Cristiana joined AscentCore through our Internship program last year and has since proven to be an amazing team member all-round. So much so that it almost seems to us that she’s been around for at least 4 years. We’re really proud of her and we can’t wait for you to read what she had to share with us through her story and how our Internship helped shape her career.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How does Cristiana usually spend her personal time?
I am a computer science engineer, I just graduated from Technical University of Cluj-Napoca last summer and now I am working as a junior software engineer.
After a day at the office, I usually go home to my part-time job, which is my dog, Luna. I never thought playing with the ball and buying treats would become a daily activity for me, but now I really enjoy doing these things.
In general, I consider myself a positive person who tries to find the good in every situation. I’m also quite ambitious and constantly strive to improve my skills, as I firmly believe that ‘staying the same means going backward.’
During my free time, I have a few regular activities that I enjoy, such as going to the gym, taking leisurely walks, hanging out with friends, and binge-watching TV shows. Some of my favorites are ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ Although I’m not an expert in the kitchen, I occasionally whip up some delicious pasta dishes.
I love long rides and I love to travel. Unfortunately, last year I was focused on getting my bachelor’s degree and finding a good job for me, so I didn’t have time for the summer holiday, but I will definitely catch up this year. I already have some interesting destinations in my mind.
You started at AscentCore through the internship program. What made you choose us and what appealed to you about the internship program?
I have an interesting story to share from my student days. As part of my summer practice, I had the opportunity to work at a different company. Although I enjoyed the job, I decided to focus on my studies and did not pursue a permanent position there. However, fate intervened when a former colleague of mine, who had since joined AscentCore, reached out to me with a job opportunity. Initially, I declined due to my academic commitments, but after completing my degree, he informed me about the company’s internship program. Intrigued and excited, I jumped at the opportunity and accepted the offer to join AscentCore.
Tell us about your proudest moment throughout the program.
Looking back at my internship, I can confidently say that my proudest moment was at the end of the program when my manager told me that I will finish the internship a little bit earlier because I have done a great job and I am ready to become a junior software engineer. It was a nice moment that really motivated me to continue with the hard work and dedication.
How was the transition from internship to working on a big project?
To be completely honest, transitioning to my new role has been quite challenging for me, as it is vastly different from my previous internship program. I am now part of a much larger team, working on a much bigger project, utilizing new frameworks and technologies that I was not familiar with before. Initially, I felt a bit nervous about this change, but fortunately, the new team has been incredibly welcoming and supportive, offering me invaluable guidance and assistance along the way.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I like to kick off my workday with a cup of coffee, as it gives me a chance to take a breather before diving into my tasks because as you know every good thing starts with a break. My first order of business is to check my emails and Slack channels, ensuring that I’m up-to-date on any important information or messages from my colleagues. After this, I begin tackling my tasks for the day. Generally, my schedule includes a daily meeting with the team, where we discuss our progress and coordinate our efforts.
As a junior software engineer, I’m fortunate to have a supportive mentor who provides guidance and advice to help me improve my skills. I collaborate with her closely on a regular basis, as she is always available to answer my questions and assist me in overcoming any challenges that I may encounter.
What emerging tech are you most optimistic about? Least? And why?
I’m really optimistic about AI and machine learning. Those technologies can totally change our lives and work in amazing ways. It is interesting how AI and machine learning are using smart algorithms that learn from data and can predict or decide things. They already have a big impact in industries like healthcare, transportation, and finance.
On the other hand, I’m not so optimistic about Deepfake technology because it has the power to create realistic but false videos or audio recordings, often used to spread misinformation or deceive people.
What’s the best piece of tech-related media you’ve read/watched/listened to?
I have recently begun watching a YouTube channel called ArajanCodes, which offers a variety of videos that provide explanations on topics such as Python, object-oriented programming (OOP), testing, databases, and many other interesting topics. Additionally, I have taken several Udemy courses by Mark Winterbottom in order to accomplish my specific objectives. I highly recommend this instructor as his courses have proven to be extremely valuable, featuring thorough explanations and excellent examples.
Which is your favorite AscentCore value and why?
I think all values are important, but my favorite is relationships. This is because I strongly believe that good relationships among employees can have a direct impact on the path to success. When colleagues have positive relationships with one another, it can result in higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and better teamwork. Overall, I believe that valuing and investing in relationships is a crucial component of achieving success in both personal and professional contexts.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your time here at AscentCore?
In my opinion, the most valuable lesson that I have learned working at AscentCore is that with the right people beside you, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I strongly believe that being a part of a supportive team and having a pleasant work environment can significantly enhance your work experience, leading to improved performance and increased productivity.
What’s next in your career journey? What skills are you looking forward to developing?
My primary goal for the upcoming year is to advance in my career from a junior software engineer to a software engineer. I have already begun working towards this objective with the guidance of my manager, and we have established quarterly goals to help me achieve my overarching ambition. While I am well aware that this journey will not be an easy one, I am confident that through diligent hard work, strong motivation, and being a part of the right team, I will be able to accomplish my ultimate aspiration.
Last but not least, what would you recommend to someone looking for an Internship program?
From my perspective, the most crucial factor to consider when looking for an internship is the opportunity to work with your preferred technologies, alongside a supportive team in a pleasant working environment, that will allow you to thrive professionally. Additionally, it is equally imperative to pursue a challenging internship that will push you beyond your comfort zone, fostering personal and professional growth.