Students' feedback on summer internship program 2008


NokiaAndrey Moiseenko, 2nd year student, Master in International Technology and Innovation Management Program

My summer internship took place at Maemo Software, Nokia Oyj Company. It is an open source department in Nokia, which develops Internet tablets based on Linux platform. Maemo Sofware uses open innovation model for business development and aims to bring value with open source software to Nokia.

I had a supervisor and a mentor. Most of the training was "on-the-job" training with deep involvement in company processes. I took several courses also. They were mostly in project management, but also about software development process techniques. I have been assessed at least weekly. My mentor contributed strongly to my personal and professional development, by giving advices and example from real life.

Purpose of the internship was to understand principles of work at Maemo Software and how I can contribute to company work as a project manager. Objectives were to learn and apply following areas: Software Development Project Management, Negotiations with Partners, Learning company processes, Recruiting, Planning, Documentation preparation, Management techniques learning and applying and related areas.

I have learned a lot about business life in big multinational IT company.

My role was a project manager in product development process. It combined both technical and managerial skills which I got from my previous experiences and also from MITIM program studies.

Most of the work was in "training-on-the-job" mode and I have participated in many activities Maemo Software has.

Planning of task, giving task to team members, estimation of deliveries (time and scope) and delivery dates, budget and resource planning were my everyday tasks.

Meetings of any kind were natural part of time I spent in company. For that good negotiation skills are mandatory. How to cooperate with different people, how to find compromise, how to facilitate to common work were very important skills I have applied during the work at Nokia.

Maemo Software at Nokia works on Linux platform for mobile devices and the applications for it.

Nokia combines both open source and proprietary code in its products and tries to utilize open-source community. Also Nokia contributes back to the community part of the applications which are developed at Nokia. There for concept of open innovation truly works here: idea's spin-offs are coming from the Nokia and spin-on's are coming back and used in the Maemo platform as part of the commercial product.

I have learned a lot during the time at Nokia. All the items from the question (interpersonal, leadership, teambuilding, project management, time management experience) were fully covered.

Especially I was impressed by internationalization of the company. It is truly multinational (may be with some Finnish flavor), innovative and there is a company spirit at Nokia.

I really enjoyed working with people of very diverse backgrounds.

I recommend Nokia as a company for an internship or even as a work place for future MITIM students.

Anna Bondareva, 2nd year student, Master in International Business Program

During the summer 2008 I had a unique opportunity to do an internship with Sun Microsystems, highly international company, headquartered in Santa Clara, California (part of the Silicon valley). Although the company is relatively young, founded in 1982, it has a broad network and operates more than in 100 countries worldwide. Since 1989 the company was trying to establish its business in Russia, et voilà, in 1993 the office of the Sun Microsystems Computer Company is opened in Moscow, 8-10 years later - in St. Petersburg. The most popular company's brands include: Java, Solaris, and SPARC. And I would mention OpenOffice as the most popular Sun's product among common users.

From the first day I was nicely surprised with the democratic and highly welcoming atmosphere in the company. I believe it was not the advantage of being a girl only, but a part of the corporate culture. The overall number of employees in St. Petersburg office exceeds 400 people (I guess), including at least 25 workers in the administrative & management department. Obviously, it was impossible to get to know everyone, but everyone was really helpful answering my questions. Yes, all the people were open-minded. And I was curious about everything: the company's products, business strategy, specific IT stuff, goals of the St. Petersburg division etc.

Me myself, I was placed at the University Relations & Strategic Department (I did not notice clear division by departments, but I think it is a right name for that one). In the beginning I was asked to do very routine, but importnant for the company, work: chart database about the equipment necessary to arrange the Sun Tech Days - a Worldwide Developer Conference and an annual event, hosted by Sun. After I asked for a more professional task and was given a responsibility to conduct a research on IT-societies in the RuNet - which sounds more interesting & diverse! This internship gave me a valuable chance to feel myself a real team member of one of the biggest companies in the world. I was treated mainly as a usual employee (except the salary, of course) and was allowed to attend all the inside meetings (presentations of the USA colleges, regular monitoring meeting etc.).

Minuses of the internship : unpaid & too short (1 month). Companies like L'Oreal employ students for several months. And, thus, can delegate them demanding and rewarding tasks such as working out a business model or a strategy for introducing a new product to the market, and check students' analytical skills, maturity, innovative spirit etc.

The level of tasks I did in Sun was quite simple for me and did not require any special academic or software knowledge (it might be ideal for the 1st/2nd year course students at bachelor degree). But still this internship is really beneficial for the people who are especially interested in IT (it is a good place for building your own network too!) and the way how a business strategy is implemented.

One more thing: whether because of summer or everyone who wants to work with Sun has to pass the test in humor, or it is a specific feature of IT guys, but the environment was very cheerful & joyful there! 

With a special respect to the great guys I worked with!