My Summer Internship Experience


In 2017, I spent nine weeks of my summer interning as a software engineer at a successful cloud solutions company. I’d love to take five minutes of your time to explain what it was like and why you should consider it.

Getting the placement

In the second semester of my second year, I decided I want to stay on at University for a fourth year. I was previously applying for a year-long placement but I changed my mind and started looking for summer internships.

I spent several evenings searching for summer placements which sounded relevant for me. I wanted a fairly short one, preferably in the north of England where I could work on projects I liked the sound of.

I found FinancialForce in a university careers email, and I applied not long after.

The interview process took a few weeks. There was an initial application with a CV and cover letter, followed by a telephone interview, and then a more technical video interview. I got the phone call while revising for exams offering me the placement - such a relief off my mind.

Week 1, Arrival in Harrogate

I turned up on the first day in smart casual wear in advance of the arranged time. We were scheduled to meet for induction around 10:00am, so I made sure I was there for 09:30am. I didn’t wait inside, just took some time to sit down in the close vicinity.

It was my first proper employment, so I was a little nervous understandably.

The induction was lovely and friendly - I had nothing to worry about. We got started on our MacBook’s straight away and had meetings with project managers.

By the end of the day, another intern and I were looking at tutorials for Apex, a language used on the cloud platform

For the rest of the week, we had meetings and tutorials. It was a nice ease into what was to come.

Weeks 2–3

We were finally getting started. We worked on a small component project using the lightning component framework. There was plenty of guidance and feedback from our mentor for the project. By the end of the week, we’d made plenty of progress and created several components composed together.

Weeks 4–5

In the fourth week, we went on to another project where we got stuck in with some server-side processes. It was quite a steep learning curve, but what we learnt about testing and software design patterns was invaluable.

During the sprint review in the fifth week, the innovation team’s presentation really caught my attention. I thought to myself “that’s really something I’d like to work on” - so I went ahead and asked my manager what she could do. Within the hour, I was organised to work in innovation for a week.

Weeks 6–9

I was able to work on some JavaScript projects, a language I really like and which I believe really benefitted me. Web technologies really interest me, and I love the community around the JavaScript language - just look at NPM!

It is definitely worth an ask if there is something you want to change on a placement - the worst they can do is say no.


Overall, I’m really glad that I completed this placement. Really glad. I have learnt so much in those nine weeks alone. I absolutely intend on getting a placement next summer, and I’m even considering taking a year placement still.

I also wish to express my thanks to FinancialForce for the brilliant nine weeks, and send them my best wishes.