Last August Dane started his ICT Software engineering & Cyber security internship at Clay. Because we are always curious how interns perceive Clay we asked him all about his #lifeatclay including if the internships matched his expectations and how he foresees his own future career path! Read with us!
So Dane, explain our readers: Who is Dane? Hi, I’m Dane, a young Software Engineering student from “all the way down south” Maastricht. Or as some at Clay might say: Belgium. I was born and raised in Maastricht. A “sjeng” as the locals would say. But as both my parents are from different regions within the Netherlands and I sometimes despise the local dialect, I never became a real "sjeng". When I was really young I had a keen interest in computer technology and yes, of course, the games you could play on them. As I grew older I taught myself how to operate computers and manage them in networks. This resulted in a fun but fairly expensive hobby for my mother as she was the one paying the electric bills. Sorry mum!
Why Clay? Soon I began to realise I wanted to pursue my hobby and follow proper education in the field of computer/information science. One thing led to another and eventually I found myself in the fifth semester of Software Engineering at the Fontys University in Eindhoven. In this semester students are required to find and apply for their first internship. By that time I had no idea what I was looking for until Babet, Irem and Vladimir from Clay held a presentation about cultural diversity within software development teams and their companies core values. This intrigued me as I took part in an international school project where I collaborated with foreign students from Finland. The fond memories I have from that time motivated me to try and apply for an internship at Clay. And so it began...
What particular aspect do you like best of your internship? This might be the easiest question as it can be answered in two words, the Bricks. Everyone that works at Clay is a fun and unique individual with their own habits, quirks and culture. During my time at Clay as an intern, I made a lot of new friends with whom I could party and share a beer on Friday afternoons. And of course, the enormous amount of knowledge passed down from the always ready-to-help developers.
How would you describe the 'Clay culture'? The company culture is as I had never seen before. The office is equipped with a pool table, football table and even a table tennis table! Everybody is free to choose their workplace which is great if you had enough of sitting on your butt all day and want to stand straight for a change. During my time at Clay there were numerous group events and parties that have strengthened the bond with my colleagues. Oh, and don’t forget the office-wide nerf battles that can break out at any time during the day. You've been warned!
What were the down parts of your internship at Clay? I’m inclined to say that a positive change would be to make my internship last longer. But of course, this wouldn't be possible from my universities viewpoint. In all seriousness: I really am unable to find a specific flaw in the way my internship took place at Clay. If I would change anything about this internship program it would have to do with the required procedures enforced by the university itself.
Did your internship match your expectations? I don’t know why but I never expected that an internship could be so much fun, “even though” I researched Clay online and read up on all their blog posts. The job itself was challenging in some ways, which wasn't really a big surprise taking the complex product developed at Clay into account. But with these challenges came great learning opportunities, precisely what I wanted from my internship. I was able to learn about the agile way software is developed by naturally becoming part of the team. It was a nice change from the standard procedures taught at my university, something I secretly suspected 😊.
What will be your next step? The time spent at Clay confirmed my intuition that I found the correct field in which I should study and eventually work. I feel I have improved in both my technical and professional skills during the past few months, and I have Clay to thank for it. Now I want to improve myself even further and continue this path of becoming a software engineer to find my dream job. But before I can start this adventure I’ll have to graduate first!
Dane, thank you so much for your honest answers and being part of the family! You'll always be welcome at the office, but don't forget to bring your own nerfgun 😉