This fall, I have had the amazing opportunity to work for Caf2Code LLC as an intern. The entire premise of an internship is to help you determine if this career path/job is something you enjoy and help you get experience. When I first thought about doing an internship, what came to mind was what experiences and growth I’d develop during that period with them. The two biggest goals of mine were developing new skills and gaining experience that I can put into practical use.
One of the main attributes of a good internship is having a company that will give you the tools and opportunities to grow. Without having any opportunities to work on a task or problem, you can not learn or develop your skills and knowledge. Therefore, a company that will guide you in the right direction and supports you is such a crucial aspect.
My first experience with Caf2Code was in my interview with the CEO Benjamen Breeden, Manager Raven Thompson, and Director of HR Mac Mann. The first thought that I had was how engaging and welcoming they were from the first moments of this process. After acquiring the position, I was able to join the team and was met by a group of employees that had this unique dynamic that companies can only try and replicate. Caf2Code has driven their core values like credibility, respect, drive, and others so deep that it has become who they are whenever they are interacting between management, the employees, and clients.
Being new to an industry, it’s sometimes hard to just jump right in without having much experience to guide you in projects. Before joining the team, I didn’t have any experience with Dynamics 365. This problem did not last very long as I started shadowing and getting hands-on experience with some of my coworkers. The best way I have learned to gain knowledge and do certain tasks are to go step by step with someone who can explain it in an easy and understandable manner. To further knowledge, repetition, and being able to work on projects concretes that information and steps to take. Since starting this position, I was given the opportunity to work on projects alone and with others revolving around different problems and tasks.
One of the hardest roadblocks in starting a new career is the lack of knowledge and experience you will have. No one expects you to be able to just know the solution to a specific problem off the top of your head. The people that know instantly what the fix to a technical problem is, started in the same exact spot. By doing a task repetitively and figuring out a solution by yourself, you will prepare and learn how to do it for yourself the next time. In doing this, you will be able to know the solution from your past experiences and this is how you grow.
The best advice I have found for growing and gaining the most experience you can gain in a short period is to be tossed into the flames. You can watch all the videos and read all the resources you want about a task or project, but it is not the same as doing it. To be given a project where you have no idea how to solve it is the best way to gain experience and learn. To solve a task in which you have no idea how to do it, you must use critical thinking and research. The first step is to think about what exactly the solution or end goal is, and the problems in which you will face. The second step is to research and find the technical resources or steps needed to get to the solution. The third step is to apply this critical thinking and research, overcoming any roadblocks that come up in the process. In having to go through different steps paired with trial and error, you will successfully learn and retain this knowledge.
DDakota Kimble is a Junior Technical Analyst for Caf2Code.com, your go-to Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics 365 development consultant agency. Read more →