Combining software development, management, and communication into my internship

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I come from an engineering background and have working experience in software development. Having moved to Sweden a few years ago, I happened to have a career break for several reasons during which I utilized my time to learn more about Sweden, its language, and its culture. That is when I have discovered that employment agency of Sweden (Arbetsförmedlingen) has a program called Jobbsprånget through which they create internship opportunities for foreign-born nationals. I am happy that Schneider Electric was part of this program and I got selected.

I was part of the Research & Development (R&D) Fire team which includes different teams like Hardware, Embedded, and Software, where I got the opportunity to interact with many people and gain knowledge about their roles and work. The main objective was to assist the program manager for R&D Fire in program management. I was involved in project meetings which they facilitated.

Learning, growth, and notable experiences

Throughout this journey, I have acquired new skills and sometimes discovered new skills which I had never thought I had, and sometimes rediscovered existing skills. I learned and witnessed agile ways of working and tools used within projects across Schneider. I even had a chance to learn about the end-to-end process of product development and roles and responsibilities.

During my internship, I honed in on my communication skills through regular interactions with stakeholders and improved my time management abilities by efficiently handling multiple tasks simultaneously. During my internship, my manager trusted me to take the lead in coordinating a critical software release by collaborating with development teams, quality assurance, production site team members, and stakeholders.

Company culture and environment

Schneider Electric’s culture of innovation and collaboration was evident in every aspect of my experience. From regular knowledge-sharing sessions to an open-door policy among leadership, I found the emphasis on creativity and teamwork to be truly inspiring.

The dynamic and inclusive work environment fostered a sense of belonging and encouraged diverse perspectives. Work-life balance and flexible work arrangements further enhanced the overall work experience. I appreciated the autonomy to tackle projects in my way. I experienced the inclusive nature of our Fire team during all events.

Lessons learned

My internship experience improved my ability to effectively communicate with team members, understand their perspectives, and adapt to changing project requirements. In our ways of working, I was exposed to agile methodologies such as Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This emphasized and influenced my approach to project coordination, focusing on adaptability, iterative development, and continuous improvement.

More importantly, I gained insights from team members and their roles, which gained me confidence and a different perspective to approach my job search. I can proudly say that I can perform any role assigned to me by taking the key takeaway from Schneider and my Fire team #LearnEveryDay. The exposure to real-world challenges sharpened my problem-solving abilities.

Furthermore, the mentorship I received during my internship nurtured my confidence and leadership capabilities. It empowered me to take on more challenging roles with a growth mindset.

My advice for future interns

My suggestion for future interns who might be thinking about joining Schneider would be:

  • Embrace Continuous Learning – proactively seek learning opportunities during their internship. Keep yourself curious!  
  • Build Strong Relationships – focus on building strong relationships with colleagues and team members. Despite ‘n’ the number of tools available in the market, humans feel good from positive interactions and interacting with people. 
  • Stay Agile – from my experience, I would like to highlight the importance of adaptability and flexibility, especially in agile work environments. 
  • Reflect and Apply Learnings – reflect on your experiences and apply your learnings to your future assignments. 

During my internship at Schneider Electric, I had an opportunity to immerse myself in a dynamic and innovative environment. I was able to apply my skills and learn from talented professionals. The experience not only deepened my understanding of the industry but also allowed me to grow personally and professionally.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Louise Fröberg, Viveca Selander, and the entire Fire R&D for their unwavering support, encouragement, and mentorship throughout my internship.

Interested in a career with us? Start by checking our website.

About the author

Author Profile

Uma Maheswari Thiyagarajan, R&D Fire Intern

Uma Maheswari Thiyagarajan is an intern in R&D Fire, Lund, Sweden. Uma’s role is to assist in program management and quality and having spent 6 months of her internship at Schneider Electric performing a variety of tasks, she now truly understands the meaning of #LearnEveryDay at Schneider Electric!

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