We sat down with Anna, who just finished her ten week internship in Tallinn, to talk about her experience and why students should try out for an internship in FinTech.
Please introduce yourself – what are you studying, where and what team you joined at Wise?
I’m Anna and I’m studying Computer Science at the University of Tartu. At Wise I joined the Finance BI team in Tallinn as an engineering intern.
Describe your average working day
I think it’s difficult to describe an average working day since depending on the task at hand the days can be quite different. Usually I first catch up on any important information on Slack or email and check my calendar for any meetings that day. After that I start working on the next steps in my project, whether it be investigating or writing code and testing. And of course there’s always some debugging needed somewhere – I’ve definitely encountered some weird issues during my internship.
Why did you choose to come to Wise?
I wanted to get the experience of working in a tech company before graduating from university, so I applied for internships in different companies in Estonia, but Wise really stood out to me as an environment where I would like to work, so when I received the offer then I knew immediately that this is the place I want to come to for my internship.
What do you enjoy most about your role and the apprenticeship? Are there any highlights?
When I first started the internship then I didn’t really believe that interns would be given very much responsibility, we are interns after all and for most of us it was our first experience of working in a place like this – but turns out I was so wrong! So I’d have to say that one of the things I enjoyed most was having my own project that I worked on which had a real impact for my team. Also the environment in Wise is great – everyone has been super friendly and helpful.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far while studying or working?
Probably one of the biggest challenges has been finding the right work/life balance, especially when it comes to working or studying remotely, which I think most of us have had to do quite a lot of lately. I think that I definitely stress a bit too much about being perfect and often feeling like I maybe haven’t achieved as much as I could have, but of course it is also important to find time to rest and switch off for a while from time to time to then be able to be productive again.
How would you encourage someone who’s on the fence about pursuing an internship in FinTech?
I think maybe people feel like you have to be super knowledgeable when it comes to finance topics, but I feel like especially in a quite a sizeable company such as Wise there are so many different roles and tasks that vary in how much they are directly involved with financial topics that I think there’s something for everyone. And at the end of the day, what do you really have to lose? Worst case scenario is that you gain some experience and figure out that maybe working in a fintech company isn’t the best choice for you.
How do you feel doing an internship before a full time graduate role helped you prepare for the world of work?
I feel like you never get the full idea of what working at a company like this is like from university, especially if your degree is more theoretical. I think as well as getting work experience I also now have a better idea of what skills I still need to improve and what I wish to study and work with in the future.
What’s the most valuable things you’ve learned during your internship and how are you going to apply your learnings to finishing your studies or your future career?
I think one of the most important things has been realising that it’s okay to not yet know everything and to ask for help or clarification – I think especially as an intern or student it’s easy to feel like everyone more experienced will judge you for your mistakes or lack of knowledge, but in reality no one knows everything and they were probably once in your shoes as well.