By Fabien Aug 8, 2022

Conquering Interns: 5 Simple Reasons We Succeed

In today’s labour-shortage workforce, companies welcome any means of finding new talent. This can be done through local or international recruitment, but also by taking on interns.

However, companies who opt for this solution face fierce competition finding the most promising candidates. La Presse reported that some universities received up to 40% more internship offers this year than at the same period in 2021. The demand for internships has greatly increased, but the number of applicants has not.

With several interns in our ranks, how does Uzinakod manage to stay ahead of the game? To answer this question, we asked the people most directly involved: our interns Samuel, Félix and Liam, as well as Sabrina, a former intern who is now a part-time employee.

Our interns: Samuel, Félix, Sabrina and Liam
Left to right: Samuel, Félix, Sabrina and Liam

A Successful First Impression

It’s a well-known fact that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This applies equally to the candidate at the interview and to the company representatives!

There are many good techniques for pulling this off. For their part, our recruitment team always adopts a relaxed approach, so that a job interview feels more like a discussion than an interrogation.

As a student at ÉTS, Félix applied to four companies before choosing Uzinakod, mainly because of the good atmosphere he enjoyed during the conversation.

“When I interviewed with Benoit (Software Development Director) and Sarah (HR Advisor), they described the company culture,” he says. “I had a really good feeling about it, so I accepted the offer.”

Recruitment of interns: Billy and Sabrina
Billy (left) and Sabrina (right)

Good Representatives

To support the significant growth we’ve experienced over the past few years, it’s a major plus having employees with a strong sense of belonging, for whom it’s natural to speak well of the company.

That’s what made Sabrina and Liam decide to join us.

“I’m not your typical intern,” says Sabrina. “I’ve been on the job market for a little over five years, and I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree in software engineering at ÉTS. I worked with Billy, who is now an employee of Uzinakod, for three years, and he strongly encouraged me to join the team.”

For Liam, it came down to the field (pun very much intended)!

“I play ultimate frisbee with David and Jeremy Jacob, two Full-Stack Developers at the company,” Liam says. “The guys were telling me about the fun they have at work, but also the challenges they face. It really made me want to work for a company like that.”

Integration: Getting Off to a Good Start

The first day at a new job can be nerve-wracking, and that’s especially true for an internship. No matter the circumstances, our HR & Marketing teams set the table for a smooth transition before handing the candidate over to the Project teams.

First step: coffee! It’s a great opportunity to wake up (obviously), but also to drop the pressure and have a more informal chat for 15 minutes.

Then, we move on to presenting a gift bag of Uzinakod goodies: t-shirts, a hoodie, a water bottle and much more. We can’t tell you all our secrets!

We wrap things up by introducing the team members, providing a solid overview of the employee handbook and internal policies (no choice), your official photo-taking, and a welcome message on Teams. Once that’s done, we can tackle the real stuff!

“I would never have expected everyone to be so welcoming,” says Liam. “The first day in the office was perfect! When I met my Project team, people were really open and trusting. It was a pleasant surprise.”

In short, we leave nothing to chance! We try to make each newcomer feel at home as soon as they walk in the door.

Intern's Experience: Félix
Félix at his station

Much More than Interns

An internship is an incredible learning opportunity. You don’t get the most out of it by running photocopies, making coffee, and getting stuck with everybody else’s unwanted tasks.

So, what better way to get ahead than trying your hands on a real project? That’s our approach at Uzinakod, and it’s what makes us successful with interns.

“I’ve been told that I’m not considered an intern, but rather a full-fledged employee,” says Samuel.

Concrete projects, yes… but how concrete? One of Sabrina’s assignments should give you an idea.

“When the vaccine passport was implemented on September 1, 2021, my team was tasked with scheduling the withdrawal of the Being vaccinated, it’s a win contest,” Sabrina explains. “I didn’t have to, but I stayed up until midnight making sure it worked myself!”

Even when it isn’t a major project like this, the goal remains the same: give each intern the opportunity to make a real impact with what they do.

“During my internship, I was studying on the weekends. I practically couldn’t wait for it to end so I could go back to work on Monday!”
– Félix Gravel

Open to Ideas

Anyone can have a good idea, regardless of their position in the company. You just have to share it. Whether it’s through one-on-one meetings, internship follow-ups, or more informal discussions, interns have numerous opportunities to discuss their ideas with their team leader at our company.

“Right now, I’m working on something that may impact the future development of several Uzinakod projects, all because I brought it up with the team,” says Samuel.

So don’t be afraid to bring your ideas forward. You never know how far they could go!

Conclusion

Uzinakod’s strategy for standing out with internship recruitment isn’t an act. It’s just who we are. It may sound cliché, but the secret is our authenticity. (Okay, it does sound cliché!)

The atmosphere in our interviews is our everyday reality, enhanced by simple details like our famous GIF culture. Because we work so much better when we are happy!

“I don’t wake up every day complaining that I have to work. I’m completely hooked on my job right now!”
– Samuel Laporte

An internship at Uzinakod can be the beginning of a long adventure. Sabrina is an example of this. She finished her internship in December 2021, and has been with us ever since! What’s the difference?

“I have benefits now!”

Are you looking for internships in Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, or IoT? Whether you wish to intern during or after your studies (or both), we will welcome you to our team.

Send us your application by filling out the form on our Careers page, or stay tuned to find out when we will be coming to your school.

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