My internship during COVID-19

Hello, my name is Orville D’Silva, but most people call me Shane. Ever since I was introduced to coding back in my high school days, I always had a keen interest in web and mobile programming. Thus, I chose to pursue a degree in the Master of Information Technology majoring in Mobile Application Development.

The course contains a lot of essential units you would need as a future web / mobile app developer. Some of these are Responsive Web Design, Database Design, Information Systems, Project Management, Mobile App Development and many more interesting units.

If web dev or mobile app dev isn’t your forte, you have the choice to specialise in Software Design and Development or Network and Information Security and choose electives from a long list of cool units.

The course is quite incredibly structured. Since this is a Masters, you are obviously expected to know some IT and programming concepts. However, the course does well to introduce concepts to those who lack the experience. There are few introductory units such as Introduction to Programming that helps students a lot.

As the course progresses, it gets more complex. This is simply because the course aims to make sure you are equipped with knowledge that adheres to industry standards. Each unit has a tutorial session to give you practical, hands-on experience, which is vital.

The units are taught and designed by professors well known in their fields so you can be sure that you are receiving quality education.

I had a great time in this course. I learnt concepts that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I have knowledge of project management concepts, which can greatly help me secure a job since project managers are in good demand.

I have learnt concepts in server-side scripting using NodeJS, ExpressJS and Nginx as well as client-side scripting. I’m one step closer to essentially becoming a full stack developer.

All of this came at such an affordable tuition fee, which was made even more affordable because of the scholarship I’m receiving.

Read my full story here on why I chose to study at CQUniversity and the activities I participated in.

Undertaking an internship during my studies

Unlike many other universities, CQUniversity offers one of the greatest ways to allow a student to develop their skills – professional and soft skills. This comes in the form of an internship, which takes place as of the course during your last term of study. Yes, you heard me. It is part­ of your course.

Through my hard work and perseverance, I was able to take the internship unit in my last term.

It has been a smooth experience from the beginning. CQUniversity has been very helpful in preparing us for interviews. To further support their students, they have facilities such as the Academic Learning Centre who help with your writing skills and the Career Hub who help you with your career path and prepare your CV.

The internship team at CQUniversity conduct frequent networking events so that we may personally meet people in the industry and make connections.

Initially, I had thought that I would have to venture out on my own and find a company who would host my internship. I was quickly proven wrong.

Although you are free to source your own internship, the internship team will assign you to an internship provider who will market you to their partners as per your interests. You will be given numerous opportunities to go for interviews and land an internship at an amazing host company. Due to this, the added stress of sourcing an internship is completely taken away.

My Internship Experience (Thus Far)

Fortunately, I was able to pass my first interview with a company called CyQIQ.

CyQIQ is an industry-leading organisation across the smart city and internet of things (IoT) space throughout Oceania, providing systems integration and consultancy services to a range of government and private enterprise clients by providing sustainable, feasible and efficient solutions.

Unfortunately, due to the terrible COVID-19 situation, my host company has instructed us to work from home. Personally, I am a “work from office” kind of guy but let me tell you, working from home is really relaxing.

My host company has gone above and beyond to provide me with resources in order to support my learning. I have been provided with a Moodle site wherein I am able to learn more from the company and courses related to different job titles accessible at any time.

In the initial week, I had the opportunity to talk to everyone in the company, who were very approachable and eager to help me get started. I was assigned to a small team as a Software Developer that has grown since then.

We are at a point where we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses since we are in constant communication over Zoom throughout the day. This helps us understand each other better and work in sync.

My work days are Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday with working hours from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. with a 30 minute lunch break at my convenience. Having three days off helps me take a breather and complete other university assignments and self-learning tasks.

My manager encourages me to learn aspects of different job roles in order to have a holistic experience. Since I am involved in a software project, I have learnt to gather requirements, develop concept diagrams, such as wireframes and UML diagrams, some project management concepts and most importantly to professionally communicate and work together with my colleagues.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be involved in tasks such as designing and developing the database, front-end development, back-end development and deployment.

I personally love being around people and in an office environment but working from home has proven to be a satisfying experience. I usually have music (that you usually cannot play in the office) playing in the background and access to all of my food and drinks at any time.

It does not feel as though I am not in the office as we have frequent meetings and discussions over Zoom. 

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I have nothing but excitement to work each day so I can learn more, grasp as much knowledge and work experience in an Australian setting and improve my professional skills as a Software Developer.

CyQIQ has been amazing and supportive of my learning. I feel bonded to this company already and will terribly miss it once my internship comes to an end.

Enjoyed this? You might enjoy Kaixiang Zhu‘s story who also had a positive experience at his internship placement in Rockhampton.

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