At Belgium Campus we recognise the importance of looking beyond the qualification, which is why we assist our students to find internships at top IT companies. This is made possible because of our longstanding relationship with a number of national and international companies in the field. These companies have hired our students in the past and are thus aware of the standard at which our students perform. It is also made possible because of our recruitment drives which allow our students to network with a number of industry experts, while at the same time receiving vital industry knowledge.
In honour of Women’s Month, we checked in with some of our final year female students currently doing their internships at the following companies: Dot Slash, Siemens and Symbiotics. They share a bit about the companies, their experience so far, as well as what being a woman in IT means to them.
Eldané Ferreira knew she wanted to become a software engineer the day she programmed her first application. “Creating something from nothing is such a satisfying achievement,” she says. She is currently doing her internship at Dot Slash, a software house and digital agency that specialises in mobile applications, web development and UX design. “My experience so far has been very educational. I have been given the opportunity to work with a whole bunch of different technologies on various projects. I was immediately welcomed as part of the team and I am very grateful for the opportunity,” she shares.
Ms. Ferreira believes that although the IT field is still male-dominated, women finally have a voice and are being recognised for the work that they do. “The IT industry has evolved immensely when it comes to gender equality. Female developers are being taken seriously in the field,” she comments. Post-graduation, Ms. Ferreira sees herself in a leadership role that allows her to make a difference in the field while also being able to do what she loves, solve challenges every day.
Magaret Keitshokile Molefe envisions herself as a data scientist owning a company that develops innovative technological solutions in the field of biology. “I want to have my very own laboratory, health and beauty centre and private hospital,” she says.
When she arrived at Belgium Campus she didn’t know very much about computers or IT. “All I knew was Microsoft Word and I was trying to figure out Microsoft PowerPoint. Programming was very foreign to me, it was a constant battle I had to overcome,” she shares. Ms. Molefe was able to overcome her challenges with programming, so much so that she is now hired as a developer for her internship!
Ms. Molefe is currently doing her internship at Symbiotics, a company focused on custom software development, mobile app development and hosting and cloud enablement. “I am enjoying learning new programming material and tools, every day since I started I learn something new, angular is very big and there are things I come across frequently that just knock me off my feet. There is no better feeling than seeing your code run, it is like magic and it makes you feel like the best programmer in the word,” she shares.
Charné Jordaan is currently doing her internship at Siemens in Belgium. Siemens, is a global powerhouse which focusses on automation, digitization and electrification. “I am happy at Siemens, the work environment is nice and my co-workers are always happy to help. The work itself is also enjoyable, I am always doing something different,” she shares.
In addition to enjoying her work environment, Ms. Jordaan is also enjoying being in a different country, although it has come with some challenges. “In the beginning it took a bit of getting used to, especially taking the train to work. The perk for me is that I have international experience at a huge company. I also get to experience a different country which has forced me to become independent,” she says.
Ms. Jordaan is also taking advantage of the experience by trying a few things that Belgium is known for. “I’ve had Belgian fries and waffles, and although Belgium is known for its beer, I’ve yet to have any,” she comments. She also took a trip to the Netherlands because of its close proximity but ironically she went to the Netherlands in search of a piece of home. “They have a South African shop so I had to go!” she shares.
Ms. Jordaan is struggling to decide whether to stay in South Africa for a year or two after graduation before moving back overseas, or whether to return to Belgium immediately. We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t mind grappling with this dilemma.