As we near our 5th birthday, Hable is trying some new things. This summer we hired an intern on a 10 week placement for the first time, through the scheme ran by Santander and the University of Oxford. Although we hired Tof as a software development intern, we got a lot more than we bargained for and feel very lucky to have found her. Here is her story, in her own words…
“In software engineering, we have an architecture design guideline called the Law of Demeter, often illustrated by the example of taking a dog for a walk. When walking a dog, we don’t tell it how to move its legs, we just prompt it to walk and the dog will take care of this action in the best way possible for its current state. During education and most internships, we are told exactly how to “move our legs” – the exact steps to take to reach a goal. However, in Hable, I often find myself in the latter situation – given a problem, rather than a solution to follow, where the exact steps are left to the solver to find, with help along the way where needed. Though this approach may feel strange and frightening to an intern, it makes the exploration and journey evermore exciting and finding the result more rewarding. Most of all, it allowed me to do what most mathematicians like myself do best: solve problems.
Before solving a problem, one must learn about their current situation. That’s what I spent my first couple weeks at Hable doing: learning about what they do and how their virtual business worked. I have to admit, as much as I was excited about my first summer internship, I feared being catapulted into a massive project and messing it up completely, but instead, I was thrown into a warm welcome (otherwise known as the costa coffee large hot chocolate with vanilla syrup, marshmallows and lots of cream. Not a bad first day, eh?) As I learnt more about the company and its characters through team calls and day’s with clients, I found myself settling in as if I had always been present, seeing the small nuances that make Hable who it is. When I received the brief for one of my main tasks to build an app to help Hable work better, I knew exactly what to do.
I had two main assignments while in Hable. The first of such was to design and create an app to allow On-Site workers to take note of suggestions for training opportunities inspired by queries, anecdotes of the office experience and problems that they could not fix. The second was to test an app that the company had recently made, called Review365, both manually and through automated testing. Whilst completing both tasks, I continued to go On-Site, where each day taught me something different. From the simplest change in posture that allowed me to be more engaged in the meeting, to mastering the art of persuasion by motivating and helping people to change the way they work, all of my endeavours helped me to develop an array of interpersonal and technical skills that I will carry with me throughout my career.
One thing I’ll never forget about Hable is their dedication to putting people first. This core belief shone through various areas of the business, from the delivery workers striving to elevate the way people work to the manner in which assignments were allocated across the business. During my internship, I was frequently asked what I wanted to do, what skills I wanted to develop and take away, and what they could do to help me achieve this. While it was an amazing opportunity to be able to choose these things, the choice forces you to think about what you really want so you can be decisive. As the competition for undergraduate internships arises alongside the level of uncertainty in one’s future career path, it’s easy to give a very open answer and say, “I’ll do anything!”, but being able to identify your interests and passions is a really important skill. For these reasons, continuous self-reflection and active search for feedback are important practices at Hable and will now become regular exercises for me as I continue my journey.”
Tofunmi Adigun-Hameed. 2nd Year Student (Maths & Computing) at University of Oxford.
Same time next year?