Recent Hectre interns Sabrian Jufenlindo (who goes by Brian) and Julie Mercado describe their experiences as Hectre interns, how they secured their internship, and what the culture is like at Hectre.
Brian is a dedicated and driven recent graduate from Unitec Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Computing Systems. He studied web and mobile software development and is interested in being a full-stack developer.
Originally from Indonesia, Brian has been studying in New Zealand for around four years. He secured a ten-week internship at Hectre through the Summer of Tech program, which connects employers with students and graduates for paid internships in the IT field.
Julie is a determined and passionate software engineer who is currently studying for her Master of Information Technology degree at the Eastern Institute of Technology. Initially, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Julie was studying remotely online in the Philippines until restrictions were lifted and she was able to continue her studies, face-to-face, in New Zealand.
After only a few months in New Zealand, Julie was eager to gain hands-on experience in her field of interest and applied for Hectre’s ten-week internship program. Like Brian, Julie applied to intern at Hectre through Summer of Tech.
Hectre is made up of more than 60 passionate and talented individuals from around the globe. How they each began their journey with Hectre is always of interest. What sparked your interest in interning for Hectre?
Brian: I actually wasn’t planning to apply for an internship at all. However, when a friend got an internship through Summer of Tech, I decided to give it a try.
I was drawn to Hectre because of the machine-learning aspect of the role, which I find very interesting. I also saw that Hectre was looking for a Python and React developer, which perfectly aligned with my skills and aspirations.
Julie: The Hectre internship position was for a data analyst, and I really enjoy working with data! Hectre was also offering the opportunity for work related to ETL or integration with the data from the Hectre website, which also appealed to me.
I also hadn’t worked in the agritech industry before and thought it sounded interesting. Hectre was providing some very innovative technologies to the industry, and I thought it would be rewarding to be a part of it.
Brian skydiving over New Zealand’s Bay of Islands.
Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they can also provide valuable insight into a company’s culture and values. What was it like to interview with Hectre, and did you feel like you were able to get a sense of what it would be like to work there?
Brian: The interview process at Hectre was straightforward, with a screening interview first and then a second interview to discuss my technical skills. The interviewers were really friendly and enthusiastic, and I left the interview feeling like Hectre would be a great place to work. I also appreciated the opportunity to discuss my skills and experience and hear how I could contribute to the company.
Julie: The first thing that struck me was how even though it was for a ten-week internship, I was being looked at as a future employee. Even once I started working at Hectre, I always felt I was being treated as a fellow employee, which I really appreciated.
Overall, it was a great experience, with friendly and knowledgeable people who took me through what a typical day at Hectre would be like, what I would be doing, and what the company does, which was all really interesting.
The first impressions we have of a workplace can often set the tone for our entire experience. What was your initial impression of Hectre on your first day, and did it align with your expectations going in?
Brian: My expectations going into the internship were that Hectre would be a place where I can grow and implement the knowledge I have gathered so far, with supportive colleagues that I can rely on.
After meeting everyone, and learning more about what Hectre does and what I would be doing to contribute, I felt really good about my role and was excited to get started. It was also awesome after being at University to be in a real-world work environment. In fact, it actually exceeded my expectations.
Julie: I actually didn’t see the email about coming into the office on Monday until Sunday night. So, I was kind of panicking, trying to work out where the office was, unsure of how to get there, and I ended up being about an hour late on my first day!
Fortunately, everything turned out really well. Henry, who became my manager and mentor, met me and was very welcoming. He showed me around, gave me an overview of what I would be working on, and introduced me to the team. I was impressed with how talented the people that I was working with were and was keen to get to work.
Julie enjoying time at one of New Zealand’s many beaches.
Interning at Hectre is more than just a way to gain work experience; it’s an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to a growing company, gain hands-on experience, and work on projects that have a real impact on the company and its customers. What did you enjoy about your work at Hectre?
Brian: Working at Hectre gave me the opportunity to utilise the skills I learned during my studies, such as web development using Python. It was also cool to work on projects that will make a real difference to Hectre’s customers and team.
Julie: Working at Hectre was an amazing experience for me. What I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to work with colleagues who are highly skilled in what they do. It was pretty cool to work with a full-stack developer, which I hadn’t done before. It gave me a chance to learn a lot from them.
Creating a strong and positive company culture is vital to the success of any business. It can help to attract and retain top talent, foster collaboration and innovation, and ultimately drive the growth of the organisation. With this in mind, how did you find the working environment at Hectre?
Brian: The welcoming and friendly culture at Hectre made the work enjoyable and fulfilling. Meeting and working with a really talented team, and getting to work on innovative technology while expanding my skill set, was really rewarding.
The culture at Hectre is really about the people there. It’s not just the work that is enjoyable. You work with awesome, really nice people, and there are lots of opportunities to interact and talk with everyone, whether over lunch or playing on the office Play Station.
Julie: The people at Hectre are very friendly and welcoming, always interested in how you are doing and if you are enjoying your work. On Friday afternoons, people would gather and chat, share food and drinks, or play foosball together. We also had lunch together on Fridays.
So, what I enjoyed about Hectre wasn’t just getting to work on a new tech stack, it was also getting to know and work with cool people. It’s a really friendly, supportive, and fun place to work.
Brian and the Hectre team enjoying some downtime.
Hectre strongly believes that a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how simple or complex, is crucial to their success. How did you feel about the level of support you received and did you feel comfortable asking questions and seeking help?
Brian: Yes! Everyone was very supportive, especially my mentor, Dom. Whenever I had questions, I always got answers and help when I needed it. And Dom would also often check in with me, to see how things were going. I rate the support 10 out of 10!
Julie: The level of support at Hectre actually exceeded my expectations. From day one, I felt welcome and comfortable asking questions. Everyone on the team was approachable, friendly, and happy to help in any way they could. No question was too silly, and the exceptional support provided by the friendly team made my experience even better.
It sounds like you both had very positive experiences, learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working at Hectre. Would you recommend internships at Hectre, and what advice would you give to future interns?
Brian: My advice to future interns would be to take initiative and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team members and ask for help or guidance. Also, try to learn as much as you can during your time there and take advantage of any opportunities to socialize with the team or get involved in different projects.
It’s been an amazing experience. I 100% recommend it!
Julie: If you’re considering interning for Hectre, go for it! Hectre is a fantastic company to work for, with an inclusive culture and a supportive team. You are also treated as a real employee, with opportunities to work on meaningful projects, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience in a real-world setting.
Also, it’s the people that make Hectre an awesome place to work. So take the time to get to know your colleagues, ask about their experiences and learn from them. You never know where a casual conversation can lead in the future.
Brian with fellow interns Kooshan and Waldo celebrate completing their ten-week Hectre internship.
After completing his 10-week internship, Brian was offered a full-time position and now works at Hectre as a software developer. Julie continues to study toward her Master of Information Technology at the Eastern Institute of Technology and hopes to return to Hectre when she finishes her study.