Aug 30, 2017

The Interns

Four unique views about seizing an opportunity

By Penny Goodwin

In their own words, George, James, Erika and Dill tell us about their experiences from the Summer of Tech program.

George

For those who don’t know what Summer of Tech is, plainly put, they offer a platform for students to meet companies, grow their network and from that get internships and jobs. This was the first time BNZ has participated, and despite the obvious set back of the quake, they have done a fantastic job. BNZ have provided us with an opportunity that is not what I, or the other interns expected from a bank.

During the internship, I’ve met a huge amount of awesome people from all over Digital and from all different disciplines, had the opportunity to work on a range of interesting stories while working across teams teams, with developers, to BAs to testers.

I’ve worked on simplifying processes for customers, using technologies from both mobile and web platforms.

Personally, I think this has been a truly unique experience, from having our first week at our team leaders house getting a crash course in Agile and how Digital applies it across their teams.

Experiencing the ups and downs of remote working, such as how fast cabin fever can set in, the unique places people get together to work and experience first hand how in times such as these, how resilient we are.

James

2016 was my first time getting an internship and I was very lucky to get selected by BNZ. From the first (and only) time visiting HQ I could tell this was going to be a great and friendly place to work.

Our first couple of weeks were spent learning the practices and architectures used every day in Digital and we were lucky enough to have an Agile Coach to get help us with all that learning.

We soon started on our first project together with the help of our coaches. Our first focus was on the Partners business — we got to work on this from start to finish allowing us to apply what we had learnt so far. Not too long after that I started to work with my team: the mobile business team. I started off with some small Android tech debt stories to familiarise myself with the code base. I was involved from the start — discussing what needed to be done, huddling the stories and writing the code.

I think the biggest thing that I have noticed is how different the industry is compared to University and the constant collaboration between everyone in the team and other teams. I have learnt a lot through this internship and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work in BNZ Digital with all the amazing people and being able to continue working here.

Erika

It was Sunday night and I was feeling excited. The following day, I was going to start my summer internship with BNZ Digital. I couldn’t wait to finally arrive at the Harbour Quays building, meet my mentor and the agile coaches, start my induction…

…Or not! Apparently the universe had other plans, because at 12:01am on the very day the other Summer of Tech interns and I were due to start working, the Seddon Earthquake hit. What a great first day! Once things calmed down, we went ahead with induction and then joined our teams. I was in the website tribe, the team responsible for developing new APIs, and I loved it. I knew I was going to enjoy writing code, but I hadn’t counted on how great being a valued voice in team discussions would be.

It was my first time working on a piece of software with such real-world importance, which made me nervous. I was grateful my two tech mentors, and for my team’s culture of helping each other. Also luckily for me, we were working on a brand new API, which cut down on the amount of existing code to get familiar with. With our project being so young, the growth was tangible. I was only with BNZ Digital for 3 months, but in that time I saw the project progress from early stages into being close to complete, and I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of that. I also feel oddly attached — I’ve asked for updates about its progress, and already know I’m going to feel excited and proud when it gets released!

I’m back at university now, but my team and the work I was doing with BNZ Digital still crosses my mind often. I’ll hear a song and think about how I’d love to share it with everyone on Music Fridays, or find a great lunch place and I want to suggest to my team for Burger Wednesdays. I’m going to remember working for BNZ Digital for a long time. Maybe in couple of years’ time I’ll find myself excited on a Sunday night, preparing for another first day at BNZ Digital. Here’s hoping it’s earthquake-free!

Dill

My name is Dillshini (known as Dill). I am Kiwi with a Sri Lankan heritage, 20 years young and was born and bred in Wellington, NZ.

When looking for an internship that would fulfil the practical requirement of my degree, I sought work experience and challenge at BNZ that closely aligned with my specialisation as well as my commerce majors; hence analytics proving customer insights was the way to go. With the greater understanding of analytics during my BNZ internship, I was able to produce customer insights that will allow the bank to better understand it’s customer’s needs, which can then be used to drive business decisions and customer solutions.

Starting at BNZ, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know whether I would be thrown into the deep end or would be guided the whole way through to get my bearings. However, the way my peers supported me through this internship allowed me to grow professionally and personally. In three months, I  can say I’ve achieved more than I initially thought I would.

Achievements that have stemmed from this internship alone:

I admire how BNZ Digital team sees the importance in analytics and uses it to assess if new digital tools would be successful when implemented. Being an intern with the SoT programme is definitely an experience that I will cherish and from only a short time here, I have learnt a wealth of knowledge. The work culture, work opportunities and the people at BNZ made coming to work fun and exciting each day.★

Penny Goodwin

Penny Goodwin
Business analyst & lover of books. At any one time you can find her running a retro, working on stories or distracting the team with her out of tune singing.

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The views expressed above are those of the author and do not purport to represent the views of BNZ. BNZ does not accept any liability for any loss or damage that may result from this publication. More information here.