What I Look For In An Intern: Anubhav Misra

What I Look For In An Intern: Anubhav Misra

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Anubhav Misra is an Android junkie, movie buff, pianist and a vocalist in a band. He is also the Founder and Managing Director at Empeiria, an IT firm in India that works with global enterprises, startups and marketers to build and deliver quality software solutions. Empeiria has worked with teams delivering software for clients like Virgin Media, Goldman Sachs, AT&T, Barclays and many more since its inception, 3 years ago.

A large chunk of Empeiria’s initial workforce consisted of virtual interns, students who worked on internship projects simultaneously with college. We asked Anubhav what are some of the essential skills he looks for in interns. Here’s what he has to say… 

“When I hire for my company, be it an intern or a full-time employee, I look for two different skill sets – technical skills and soft skills. As the IT industry is evolving and project management methods are changing, soft skills are becoming just as essential as technical skills.”

Let us look at the technical skills first –

  • This is elementary, but I’m still going to state it – a graduate degree in computer science or engineering is essential because it implies a thorough knowledge of computers. Not that everyone with a computer science or engineering degree understands computers, but I would still put this as a bare minimum requirement.
  • Knowledge of systems – It is essential that the candidate understands how computer systems work – both hardware and software, and the different components involved in both. This, is, what we in the IT industry call system design.
  • Programming – Knowledge of a few, or at least one, programming platform like LAMP, .NET, Java/J2EE and mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry etc. will give the candidate a significant upper edge over others. Know-how of new programming paradigms like Django, Ruby on Rails and Groovy also give a boost to the profile.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) practices like software testing, software test planning and test automation.

The essential soft skills I look out for are –

  • Eagerness to learn – You probably hear this very often from people in the industry, but it is a key requirement. If you’re bored and sick of your job, you’re not going to be any good at it.
  • Strong sense of logic – A lot of what we do is problem solving. To be able to do that, you need to be able to see through a big problem and break it down into smaller parts.
  • Good communication skills – This might sound like an oxymoron, but no one works in isolation anymore. It is essential for everyone to be able to communicate with the client, especially if you’re working with a startup.
  • Good team player – Since you are constantly reading up on new technologies and expanding your skill set, it is important to be able to manage your knowledge and share it well with your team.
  • Most importantly, you should be open to understanding new methods of software development. 

The biggest challenge students face when stepping into the professional world is bridging the gap between how they are taught and how the industry functions. Academics works on a perfect scenario basis, whereas in actual, nothing is ever perfect and you need to keep adapting. As long as you’re willing to bridge this gap, and have the above technical and soft skills mastered, you’re ready to ace it in the IT industry.

 

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