Meet the 2021 summer interns
Curious what it's like to be a summer intern in Equinor? Here's your answer!
"It was really exciting to be able to work on developing an actual product and using modern technologies and frameworks while doing it," William Ho says.
It’s always exciting when our summer interns arrive and 2021 was no exception! Now, they might have left the building, but we wanted to hear directly from them what they thought about their time in Equinor. So, we headed on out to find out!
Two of this year’s interns were Matias Vedeler and William Ho. They’ve been working on developing a webapp to allow geophysicists to analyze different variables in potential wells. Sounds quite specific, doesn’t it? It is - but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to influence how to do the work.
“We’ve done everything from scratch and had a lot of freedom on how to develop the web app, but we were never alone and could always ask for help when needed,” Matias explains.
Matias studies computer science at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. He and William were working with the Ceno team in Stavanger and took part in all their daily standups, meetings, gaming sessions (GeoGuessr anyone?) and everyday life.
“I’ve learned a lot during the internship, and the most interesting part has been being able to use different technologies and make them all work together in one project. It’s been challenging, but also a lot of fun and an experience I won’t forget.”
Matias Vedeler Cerda
Using all these different technologies together also meant learning and understanding them quickly, teammate William tells us.
“Being able to learn a lot in just a matter of weeks before applying those skills to develop a web app was really fun,” he says.
William studies Informatics at the University of Oslo, and explains that the Equinor environment he found himself in was not just a welcoming one - it was also very innovative.
“For me, it was really exciting to be able to work on developing an actual product and using modern technologies and frameworks while we were doing it. Putting in the work and then seeing the progress we made was really motivating.”
Building a sense of accomplishment
Another team of interns were tasked with developing the “Green App”, created by a team of NTNU “Experts in Teamwork” students. It’s an app to motivate people to live eco-friendly through friendly competition - think of it as a Strava for making sustainable choices.
The team of four had their work cut out for them and got to work on learning a bunch of new tech, from new programming languages to using Docker containers for fast and flexible deployment to cloud computing-platforms.
“Understanding the interaction between the frontend and backend have been just some of the things we’ve had to learn,” NTNU computer science student Benedicte Rimmereid explains.
“Solving all these problems was really motivating and the internship left me with a real sense of accomplishment. I’m really glad we got to work on an actual task and learn as much as we did."
They were a total of four interns working on the “Green App”, and everyone worked on both frontend and backend parts of the app. The reason was simple, they wanted to ensure that everyone had a good understanding of all the code, NTNU computer science student Therese Sigmundstad tells us.
“Experimenting with designs and figuring out how the frontend should work was really interesting. It was especially satisfying to do something on the frontend, since you see such immediate results."
“But I think I had the most fun building tables of users and activities on the backend. Solving a backend problem was just a little more satisfying,” she laughs.
Stay in the Loop
Tore Apeland Fossland had some earlier experience with creating apps, but on a much smaller scale.
“I really enjoy learning something new and figuring things out on my own, especially when there’s a challenge involved. Being able to dive into different tech, some of which I knew from before, and learn even more about them was definitely a highlight,” Tore says.
Naturally, they weren’t left entirely alone to their own devices and two mentors were ready to help when needed - or when another player was needed for Among Us or GeoGuessr.
Tore, a computer science student at NTNU, and the rest of the team also used Slack to ask questions to the rest of Equinor’s developers directly. They found that there was always help to be found in our developer community.
“I imagined that a big company as Equinor could be a little behind, but from what I can see that’s not the case at all. There’s an emphasis on staying up to date, working open source and learning, which made for a really educational internship."
Tore Apeland Fossland
Some of the features they finished developing were creating users, logging activities, view graphs and social feeds and more - as well as building the backend and frontend.
“Working with the front end was especially fun because you can see results right away. Using React component libraries made it easy to get something up and running quickly,” Elise Gulløy Müller says.
Our Equinor summer internship also featured talks and presentations for all interns across the company, but Equinor IT also held their own courses for our IT interns. Elise, a cybernetics and robotics student at NTNU, tells us that the internship was an excellent opportunity to learn.
"I didn’t have that much experience with writing code for applications, but that’s also the reason why I applied for an IT internship. Now, looking at the work I’ve been part of and everything I’ve learned is really exciting - I wanted to learn more and I really did!"
Elise Gulløy Müller
Equinor 2021 summer internship quick facts
Variety is the spice of the internship
An internship doesn’t just mean working on special projects or developing something brand new. It can also mean being part of one of our software developer teams and taking part in their everyday work.
“It was a very varied and applied internship, and you’ll get to use your skills no matter your background. It’s inspiring to know that the work I did is part of the ERT software. I really enjoyed being part of a team and getting a feel of what their work is like.”
She’s been part of the ERT team, where she’s been working on a tool that can help us create models of what a reservoir might look like. One of the highlights of her summer was working on implementing a sensitivity analysis algorithm.
Maren is a computer science student at NTNU and hadn’t worked with statistics for quite a while. This meant learning about the algorithm, reading papers and finding out how to best implement it.
“Another challenge was writing good tests for the algorithm. It’s not a deterministic algorithm, which makes it difficult to test because you’re not quite sure what you want as the output. But it was really interesting work,” Maren tells us.
Our 2021 summer interns came from 37 different universities.
Bridging a gap
Einar Haaland just finished his Bachelor’s in ICT at the University of Bergen and has spent the summer working on a JupyterLab extension for visual programming in Xún. The goal was to create a UI to bridge the gap for researchers and provide them with a visual coding option.
“It’s my first time working with any of it so it was a challenge, but the team were super helpful and always there if I needed anything,” Einar Haaland explains.
“Being part of a project with a set schedule where people have expectations of me and faith that I can do the work was very motivating. It helped me find a drive and motivation to work and learn more. It’s been an extremely educational internship.”
Working with a team of 5, he naturally took part in their daily life and meetings. That meant standups, but also pair programming with more experienced developers in the team.
“Because it’s quite an experimental project we’ve had to find our own way for a lot of the work. That meant combining technologies and languages, which made it really cool to see everything work and come to life in the end,” he adds.
Meet the 2020 virtual interns
In 2020, our summer internship was entirely virtual. That didn't mean there was any less learning or challenges to face. Read the story here to find out how it all went!
Learning is the most important
While the internship ran for 6 weeks total, not all the time is spent working directly with software or code. All 157 interns spent 20% of the time on a “Radical Innovation” project where the goal was to help Equinor solve some of the challenges we’re facing in transitioning to a net-zero company by 2050.
“Getting fresh points of view and to be challenged is what we need as a company if we’re going to become a leader in this transition. Our summer interns always come up with new ideas and challenge us to do something new, which is just the kind of thinking we need.”
Ellen Margrethe Andreasson, Head of Emerging Talent
Ellen is our Head of Emerging Talent and explains that providing students with summer internships is part of Equinor’s social responsibility as well as a great way to meet new talent. That’s why we welcome students who are in their second year of their bachelor's degree up to and including their first year of master's degree, and within various disciplines.
“You might be able to contribute more after a few years of studies, but that’s not what’s important. It’s all about learning and giving them a taste of what we can offer,” Ellen says.
Elaine Teixeira Marçal, Programme Lead for Equinor Internships, tells us that this year’s internship was designed to give interns the experience and skills they need in both their future careers and studies.
“I hope that the interns got to put their skills to use and learn something new, whether it’s about Equinor and our values, the energy industry or their field of study.”
Elaine Teixeira Marçal, Summer Internship Programme Lead
We hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse of what our 2021 Equinor summer interns took part in. Applications are soon opening for our 2022 summer internship, so make sure you sign up for notifications and get your application ready!
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Until next time - stay safe and take care!