I'm back in Finland now since a couple of weeks and when I look back to the last 3 months at VNGRS in Istanbul I must say that it was an amazing experience and that I learned so much within only 3 month.
Last year I decided to do an exchange and I applied for the Erasmus Work Placement grant. I decided to go for a work placement rather then a University Exchange because I wanted to experience the work atmosphere of a different culture. After I was granted the Erasmus Work Placement grant I started looking for a nice company in Turkey that’s when I found VNGRS through LinkedIn. After I read about VNGRS and saw their short clips I was sure that this must be a nice place to work and I was right. When I applied to VNGRS I was required to do a small programming task. After I submitted the task I had the first suprising moment. I was amazed how detailed the analysis was which showed me that they put a lot of effort into it. Luckily I made it through the process and I was accepted as an intern!
When I arrived to Istanbul I started working directly the next day. At the end of my first day I immediately experienced what makes VNGRS so special. They directly asked me to join them out for dinner. It was really nice because I had the feeling that I was accepted immediately and that the people tried to integrate me. I'm not the most outgoing person and that the people were approaching me helped a lot, especially because I don't speak Turkish. Also, I really liked the social events which are really common in VNGRS, for example having lunch together every Thursday. I can say that I never felt alone!
But of course social life is not all that matters. Another main purpose of an internship is to learn as much as possible and that I did! I remember one of the sentences Serhat (my supervisor) told me during my first day. He said that he would like me to take over responsibility for some part of the product and that was exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to work on tasks which are not going to be used afterwards. I wanted to work on the product and I was directly allowed to do so. I was able to work with different programming languages and Amazon cloud services. I was allowed to work on different parts of the product and to bring in my own ideas. I was able to speak my mind and I was treated equally and not just like an intern. Also the atmosphere within our team was really great. If I ask people for help I got it. I was never left alone with my problems. Somebody always took the time to help me out if I didn't know what to do. I can say that after the three months they were not only my colleges, they also were friends.
When I look back now I must say that this experience changed me in a very positive way. I was amazed about the kindness of the people working at VNGRS but also about their skills. I expected a nice place to work and I found a great place! I improved my programming skills and it changed the way I think about software architecture. I still feel sad that I already had to leave after 3 months and I really miss it. For me, it was the first time in Turkey but after that experience it won't be the last time for sure!