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17

Feb

Graduate Bootcamp 2016

Graduate Bootcamp is my favourite work week of the whole year! This year was particularly exciting as it was our largest graduate intake, with 22 of New Zealand’s finest IT graduates joining the Yellow family. 

The week began in Wellington with a full day of Intergen 101 – starting with a business and strategy overview from Simon and Emma, right through catch-ups with each business unit. Just as everyone eased into the office environment, we boarded the bus and headed to Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre where the grads were immediately pushed outside of their comfort zones.

Step 1 – go to a remote location with no cell phone reception or wifi. Yep, that’s enough to push most of us out of our comfort zones right there!

Step 2 – split the grads into three teams: Cloud, Platform and Data.

Step 3 – assign “clients” to said teams (big thanks to Paddy Payne, Ian Cowan, Bryan Casey, Rachael Chetty & Priyanka Patel!) and then, just as soon as they are used to their “clients”, rotate teams, so they must learn how to communicate and perform to the expectation of new “clients”.

Step 4 – debrief after each challenge, continually pushing the ultimate goal of building great self-awareness, communication, leadership, time management, delegation, emotional resilience and problem solving.

Step 5 – add a dash of New Zealand’s finest unpredictable weather (yep, it bucketed down with rain!), a few tours on high ropes, the flying fox, navigating into the bush, crossing rivers, sleeping in tents…

And the final result…

We welcome back into the business an incredible group of graduates (grateful for mobile reception!), who fully understand and embrace Intergen’s core values and are ready for any challenge that is brought their way!

Adam Dackers

Studied: Otago Polytechnic

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

In five words my Bootcamp experience was a “fun experience, nice ice breaker”. I had an enjoyable time with an awesome group of Intergenites and really enjoyed competing against other teams over the course of three days.

While there I learnt there is actually such a thing as a stupid question (especially when it comes to mailboxes and the postman…).

A piece of advice for students moving into the workforce is it’s okay to not know everything – feel confident in your ability to say, “I don’t know, but I can research and follow up for you”.

Angelo Obus

Studied: Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill

Intergen Office Location: Christchurch

My Bootcamp experience summed up in five words is “inspiring, scary, fun, challenging, brilliant”.

Bootcamp was absolutely amazing. I mostly enjoyed the two-hour hike, but the other activities such as raft building, trapezing and the flying fox were extremely fun as well. It was great being a part of the whole shazzam. Learning was definitely key here and I’m pretty sure everyone who attended the Bootcamp has learnt a great deal.

I finished the Bootcamp knowing more about myself, my colleagues and Intergen as a company to work for.

Entering the full-time working world can be a scary prospect. What I’m looking forward to the most is producing solutions for clients within a professional team.

If you’re a student or thinking about being a student within the information technology area, just go for it! Learn, have fun, make memories!

Ashton Cranmer (Ash)

Studied: Otago University

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

Graduate Bootcamp was incredible and definitely isn’t for the faint hearted – it was a mixed pot of excitement, and nerves. If I could describe my Bootcamp experience in five words, it would be: “it’ll turn your blood yellow.”

The best part of Bootcamp was the competition between the three grad teams (Platform, Cloud and Data). The competition consisted of many physical and mental challenges, which had to be completed to gain points. The challenges were difficult, but a lot of fun. My favourite challenge was an individual challenge, where I had to climb a wobbly pole, stand on the top, jump, and try to grab a trapeze bar. Good fun!

The lesson I learned during Bootcamp was how to work with a team under various pressures, such as bad weather and physical exhaustion. I feel that we are now adequately prepared for any type of workplace environment, as well as anything clients throw at us – it definitely won’t be mud!

I am really looking forward to building upon the knowledge I obtained from university, as well as creating bonds with some of the most talented people in the industry. Intergen provides the best environment to find and develop your passions, and will always be your number one supporter.

If there was any advice I could give to students looking for a job in IT, it would be to show your passion for the field. Examples of passion may include; showing an interest in IT outside of university, i.e. completing your own project, or completing one for a client or friend; taking up an internship during the summer break, and most importantly, getting good grades. 

Ben Duke

Studied: University of Canterbury

Intergen Office Location: Christchurch

I would describe my Bootcamp week as my “best experience in a while”.

The food was my favourite part, but the team activities were fun as well. It was surprising how much I still have to learn. Working in a team makes impossible tasks possible and with the right coordination makes a task simpler. I also learnt that everyone has their own strong points.

Entering the working world full-time, I am most excited to learn more about the consulting industry and to get lots of new experiences.

My biggest pieces of advice for students looking for jobs in IT are:

  • learn to touch type – it will make life a lot easier and saves time
  • practice analytical skills as they are very important
  • but, above all else networking is king, a lot of opportunities are not public and only certain people will know they even exist!

Ben Hormann

Studied: Southern Institute of Technology

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

My Bootcamp week in five words: awesome, new friends, big leap.

I really enjoyed the Grad Bootcamp. It was a great opportunity to meet all the grads and make new friends.

The challenges were a good test of teamwork, skills and endurance. It was very rewarding when we were able to surmise a plan and execute it successfully. However we learnt more when things didn’t go to plan…

The high beam and trapeze were highlights of the trip.

Blair McClelland

Studied: Massey University

Intergen Office Location: Dunedin

My Bootcamp experience: “five words just aren’t enough”.

The Bootcamp experience was a great introduction to all the graduates and the Intergen culture; everyone I met was extremely friendly and helpful. I took the greatest joy from successfully completing a challenge, that our team had flunked the previous day, and from the flying fox. The biggest lesson I took away from Bootcamp was that learning your teammate’s strengths and weaknesses has a profound impact on how to approach a task and the outcomes.

In joining the working world I am most looking forward to working with a team that combines a range of skills into one smooth unit and further developing my knowledge to make a greater impact on projects.

Students, it’s not all about your coding ability; be sure to take time to personally develop through university. Join the Hong Kong Students Association, play futsal, or something else that catches your interest.

Chanh Lu

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Auckland

Describing my Bootcamp week in five words would be energetic, critical-thinking, teamwork, leadership and participation. I enjoyed the pork lunch and feeding the eels the most and the biggest surprise was wearing the wrong shoes for tramping!!

I am really looking forward to being put onto real project work when I enter the working world full-time and if I could give any advice to students looking to find IT jobs it would be to get part-time/internship in software development (in my case) during summer break.

Corey Sutton

Studied: University of Otago

Intergen Office Location: Dunedin

Unexpected, hilarious, enlightening, provoking, wet, would be the five words that describe my Bootcamp experience.

Bootcamp was amazing! The variety of experiences and activities were completely unexpected and I learnt so much about myself, Intergen and the people I get to work with in the future. It was a great way to induct us into Intergen and helped us to build connections throughout the offices in New Zealand.

My favourite part of Bootcamp would be walking the high beam with my team, where we encouraged each other to attempt tricks, such as walking backwards, pulling poses, and even completing the entire activity blindfolded.

I was surprised with the variety of activities and how effective they were at teaching Intergen’s values and improving some of the core skills the job requires.

The biggest lesson I learnt: always remember the client’s goals and don’t get carried away with irrelevant tasks.

I am really looking forward to meeting new people throughout the country and improving my skills when I join the office full-time. A tip for any IT students would be to focus hard on your studies but don’t forget to go out and talk to people and build your social skills. A strong network along with practical skills will take you far.

Daniel Anderson

Studied: University of Otago

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

Five words to describe the camp: exciting, challenging, daring, rainy, muddy.

The best thing about Bootcamp was meeting all the new grads. Everyone had their own story to tell and hearing where everyone came from and how they got to where they are excited me! We got put outside our comfort zone and I feel all of us excelled at different things we didn’t think we would be able to do.

My tips for people entering IT are: apply everywhere, never think you are not good enough for the job, work hard and if you really want it you can get it. Everything is within reach!

Katherine Raureti (Kat)

Studied: Victoria University

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

Bootcamp was insane and far exceeded all of my expectations. Our before and after Bootcamp photos perfectly illustrate the experience – from serious-looking newbies, to a big group of besties for life. Not only did Bootcamp facilitate the formation of great relationships with the other grads, it allowed us to get to know a handful of the senior staff on a personal level, which was a privilege, and certainly eased any anxieties heading into the office the following week.

In four days, I learnt so much about Intergen and the values that define the company. I also learnt a lot about myself in general, by stepping out of my comfort zone for the first time in years (who knew I could go 3.5 days without service and well over 24 hours without a shower?). Most importantly however, I learnt that Intergen is definitely the place I want to be!

After the introduction and welcoming we have received in to the company, I cannot wait to apply all that I have learnt at uni and Bootcamp in to my work, and do my part in contributing to the growth and success of this incredible company.

Linlin Wang

Studied: University of Otago

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

Bootcamp week was a blast; you get to meet some of the brightest and funniest people and challenge yourself by being stretched outside your comfort zone. My highlight of Bootcamp was seeing a group of strangers quickly gel as a whole team through laughter, banter and a lot of encouragement. The biggest lesson to take home was the importance of a positive attitude towards both work and our relationships.

This year I’m really looking forward to upskilling, applying my knowledge to projects and to continue refining my soft skills. A piece of advice that I’d give to future graduates would be to take advantage of the group projects available in order to gain valuable technical and soft skills.

Matt Ankerson

Studied: Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

My Bootcamp experience was fantastic! A thoroughly valuable learning experience.

At Bootcamp I enjoyed the raft building the most; by that stage our team had learned enough to function effectively and we successfully launched our raft with time to spare – and danced on it!

I was surprised by what our team was capable of achieving. Often we were given a task with very little time to complete it, and would immediately consider the task to be too complex and time consuming. However, after a number of challenges, we learned that with just a little planning and structured communication among the team (and to our clients) we could get the task done.

Entering the working world full-time, I am most excited about learning from the pros – both technical expertise and about what makes an IT business tick. I consider myself very passionate about learning and using technology to solve real problems for people.

To other students looking to find jobs in IT: hone your skills, they're very important; when choosing jobs to apply for, study the company's website, read about their values and culture and you'll have a good indicator of how well you'd fit; subsequently, be yourself at the interview. There's a good chance that your personality and attitude will be assessed with equal or greater rigour as your technical skills.

I'm excited to be joining Intergen as a Graduate Developer. Bootcamp was a whirlwind introduction to the awesome culture and some of the talented people I'll be working with.

Nelson Wu

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Auckland

In five words or less Bootcamp “stretches your stretch zone”.

One of my highlights from Bootcamp was doing a running jump off a ledge and feeling the rush of the wind and trees skim past me as I went into free-fall, on the flying fox. Oh and press-ups on a log 14 metres above the ground. The biggest lesson I learnt was, that when faced with challenges, always take some time aside to plan; this is essential to your success.

Joining the office full-time, I’m looking forward to working with new technologies and being around people that are just so passionate about what they do.

For IT students entering the workforce, show that you are passionate about IT, dig up that old project that you sank your heart and soul into and talk about it.

Pheng Taing

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Christchurch

Bootcamp was funtastic, intensive and required a lot of teamwork.

My team had great communication skills and teamwork. I really enjoyed making mistakes together, learning from those mistakes and supporting one another in challenges. My biggest lesson was the importance of teamwork and communication when approaching tasks and I am really looking forward to joining the friendly work culture at Intergen.

IT students, remember that grades and achievements are just one thing, and that the way you present yourself is key when looking for jobs. Focus on what you can bring to the team, especially your skills and attributes.

Ray Singer

Studied: University of Otago and Computer Power Plus

Intergen Office Location: Christchurch

Bootcamp is energising, enlightening, intense, limit-pushing and stimulating. It is called boot camp for a reason! Ex-army officer Sally Duxfield took us Intergen graduates through a program that tested us mentally and physically. Our team was thrown into high pressure situations that helped to hone our communication skills, while reinforcing Intergen's key values.

I really enjoyed how our team (DATA!) evolved and grew over our time at Bootcamp. We started off disorganised and therefore didn't provide a good experience for our 'clients'. By the end of camp our team was working really well, having heaps of fun while tackling the challenges head on.

I didn't have one single biggest lesson learnt. Instead much of the great advice from our clients and instructors will stay with me as I work in the Christchurch office. Many of these lessons revolve around communicating clearly with both the client and our team.

I am really looking forward to being part of the team I have dreamed of joining for so long and working with our team on interesting projects that push my limits, to allow me to improve and grow.

I would tell future IT graduates to work on your communication skills as much as your technical skills. You'll need to clearly and coherently communicate with internal and external clients on a daily basis.

Sam O’Connell (Samo)

Studied: University of Otago

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

Eels, Rain, Bonding, Competitive, Eye-Opening.

Bootcamp far exceeded my expectations. Upon meeting the other grads from all over the company, I quickly knew I was amongst an excited and passionate group of like-minded people. We were all nervous, but these feelings quickly subsided as the group bonding activities commenced and we got into the routine of the team activities. I enjoyed learning about the company and was reassured by the passion and excitement of the senior staff – they were just as excited to get to know us as we were to get to know them. My favourite activity ended up being the last of the outdoor activities my team completed during the series of challenges. It was a game of ‘Poisonous River,’ where the team needs to be able to cross the ‘river’ (a piece of land about the width of a tennis court) without touching the water (the ground), using only a few oil barrels and wooden planks. I had been the leader of the previous task, and by this point my confidence had risen enough for me to really be myself and try help with the coordination of this challenge. This boost in confidence, and having an awesome team of people around me, which I was comfortable with, made this task especially enjoyable. We also had a great night playing ‘Mafia’ (some may know it as werewolf) which was great fun. I surprised myself more than anyone as the team-building challenges forced me to come out of my shell early on (can usually take a while) and get on with the challenges we were given making me quickly realise when I was in fact wrong. Then to take this in and apply the lesson to the next challenge. The biggest lesson I learned is how crucially important it is to keep the client involved and happy, to achieve that ‘win-win’ scenario between Intergen and the Client.

I’m looking forward to meeting a great group of people at Intergen, getting into a routine, and realising all the opportunities that Intergen has to offer in regards to future development of myself as well as the development of the company as a whole. This is a very exciting atmosphere to be in – I’m stoked to be here!

I can’t stress enough to future IT grads, the importance of being yourself. Companies want to place you in the most suitable position and only have the interview process to understand who you are. Make sure you give them as clear a picture as possible and make sure they know what you expect back from them.

Sean Smyrke

Studied: University of Christchurch

Intergen Office Location: Christchurch

Bootcamp was awesome, exciting, tough, wet and a great bonding experience.

Bootcamp was awesome!!  On day one we were flown up to Wellington at 7 in the morning to meet up with all the other grads. I started with Intergen three months prior to Bootcamp but I was still feeling nervous to meet everyone and to make a good first impression with all the other graduates and the executives.

Shortly after we arrived in Wellington we headed off to the head office where the experience began. I was surprised to find that all the executive staff we met were very friendly and even quite funny; this took away all my stresses about making a good first impression.

We then hopped on a bus and went off to camp Makahika where we were met by an ex-military leader who was to be our camp master for the trip. She was an awesome lady and gave us a tough outdoor experience with many challenging but also very fun activities designed to push us, test our abilities and bond with our team mates. I really enjoyed getting to know all the graduates throughout the camp as we toughed out the experience together and I feel as if the experience gave me the opportunity to make many new friends.

I’m really excited to grow my network in the professional world and to work on exciting, high impact IT projects which benefit society.

I want to let students looking to find jobs in IT know to smile, be positive and be friendly! The people you can befriend are your most important assets. They will help you through your tough times and they are also vital in helping you get the skills you need to be successful in your role. Technical skills aren’t everything and even if you consider yourself a tech guru, you still have a lot to learn.

Simon de Vries

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Auckland

Bootcamp was definitely an exciting introduction to Intergen. It was a great opportunity for me to make new friends, learn about Intergen’s culture and prepare mentally for starting full-time work. I especially enjoyed the activities, not only for how fun they were but for how much I learnt. Some of the things I learnt include; how to communicate effectively with clients, teamwork skills and even how to build a sturdy raft! I was surprised by the high quality of Bootcamp, it goes to show that Intergen really cares about us graduates and that gives me confidence that I will continue to receive great support in the years to come.

I look forward to making software which will be used in the real world and will make a difference in people’s lives.

Anyone wanting to pursue a career in IT; don’t be afraid to try new things, even if it is not easy or comfortable. Take as many opportunities as you can and maximise upon them.

Soing Kim

Studied: Victoria University

Intergen Office Location: Wellington

TEAM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM! Bootcamp was the most intense, fun, learning experience!

It was so well set-up that you manage to learn a lot about the company and lessons for the workplace in a fun, high-pressured, engaging environment – all within a short amount of time. I enjoyed meeting everyone and getting to know my fellow grads and the company better. The food was aaaamazing! Sally and the Aunties did an awesome job making sure that we were well fed and watered. A highlight for me was going down the flying fox without my blindfold. I had lost my footing approaching the last steps and ended up zooming down the zip-line before I had a chance to put it on. At least I got to enjoy the view!

I am looking forward to seeing how the things I’ve learned from uni and Bootcamp apply to the real world. Also, I can’t wait to be more involved in the IT industry and working with the latest and greatest technology on the market.

Future IT grads; believe in what you’re doing and show people how much you love it. Whether it’s the subject area that you’re studying or some other activity, a genuine display of passion goes a long way. Also, do other activities other than just studying. It will give you experience and knowledge in other areas outside of your “study bubble”.

Victor Usoltsev

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Auckland

My Bootcamp experience in five words is “Team building, Exhausting, Challenging and Rewarding”.

I really enjoyed collaborating with my teammates to meet the client’s needs. I was surprised by how far I could push myself in terms of physical and mental limits. I am really looking forward to independence when working full time for Intergen and any grads out there thinking of a career in IT; be confident in your abilities!

Zara Baker

Studied: University of Auckland

Intergen Office Location: Auckland

Memorable, Muddy, Challenging, Itchy, High-Spirited.

The most enjoyable thing about Bootcamp was not having phone service. It’s surprising to say that, but without internet we all got to bond really well- by the end of it we felt like we had all known each other for many years. We have all gained friends that we will remember throughout our careers.

Bootcamp was a real eye opener for me, we were put in certain situations and realised our way of thinking isn’t necessarily the best way to do things. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and taking these strong traits from the people around us then trying to learn them for ourselves made us really appreciate what each other does and what we don’t know.

I’m looking forward to enhancing what I already know but more importantly to learn more about the new work I will be doing and learning the work that others will be doing. You never know when you’ll need a friend to help you out or if you decide to change career paths. I also will be looking forward to learning things and applying them in the real world, you don’t really get that experience out of university so it’s very exciting to know that your input will be part of real world solutions.

When I first started applying for jobs, I felt that it was hard for me to relate to a role and really see myself doing it. From my background, I did less computer science at uni than the regular computer science student so I never saw myself becoming a developer. I only realised that you don’t necessarily need to be an expert at university to become a developer in real life; you just need to show that you are someone who is willing to learn new things.

Also, as a woman in IT, it was really intimidating at first to get myself to apply for jobs. Once I got invited to the interview, that’s when I really started to panic, but after serious thinking (and a bit of crying) and talking to other women in IT, I gained some confidence in myself and that is what shone through at the interview. So for anyone (not just girls) who feels that they might not be good enough, just know that you are even if you’ve had a few tough exams or assignments – it shouldn’t define what you know!

Posted by: Sarah Meaney, Senior Learning & Development Advisor | 17 February 2016

Tags: Graduate Developer, Bootcamp


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