Women in IT: Four Cognizant Softvision Winterns Share Their Experiences

Participants listed confidence, encouragement and life lessons as key takeaways

In January 2020, Cognizant Softvision proudly hosted the first “Winternship” program at the Hudson Yards Studio in New York. In collaboration with WiTNY, Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York, the Winternship brought four young women to the Cognizant Softvision studio for an exciting, but busy three-week internship. 

The women, majoring in Computer Science at NYC-based universities, gained real-world experience and hands-on training from Cognizant Softvision experts, which culminated in the development of a mobile app for the Hudson Yards Studio. It was truly an experience to remember and the Winterns would agree! 

Aaliyah, Feizza, Hope, and Shariya, the inaugural Wintern class, reveal their thoughts on their experience.

Aaliyah
The three weeks I spent at Cognizant Softvision as an intern during the 2020 winter break has been the highlight of my year thus far, and working with these passionate, kind and multi-talented professionals made the experience even better. Our mentor, Alex, along with his team, went above and beyond their call of duty to ensure that we were comfortable and having fun while we concurrently experienced what it is really like to be working in the tech field. The technical skills that I gained during these weeks are astounding. Seeing what we were able to accomplish in three short weeks was completely mind-blowing. I came in with absolutely no prior knowledge about software development but at the end of my internship, we had a functioning mobile application supported on both Android and Apple devices.  

Besides the coding, one thing that would always stick with me is the Agile Framework that delivery enablement manager and Agile coach, Ruxandra taught us about on the first day and that we implemented throughout the entirety of the program. These skills will be instrumental in helping me to adapt to the workforce as I launch my career in technology.

I left this internship mentally stronger than I was when I came. Apart from the various technical skills that I developed in these three weeks, I can never forget the life lessons that were instilled in me here. I realized how I tend to doubt myself and my abilities. However, with the help of our amazing team, I also realized that moving forward I need to have a more “glass half full” mentality and think of everything as a learning experience while being confident in everything I do.

Feizza
Working at Cognizant Softvision broadened my understanding of the Computer Science field. Within only the first week, I learned so much about the process of software engineering, the implementation of the Scrum framework, and proper coding practices. By the end of the second week, my team and I were applying everything we learned, and the bigger picture became much more apparent. Initially, I chose to stay within my comfort zone and work on the front-end of our application. However, I took a risk and switched over to the back-end. 

Although at times it was difficult, with a lot of help and encouragement from my fantastic team members, I was able to finish all of my user stories. This Winternship has solidified my passion for computer science, and I am forever grateful to Cognizant Softvision for giving me this amazing opportunity.


Hope
During my three weeks at Cognizant Softvision, I learned both hard and soft skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Having never participated in an internship, I walked into Cognizant Softvision wide-eyed, anxious, and overwhelmed with impostor syndrome. Within the first week, my fears of being inept completely disappeared, and I felt comfortable as well as knowledgeable about my job as a Software Engineer. 

Under the mentorship of Alex Peta, I was able to understand and take away different technical skills, like the aspect of working on a team and how to organize one’s workflow. Under the help of my team members, as well as other various Cognizant Softvision members, I was able to understand how soft skills operated in the workplace. For instance, learning how to communicate with other co-workers when stumped on a problem or understanding the importance of participating in community meet-ups are just a couple of the skills that I will take with me forever.  

After my three weeks at my internship at Cognizant Softvision I felt confident in my job as a Software Engineer. I have successfully learned many skills that I will take with me forever in my work career. 

Shariya
Interning at Cognizant Softvision is an experience I will never forget. While working there I was exposed to different technical and non-technical skills that are imperative for someone who wants to be a software or digital engineer. While at Cognizant Softvision, I was exposed to different database tools, programming languages, and frameworks that allowed my teammates and I to create an app from scratch. Technologies such as Amazon Dynamodb, Node.js, React Native, Expo and Github, are just a few of the different tools I utilized during the internship. 

Besides the different technical skills, I learned what teamwork truly is. Being on a Scrum team taught me the importance of being able to communicate with your team members as well as the importance of having different opinions, and ideas on a team. Being a part of the Winternship at Cognizant Softvision has made me more confident to apply to other tech internships and opportunities. 

Cognizant Softvision looks forward to hosting more internship programs to help guide, nurture and teach the future women of IT.

For more information on the WiTNY Winternship program held at Cognizant Softvision’s Hudson Yards Studio, click here.

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