How a cancelled regatta led to an unexpected internship

When nanobiology master’s student Ingmar Visser discovered an affinity for programming, she decided to explore something new through an internship.

Ingmar Visser: “I was looking for something very different from my studies.” (Photo: Easy LMS)

“I did a bachelor’s in nanobiology and then in September 2020 I started a master’s programme, also in nanobiology. During my bachelor’s, I did a minor in computer science so I got to do programming, which was all in Python. I realised that I really like programming because those courses were the most fun to me.

I also row and was thinking about participating in an international regatta last summer but it was cancelled. Then I had a whole summer free with no plans. Jeroen Guldemond, who is the CEO of Easy LMS, also previously rowed and coached for a long time at D.S.R. Proteus-Eretes so I had already heard a lot about the company. Even though I didn’t have any web development experience, there was a summer internship there and I applied. I knew someone else who had done an internship there and it sounded like a good opportunity.

When I started, I was put on a team and I was lucky that the people were really nice and wanted to help me. The goal was really just to learn a lot and that was cool because I knew nothing. Since I was completely new to it, I just started with the small stuff. Sometimes it was about getting to know a new programming language or I would work on the technical backend stuff, not the code itself but all the surrounding things related to how the systems work together.

So I learned a lot about programming, but I also learned that I have to ask a lot of questions, more than I’m used to. I usually want to figure things out myself and can get stuck on things. So that was quite a nice journey, to figure out when I should ask a question and when not and that was a lesson that has stuck with me.

At the end of the summer, they told me that they thought I was a nice addition to the team and they offered me a part time position to stay on as a developer. It’s really nice because I can come in when I have time and that makes it really easy to combine it with everything else that I do. At the moment I don’t have that many courses but I still have another year for my master’s. Right now, I work about two days a week in addition to my studies and I really enjoy it.

‘It doesn’t really matter if you already know stuff’

What is very ingrained in this company is learning. It doesn’t really matter if you already know stuff. From any experience level you can start here and become a developer or be a better developer than you already are. And it’s a fun office to work in. Quite quickly, I felt part of the team. I know the company is looking for developers so maybe I will be able to help some new team members feel welcome in the near future.

I was looking for something very different from my studies and I found it. It’s definitely something I could see myself doing in the future, but for my master’s I still have to do an internship with a lab and one with a company. With those internships I want to try and experience something more related to nanobiology and see how I like that. I’m still exploring.”

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Heather Montague / Freelance writer

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