned at, it is a clear advantage to spend all five months at the same company and on the same product. It gives more substance to your bachelor's thesis and to your CV.

And it's fantastic to be able to continue your work from the internship to the bachelor's and on to your full-time job - and to know that what you've been working on is actually being used by the customers out there," explains Christoffer.

Tip 2: Be open and step out of your comfort zone

"When you start a new job, it's important to challenge yourself and step a little out of your comfort zone. Talk to your new colleagues at the coffee machine or in the corridor. Although it may seem difficult or awkward at first, it gets easier and easier. And the relaxed atmosphere here at Formpipe also helps to make it easier. Everyone is accommodating and ready to help each other," says Lukas.

Christoffer adds: "In terms of job hunting, it's also important to remember that it's not just about being the best coder, for example. Technical skills are not crucial. It's largely about being curious, open to learning, and willing to develop yourself. That's just as important to emphasize when you're in an interview.

Remember to be yourself and take it easy - as far as possible - and talk to the job interviewer or your new boss about something other than work. That may be what determines a successful job interview or a good start to your new job."

Tip 3: Seek internships as a pair or as a group

"I actually think that one of the best ways to secure a good internship is to apply as a team - either two people or more. Our experience is that many companies prefer it that way. It can be difficult for companies to place one person alone, as the projects are often too big to handle alone.

In addition, companies often appreciate that you come as a group, as it allows for brainstorming with each other," explains Christoffer.

Lukas adds: "Also remember to ask about what you will be working on during the internship! And how much sparring, responsibility, and influence you can expect to have. It's not always given that you get the same opportunities and the same responsibility as we got here at Formpipe."

Tip 4: Reach out and ask for advice and guidance

"When you're looking for your next job, don't underestimate the strength of your close network - family, friends, and friends of friends. It was through my close network that I got tipped off about the student job at Formpipe," says Lukas.

He also mentions LinkedIn as an option:

"You can also use LinkedIn to find a company that you find interesting. Write to the employees instead of the management, and ask if they can help you. It may seem a bit intrusive, but that way you can ask those who have the position you want, how they landed their internship or job. Maybe they can refer you to the person in the company who would be your new boss.

It can be difficult to take the first step and contact a stranger via LinkedIn, but most people are actually happy to help. One of our classmates did just that. He wrote to a person on LinkedIn and got almost everything set up for him, with templates for the application and everything. He got it all served on a silver platter!," Lukas laughs.

Christoffer adds: "I always get happy when people write to me on LinkedIn! So I won't mention that it's mostly messages about offers for premium subscriptions - but you understand the point, right?", he laughs.


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