In 2014, Clientek, a custom software solution provider, hired two mobile app development interns through the SciTech Internship Program, both of which then stayed on as fulltime employees after graduation. This spring they posted a new position, looking to add a software development intern to the team. Craig Vosper, a Clientek Partner and Chief Delivery Officer, was on the hunt for someone with both curiosity and perseverance.
“One thing about technology is that it changes all the time,” Vosper said. “We need folks interested and willing to look at a new technology, or even go back to an old technology. So curiosity is huge, because if you’re willing to go learn something new, we can use that.”
After interviewing Mustafa Hussein, a computer information systems major from St. Cloud State University, their decision was clear.
“We got off our call with Mustafa and were like, ‘yep, he’s one of us. We need to bring him in.’ It was more about his experiences and we knew we needed a guy like that.” Vosper recalled.
Shadowing and mentorship
At the start of his internship, Hussein shadowed Associate Partner Scott Storlie before starting on his own projects. Storlie had some previous experience working with interns but this spring was his first time taking on the responsibilities of managing one.
“I’m trying to develop a way for the internship to be very rewarding for [Mustafa]. That’s our main focus,” Storlie said. “It’s my first time doing that, but it’s been really good so far. We’ve had a good time, crying together over problems but also celebrating great victories as well. I couldn’t ask for a better candidate.”
After learning the basics, Hussein took off, helping with a marketing project, seeing to data, troubleshooting problems as they arose and assisting the team with international documentation.
“He’s been able to do a lot of that review, make a little more sense out of it and make it clearer to American English-speaking individuals,” said Storlie. “It’s been good to have another set of eyes on documentation as well, to make sure our deliverables are solid for our clients.”
When talking and tech go hand-in-hand
Now further along in his internship, Hussein’s responsibilities have grown, as has his knowledge about the business side of IT. With more interactions with Clientek’s clients, his soft skills have improved as well.
“The technology is actually the easy part,” Vosper explained. “The real key to being successful is your ability to communicate, set expectations and then meet them,” especially when working with clients.
With so much exposure, Hussein gained far more experience through this internship than he was expecting, and that suited him fine.
“I never leave a day here without learning something new,” Hussein said, “which is great and exactly what I was looking for.