We’ve just said goodbye to a group of university students who spent 10 weeks interning with us working across different teams in Gearset. Hear from them on what the intern programme was like, and what they got up to at Gearset during their time with us.
There were 9 of us in total working across marketing, engineering, and product, coming from a mix of different universities; from right here in Cambridge to as far as the University of Waterloo in Canada. As our internship has come to a close, we thought we’d have a final catchup to reflect on our time at Gearset and share our experiences!
What does the internship programme look like at Gearset?
The intern programme at Gearset involves 10 weeks working in your chosen area, whether that’s engineering, UX, or marketing. You’re able to take complete ownership of key projects, as well as picking up smaller tasks across the department, which is a great way of broadening your experience. What makes Gearset stand out is that the work delivered had a real, measurable impact on the business. It’s also really flexible - you can work at your own pace and steer your tasks in a direction that suits your interests.
What support do interns have at Gearset?
It’s a really well-thought-out system; you get assigned a buddy, a mentor, and a manager from day one. In your first week you’ll have daily chats with your manager, and this is a great time to ask questions about your work and the company in general. They’ll work with you to tailor your internship experience so you get the most out of it.
Your mentor is usually someone who has a lot of experience in the area your project focuses on. It’s nice to have another port-of-call in the same office as you — if you ever need help or don’t understand something they’re a good person to go to.
“My mentor focused on giving me tasks that are a good representation of industry level software engineering so I would get the most out of my time here.” — Locky
Gearset provides plenty of support outside of these key people. In marketing, the team is fairly small, and you get a lot of support from the marketing Slack channel. In engineering, you’re put into teams of around 4–7 people, so you can ask your team members or your team lead for help.
And then you have a buddy! Your buddy will work in a different department, so talking to them is a fun way of learning more about what other teams get up to.
“I had weekly catch ups with my buddy, we chatted about things like our hobbies, and even which type of potato is the best!” — Vysh
What’s office life like?
We worked from the Cambridge HQ, and the office is super friendly and relaxed. It’s really easy to just tap someone on the shoulder to ask them a question (or message them on Slack), and there really are no stupid questions! With everyone being so welcoming, it doesn’t take long to feel like you’re really a part of the team.
Slack is the main virtual space where everyone spends time. It means remote employees and those in the office all have a direct line of communication. It’s a really collaborative place to share work, ask for feedback and celebrate each others’ wins. It’s also very sociable - you’ll find yourself sharing pictures of your pets, debating about the best type of pie, or displaying your strong emoji game!
People often go outside to kick a football or throw a frisbee around after lunch, or on Cambridge’s more rainy days, you can find people playing chess or mario kart indoors.
Outside of work, what fun things have you been up to?
The People team organised our first intern social, where we played a friendly game of mini golf. It was a great way of getting to know the other interns and meeting some new people from other teams in the office. We’re lucky to all get along really well, and have spent a lot of time together after work and on weekends exploring Cambridge. Our internship also coincided with Gearset’s annual summer party, an afternoon of food, drink and activities in the sunshine.
Have you seen the impact you’ve made during the internship?
Yes! In marketing, we’ve contributed to both long and short-term projects, so sometimes the impact of your work is immediate, and other times you’ve got to wait to measure the results of your project. Either way, you know that the work is a valued part of the team’s strategy.
A big difference between Gearset and some other internships, is that all your tasks (big or small) are things that really need to be done. People are honest about how your work fits into the work of the wider team, and no-one is making up dummy tasks to keep you occupied!
Gearset’s feedback culture is great. Every piece of work is posted into the marketing Slack channel where everyone (including us, the interns, on our first day) has an equal opportunity to comment, review, and share their thoughts. You’re actively encouraged to contribute, and it doesn’t matter how long the other person has worked at Gearset, or how experienced they are - your opinion still matters!
In engineering, Gearset has a fairly quick release cycle so the changes you make usually only take about a day to get moved into the production version of the app. You’re treated like a proper employee so you work on features that have direct value to customers. Gearset’s incredible feedback culture means your code is always thoroughly reviewed, so you pick up on best practices and technical decision-making very quickly.
“You can pick up all kinds of work — everyone you work with is flexible and receptive to your specific interests so you can try anything and everything you’re curious about.” — Arthur
What would your advice be to other interns?
Relax, be yourself, and just have fun! Make the most of the opportunity, and think about what you want to get out of it, as well as what value you can provide to the company. Don’t be afraid to shape the internship to fit what you’re interested in. You’re given the opportunity to work on basically any part of the app, or any part of the team’s marketing strategy, so step out of your comfort zone and ask to be involved in as many different areas of work as you can so you get a taste for everything.
And forget about what you see on TV. No one is going to make you run around getting coffee - not at Gearset anyway! Ask questions, be curious, and just get involved!
Sound good? Apply to join the team!
All of the interns agreed that we can’t recommend Gearset enough! The internship challenged us every single day, but was equally as rewarding. If Gearset sounds like your kind of company, visit the careers page to see our current job openings, and check back at the end of 2023 for the summer 2024 internship opportunities!