Meet Naqash, a full-time software engineer in Next Jump’s UK office. In this guest blog post, Naqash reflects on his previous internship experience at Next Jump and how it helped him grow professionally and personally.
Having studied Computer Science at Warwick, the next step was to apply to a bank because that’s what you’re meant to do, right? Luckily, I met Tarun (Co-Managing Director of Next Jump) at the Warwick careers fair. We spoke for half an hour about Next Jump, not only on their e-commerce platform but also on their unique culture: helping their employees and the world. What Tarun described was completely different from what I had heard at every other stall at the careers fair.
I submitted my CV, and the next day I had a phone interview with an engineer at Next Jump. After completing an online programming test, I was invited to Super Saturday. All candidates attend this day, along with the entire Next Jump family. You get to meet the whole team and they get to know you. It was one of the most stressful but enjoyable days of my life, but the Next Jump team always made me feel welcome, even when they were pushing me to be my best. The following week, I received a phone call to confirm my internship offer!
The engineering internship at Next Jump was a great experience and really opened my eyes. From the first day, I was trusted with a huge amount of responsibility and ownership, delving into projects that impacted the business and allowed me to upgrade my technical knowledge. After working on on smaller projects, I helped build one of the largest and newest products at Next Jump. This responsibility thankfully came with a lot of coaching, both personally and professionally, to support me whenever I struggled with anything. During my time, I mostly worked on full stack web development using PHP on the front-end and Golang for our back-end service layer. There was also the opportunity to work with cool new technologies like Memcache and Redis to speed up page loading times by caching query results, and Solr to index large amounts of data for faster search results.
A personal highlight was traveling to New York for Next Jump’s annual summer event. Twice every year, all of the satellite offices (London, Boston, and San Francisco) fly to the New York HQ for a week. I got to meet the other Next Jumpers I work with daily across the pond, go to an awesome summer camp packed with activities (I was in the winning rounders team!) and attend the annual Avengers ceremony. The ceremony recognises the employees who exemplify the “Better Me + Better You = Better Us” culture at Next Jump, the person who goes out of their way to help others succeed.
It’s hard to list out all the ways in which Next Jump has been one of the most life changing experiences for me. Not only have I grown technically, but also personally. Something that I have always struggled with is public speaking; standing in front of an audience has always terrified me. I have almost failed individual/group project presentations because I have been unable to speak in front of the judges and viewers. Next Jump helped me overcome one of my biggest fears by allowing me to practice public speaking in front of a small group through Toastmasters. In this initiative, participants are assigned a random topic on the spot and must speak about it for 60 seconds. I remembered the first time I went up, I stood on the stage for over a minute without uttering a single word, and then sat back down. Overtime, however, I improved, thanks to everyone’s feedback and support. When I went back to university, I got the highest mark for the masters dissertation where I delivered an hour-long presentation demonstrating my product.
After my internship, I received a call from Tarun telling me that they’d like to have me come back as a full time employee. Two whole years and two internships later, I’m now working to improve the things I helped build as an intern.
Could this be you? Find out out more at www.nextjump.com.