20 August 2019

Women’s Month: Internship Students

Women’s Month: Internship Students At Belgium Campus we recognise the importance of looking beyond the qualification, which is why we assist our students to find internships at top IT companies. This is made possible because of our longstanding relationship with a number of national and international companies in the field. These companies have hired our students in the past and are thus aware of the standard at which our students perform. It is also made possible because of our recruitment drives which allow our students to network with a number of industry experts, while at the same time receiving vital industry knowledge. In honour of Women’s Month, we checked in with some of our final year female students currently doing their internships at the following companies: Dot Slash, Siemens and Symbiotics. They share a bit about the companies, their experience so far, as well as what being a woman in IT means to them. Eldané Ferreira knew she wanted to become a software engineer the day she programmed her first application. “Creating something from nothing is such a satisfying achievement,” she says. She is currently doing her internship at Dot Slash, a software house and digital agency that specialises in mobile applications, web development and UX design. “My experience so far has been very educational. I have been given the opportunity to work with a whole bunch of different technologies on various projects. I was immediately welcomed as part of the team and I am very grateful for the opportunity,” she shares. Ms. Ferreira believes that although the IT field is still male-dominated, women finally have a voice and are being recognised for the work that they do. “The IT industry has evolved immensely when it comes to gender equality. Female developers are being taken seriously in the field,” she comments. Post-graduation, Ms. Ferreira sees herself in a leadership role that allows her to make a difference in the field while also being able to do what she loves, solve challenges every day. Magaret Keitshokile Molefe envisions herself as a data scientist owning a company that develops innovative technological solutions in the field of biology. “I want to have my very own laboratory, health and beauty centre and private hospital,” she says. When she arrived at Belgium Campus she didn’t know very much about computers or IT. “All I knew was Microsoft Word and I was trying to figure out Microsoft PowerPoint. Programming was very foreign to me, it was a constant battle I had to overcome,” she shares. Ms. Molefe was able to overcome her challenges with programming, so much so that she is now hired as a developer for her internship! Ms. Molefe is currently doing her internship at Symbiotics, a company focused on custom software development, mobile app development and hosting and cloud enablement. “I am enjoying learning new programming material and tools, every day since I started I learn something new, angular is very big and there are things I come across frequently that just knock me off my feet. There is no better feeling than seeing your code run, it is like magic and it makes you feel like the best programmer in the word,” she shares. Charné Jordaan is currently doing her internship at Siemens in Belgium. Siemens, is a global powerhouse which focusses on automation, digitization and electrification. “I am happy at Siemens, the work environment is nice and my co-workers are always happy to help. The work itself is also enjoyable, I am always doing something different,” she shares. In addition to enjoying her work environment, Ms. Jordaan is also enjoying being in a different country, although it has come with some challenges.  “In the beginning it took a bit of getting used to, especially taking the train to work. The perk for me is that I have international experience at a huge company. I also get to experience a different country which has forced me to become independent,” she says. Ms. Jordaan is also taking advantage of the experience by trying a few things that Belgium is known for. “I’ve had Belgian fries and waffles, and although Belgium is known for its beer, I’ve yet to have any,” she comments. She also took a trip to the Netherlands because of its close proximity but ironically she went to the Netherlands in search of a piece of home. “They have a South African shop so I had to go!” she shares. Ms. Jordaan is struggling to decide whether to stay in South Africa for a year or two after graduation before moving back overseas, or whether to return to Belgium immediately. We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind grappling with this dilemma.

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Women’s Month: Internship Students Continued

Women’s Month: Internship Students Continued Companies receive hundreds if not thousands of CVs a day. Securing an internship at a recognised company which shares a similar vision and which provides ample opportunity for growth makes candidates more competitive in the job market. Internships allow students to gain exposure and experience in the field, they also allow them to decide what type of companies are a good fit for them which is equally as important. Many internships lead to permanent jobs, and even if they don’t, internship experience from a top company within your field will help you stand out. We spoke to a few more of our final year female students currently doing their internships. We found out what their internship experience has been like thus far as well as their views on the role of women in IT and their hopes for the future. Tanya de Jager is currently doing her internship at Entelect. Entelect is an enterprise software development company that provides customised software solutions. They have offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the Netherlands. “It has been an amazing year and I am very happy at the company. I have learnt more than I could imagine, I learn something new every day,” Ms. de Jager shares. Ms. de Jager believes that more women in the IT field would bring a new perspective, diversity and balance to the field which can only lead to improvement in the way IT projects are approached, since a larger target audience can be reached.  “It is quite new for women to excel in environments previously seen as predominantly male and I feel the more these women get celebrated, the more young ladies will be inspired to try their hand in the IT field,” she says. On completion of her internship, Ms. de Jager hopes to work towards becoming an intermediate/senior software engineer. “Eventually I hope to find myself in a team lead position where I can deal with both the technical and the human interaction aspect of the job,” she comments. “We want a lot more female Bill Gates,” comments Sharon Reitumetse Pitsoane who is currently doing her internship at Accenture, a multinational professional services company which provides services in digital, operations, technology, strategy, and consulting. Ms. Pitsoane believes that Accenture provides an environment filled with opportunities to not only learn new skills, but also to grow as an individual. “I have met and worked with different people who lead a truly human life and practice the, ‘ask for help and help when asked’ culture. As a result, I have been able to learn a lot and grow rapidly in a short period of time,” she says. Ms. Pitsoane has never let gender stereotypes affect her, even from a young age she was defying them. “When only boys played computer games and only girls played with dolls, I did both.  Being like this from a young age allowed me to pursue a career in IT without being discouraged by societal beliefs,” she shares. Once she receives her qualification, Ms. Pitsoane’s main focus will be uplifting young black women and helping them to see their full potential, unleash their creativity and fuel their innovative minds. “I want to help them invest in their future and education so that we can work towards completely closing the gender inequality gap in IT and engineering fields. This will consequently reduce the high unemployment rate and improve the economic growth of South Africa,” she says. Tsungai Robyn Musanda is currently doing her internship at Expeditus, a business intelligence consultancy company based in Bryanston. The company strives to drive businesses forward and ensure long term success by providing insight and measurable value. “My experience has been nothing short of amazing! The team was so welcoming and the company puts a lot of effort into the personal growth of its employees which makes working here a delight. The company also has partnerships with a number of diverse companies which I have had the opportunity to be exposed to. This has increased my knowledge of the different companies out there and how they operate,” she shares.   Ms. Musanda did not struggle to integrate into the world of work and she says this is due to the education she received at Belgium Campus. “Belgium Campus equipped me more than adequately for my internship. I was able to cope with the stress that comes with the working world and meet deadlines easily and even though I didn’t study BI as a subject, I was able to use database and other subjects I was taught that relate to the field. Belgium Campus’ IT focus means you can put all your attention into perfecting your craft, which puts you one step further than most IT students,” she shares. In the future, Ms. Musanda sees herself owning her own IT companies while being a senior consultant or in a managerial position at a leading BI company.

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