It’s been a few weeks now since I started as a project management trainee at Exove and I’m starting to learn the ropes. Hence it might be suitable to share a few words about the application process and the experience thus far, especially since I’m the only non-developer trainee and might have a slightly different perspective.
Finding challenging and exciting work in your own field, with mostly theoretical knowledge from your studies, can be difficult. When I saw Exove’s ad for the trainee program I jumped at the chance. It seemed exactly what I had been looking for and with a wealth of information already present in the application documents I had a pretty good idea of what I was applying for. This picture was further clarified throughout the application process with the first round of interviews containing a written test, and the second round being more about personal goals and presenting Exove’s way of doing business. As the process moved along the more certain I got that Exove was a company I want to work for and a the job something I would enjoy.
My first days here at Exove were quite hectic. With many meetings with many different customers, while at the same time trying to get a hang of how the web development process actually works in practice, it was a bit overwhelming. There’s a culture at Exove of always trying to help people develop their skills and abilities by giving them shoes just a bit too large. These are of course figurative shoes and actually means giving people tasks that are just a bit outside their comfort zone. While it for an instant might have felt like I was thrown into the deep end there was, and still is, always plenty of support available as long as I was willing to ask. I see this happening not only for the trainees but for long-time employees as well. After a few days it eased up a lot as soon as I got a better understanding of what we are doing and why.
While I was half-expecting it to be very challenging in the beginning the constant availability of someone to answer questions, even obvious questions, has shortened the learning process considerably. I’m by no means an expert on agile project management or any of our technologies yet but I’m a lot farther compared to where I was a month ago. The open and welcoming culture at Exove was a positive surprise, even though some of it could be seen in the interview process. Every one seem to be good friends and have fun at work while the job at hand still gets done at a very brisk pace. I think this is due to the open company culture, encouraging people to communicate, ask for help, help others, and the fact that people really enjoy their what they do.
Starting off at a fast pace means I already have a couple of smaller projects I run mostly on my own but my mentor is available for guidance when I’m not sure about something. On top of these are a couple bigger ones that are still being co-managed at this point. I’m not being thrown head first into the deep end so-to-speak. I do prefer this style of working and think it’s a very effective way of learning. Following someone else from the sides for a while but then quite quickly transitioning to doing it yourself with support available if and when necessary.
Doing project management in practice is definitely different compared to reading about the theoretical framework behind it and discussing various academic articles in class. I do however think they will complement each other nicely and I already feel more motivated than ever to finish my degree. With more training sessions for all the different competence areas coming up every other week I can only imagine the knowledge I’ll have in a few months time when the trainee program ends. For now though, I’ll focus on learning as much as possible as quickly as possible.
Wishing everyone a great summer!
Trainee – Project management