Life Choices Academy graduate, Kirsten Stemmet began her internship at BNRY in 2018 and has since become a proud company employee. Well done Kirsten!

Kirsten explains that it wasn’t all plain sailing when she first started out as an intern

It was a rough ride in the beginning because I had to get used to the way things were done at the company. As time progressed and the more I practised, the better I got. So, it was a bit intense in the beginning and I felt a lot of pressure but the people here are there to help you grow and mold you into the kind of developer that they want you to be.

Kirsten says she has increased her level of personal skills since she began working.

I’ve learned that you think you are good at something until you get put to the test! Also, because I’m a junior developer, the company’s interns are asking me for advice and I’ve learned leadership skills because I have had to learn how to communicate with them because I was at that point once. My organising skills have gotten better because you think you have normal admin skills that you used in a paper-based environment but now you are confronted with a paperless environment and so  I learned about other online platforms where you can organise yourself and your tasks.

During the current lockdown, I don’t have access to my senior so now I have to take the training wheels off because I can’t sit on the phone for an hour trying to work out an issue with someone, instead I have learned to trust myself more and to try and figure out first what to do and that’s been an interesting journey for me.

Kirsten has some advice for interns who want to become employees

If I had any advice, it is to ask more questions and pay attention in the classroom before you even start the internship because when you go into the workplace you don’t have someone holding your hand and then you realise all the questions you should have asked back then because in the working environment you don’t have the luxury of someone spoon-feeding you.

In a professional environment, it is important to have patience and to really listen to somebody when they are explaining something to you. A lot of senior developers forget they were juniors so always ask what they have just done and always take criticism with a pinch of salt. You need to bite the bullet when you get criticised because you need to understand how to upgrade your skills rather than taking offence.

Kirsten describes her greatest accomplishment in her role at BNRY

In the beginning, when I started, I used to get sad if somebody criticised my work but now I ask them to specify so that I know exactly what I need to work on. I am proud of getting to that point and asking more questions because now I have a really great relationship with my manager. When I started, I thought he didn’t like me, but I didn’t see that he was trying to help me grow. Once you become aware of this and start working on the areas that they point out to you then you end up being good at what you do. I gave myself time to find myself within my career. From this experience, I’ve learned that any career can be for you because once you start understanding the building blocks in a career like listening, having patience and giving yourself time then you can be good at anything you set your mind to.