Holly Hagenson | Software Engineering Intern (Utilities) | Auckland

Qualifications: Currently studying Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Software Engineering

How did you secure the internship?
I first heard of Gentrack in a university email that was promoting the internship programme, as well as an information session that the company was holding for students. I decided to attend the information session to learn more about the company and the opportunities they had on offer. I liked what I heard and proceeded to apply for the programme online. A few weeks later, I was invited to do a short phone interview, followed by a coding test and finally, a face-to-face interview, before I was offered a position.  

Why did you apply for an internship?
I applied for an internship at Gentrack because after hearing about the work they do, I was interested in learning more and wanted to have the opportunity to work on real-life projects in an agile environment. I also wanted to experience working with new tools and technologies and expand on my software knowledge and skills from university.

What did you get involved in as an intern?
I was in a team of three within the utilities part of the company, working on improving and simplifying the customer searching tool for the users of Velocity and Junifer. We mainly worked with Elasticsearch, Logstash, Docker and AWS. We created the back-end functionality for extracting customer data from a Velocity database, storing the data on AWS and being able to query the data within a single search box, to provide accurate results in real time. This project involved a large amount of research and learning as we had not worked with the main technologies we required before. My team also worked with agile methodology throughout the internship, which included daily stand-ups, sprint planning for two-week long sprints, user stories and retrospectives.

How did the internship impact your professional development?
I have gained a lot of valuable, hands-on experience from the internship, including working with new tools and technologies, working in an agile environment and experiencing daily life in a growing organisation. I have been able to develop my coding, communication and teamwork skills and have enjoyed working through the challenges presented throughout the project.

Did the internship meet your expectations?
I didn’t really have many expectations when I started, so yes, the internship definitely exceeded them!  

What did you love about working at Gentrack?
The company culture; there is always something happening around the office, everyone is very friendly and supportive, and you can tell that people enjoy their jobs. It is also a great place for gaining practical experience.

Do you have any tips for future Gentrack interns?
My advice to future interns would be to get involved in everything the company has to offer, ask questions for your own knowledge and understanding, and enjoy the experience!