Taking Flight: The AirportLabs' Internship Interview

Horatiu Harau
September 20, 2023
Taking Flight: The AirportLabs' Internship Interview

The AirportLabs internship program stands as a resolute symbol of our unwavering social commitment. We allocate substantial resources because we firmly believe in offering the transformative power of a career kickstart to the individuals who are starting off. We are dedicated to nurturing talent, providing mentorship, and delivering hands-on training. By doing so, we do not just empower individuals; we ignite the flames of potential that can light up entire careers.

Following our Internship program, we interviewed our interns in person to find out the overall experience through their eyes and perspective. The interns that we interviewed were David Mike, Daniel Gulei, Ionuț Enache, and Andrei Pop.

They were delighted to be a part of this interview and their answers can express this. Some of the answers were similar or the same, therefore, we will not have four answers for each question that was addressed. Thus, to get the best stories, the following questions were addressed and answered:

(Q.) What did you like the most about this Internship?

(1st A.) "I enjoyed working on a real project and not on a mock or simulation. I honestly think that mock projects would not include the essence of a full-time role." (David)

(2nd A.) "I liked the structure of the internship and what I learned. We started with a two-week training on the Front-end (React) then a two-week training on the Back-end and then we started working on the actual project. I am also very happy about how the mentors helped and supported us but most importantly what they taught us. Overall, everything was on point and very well organised." (Daniel)

(Q.) What were the biggest challenges that you faced during the program? How did you handle those?

(1st A.) "My biggest challenges were to work amongst the others, to write the code, and to have it analyzed made me learn a lot." (Ionuț)

(2nd A.) "In my case, the information quantity was a big challenge because this was a Full-stack Internship. As I come from a different background and am trying to transition to IT, this was a challenging experience for me. The workflow was too dynamic for what I am usually used to. My coding experience was not that developed and I only knew the basics when I started." (Andrei)

(Q.) Can you tell us about a specific project or task that you worked on during the internship? What was your contribution and what was the outcome?

(1st A.) "We undertook the ambitious task of streamlining the breaks management system for ground handling. Then to deal with all the ramifications of this system. My first ticket was to make sure and implement this modification to reflect in the UI on a timeline. Basically, stop using the previous breaks system and start using the new ones. Therefore, I was successful with my contribution." (Daniel)

(2nd A.) "The first task was the most important for me because I had to do modifications on both, the Front and Back-end. I contributed with a clean code and the outcome was a success." (David)

(3rd A.) "I did a drop-down button. Basically creating a button that once you click on it, you can see the menu and each item of the menu to open a new window for you. Also, I solved a bug while I was doing testing." (Andrei)

(Q.) How did you handle your deadlines during the internship? Were there any tight deadlines?

(1st A.) "Each task had a deadline and I was always taking specific notes step by step and calculating my time efficiently so I could finish before the deadlines." (Ionuț)

(2nd A.) "We did not have any tight deadlines. The only time when I felt some sort of a tight deadline was during the training on the Back-end." (Daniel)

(Q.) Did you have the chance to work with a team, or did you work more individually? If so, what was the overall experience of working with your co-workers?

(1st A.) "We worked as a team with the mentees but we collaborated directly with the mentors when we had questions about the theory part or the tasks." (David)

(2nd A.) "I worked directly with the other interns and initially, we worked from the office in the beginning (first few days) where we could interact and discuss face to face. Then, during the period we changed to a remote setting and we had individual tasks. We did support each other when somebody had questions or doubts. I offered my help and I also received it when needed. It honestly felt truly welcoming from each mentee and mentor for the specific tasks. Even if we asked other coworkers for help, they were happy to provide it. In essence, it was a great teamwork experience." (Daniel)

(Q.) How would you describe a normal day from the internship?

(A.) "I wake up and make myself a coffee, we all need one :). Then I am checking to see if I received any updates on a ticket that I have or if anyone else said anything new on the internship channel. Around midday, we were having the daily meeting to see everyone’s status. Then the following hours were spent working on a specific ticket, either to explore the code base or to conceptualize an implementation, or just take action. Afterward, I would just publish my changes and ask for a code review, and based on this I was catching up with the others." (Daniel)

(Q.) How did you feel about working directly with the AirportLabs products? What do you think about the impact that they make?

(1st A.) "I liked that we could work on tickets on a real app and the fact that the products are developed in-house is very impressive." (Andrei)

(2nd A.) "Working with the AirportLabs products made me feel that I’m doing something important with a real impact; because one of the clients is Dubai Airports for instance. I believe that the impact is huge since the products are used in so many airports and countries. Also, the fact that the area of expertise is aviation makes it highly important." (Ionuț)

(3rd A.) "I always wanted to work on a real project with real products in a team. It helped me understand the utility of the AirportLabs products. The effects are tangible with a real impact, for instance, we help the passengers to get to their destination or the Airports’ staff with their tasks. These effects are made by coding, in my case, and it makes me feel proud that I can assist in that sense." (Daniel)

(Q.) How did you adapt to the AirportLabs culture and work environment during your internship?

(1st A.) "I honestly adapted very well and got integrated quickly, really enjoyed working with the team and everything was great!" (Ionuț)

(2nd A.) "I could understand the soft skills presented in the company’s culture by working directly with the mentors." (Andrei)

(Q.) Did you have the opportunity to learn new things or to develop new skills during the program? If so, what specifically?

(1st A.) "I learned new things about Front-end and Back-end in both months from theory but also from practice. A new skill developed worth mentioning was React." (David)

(2nd A.) "I can honestly admit that when it comes to the technical area, I have learned more in this 2 months Internship than I did in an entire University semester of Full-stack. Moreover, I feel that I developed my soft skills as I came out of my comfort zone when it comes to teamwork and communication skills. I can easily express my point of view and discuss my opinion now." (Daniel)

(Q.) How do you see yourself evolving in a Software-based career?

(1st A.) "This internship was a big step for me as I learned new things and I also understood how a team can work together to achieve the best outcome." (David)

(2nd A.) "The fact that I worked on a real project with a big impact made me feel that something that I was doing before as a hobby or studying at University could have bigger results than I had imagined. I used to have big goals before the program, but now I realize that I can set up even bigger goals in my career." (Daniel)

(3rd A.) "I evolved a lot thanks to my co-interns, but also thanks to the learning materials and training by AirportLabs. I feel that I evolved during this program for two months more than I would evolve in a whole year." (Ionuț)

(Q.) What are the lessons or experiences that you learned while taking the internship?

(1st A.) "I learned to communicate efficiently and collaborate with the team. I also learned how to adapt to a big team." (Ionuț)

(2nd A.) "A lesson would be that if I work constantly and efficiently I can have a great outcome. If I fragment my process, the outcome would not be as great. The key is to practice and be constant." (Andrei)

The AirportLabs internship was a profound journey of growth and discovery for these exceptional interns. They seized real opportunities, diving into genuine projects that enriched their skills and understanding of the software industry. The structured approach to learning, complete with training and mentorship, ensured they thrived.  

Challenges were met with determination and a thirst for knowledge. Information overload, tight deadlines, and complex tasks were conquered through collaboration and mentor support. The interns embraced teamwork, recognizing that it leads to exceptional results.  Their experience at AirportLabs not only taught them technical skills but also the importance of a supportive work culture.

They leave this internship with newfound abilities, a deeper understanding of their career paths, and the confidence to set ambitious goals. A part of the interns continued to work as Full-stack developers for AirportLabs.  These interns are now equipped to make a lasting impact in the software industry, armed with the knowledge that hard work, teamwork, and a growth mindset can overcome any challenge.