Chrystal Gosden

Software Engineering Intern

"Everyone I have met onsite is friendly, easy to talk to and is willing to help with any work problems or questions I have had. This creates a good support network."

Insights from a Software Engineering intern at GE

Chrystal Gosden is a student of Computer Science (MSci) at the University of Birmingham. She did an internship in Software Engineering at GE and gives us some great insights.

Chrystal, why did you choose to do an internship? I decided to take a university course that included an industrial placement to enable myself to get some real-world experience before I finish my degree and to give myself a chance to see what future career options there are to help tailor the last 2 years of my degree which will help me gain the correct knowledge to end up in a role I enjoy.

Why GE? GE offered a wide range of business areas to explore including: Oil & Gas, Health, Aviation and Corporate. This allowed me to have input in where I would like to work in the country as well as what role I would prefer. I chose my internship at GE as it offered the chance to use skills I learned at school and university.

What does your role entail? I am part of an agile development team which is based both here in Leicester and in Mumbai. I have daily scrum meeting and have had the chance to use many software development tools to track our sprint and backlog. I mainly work on developing the GE Druck device driver which is used to communicate between GE Druck calibration devices and the cloud-based calibration system developed by the Mumbai team. I mainly programme in C++ and C#.

Has your placement lived up to your expectations? There is a good community feel for such a large site, it has been beneficial being part of a large company as I have met people with so much different knowledge and I have learnt so much from everyone.

Does your job relate to what you have done at university? Yes, I have been able to put into practice software engineering techniques that I learned at university, mainly agile methodology and get a chance to understand how an agile development team works. I am from a Java background with some C/C++ programming knowledge so it was easy to transfer my skills to C# and had the chance to enhance my C++ skills. I have also been able to relate a lot from the Computer Security course I took at my university. Working on a cloud-based product, I have had a chance to learn about how different programming practices are used to make a piece of code secure.

What is the most interesting part of being an intern? It's interesting that being a part of GE is not just about the role you carry out, but we also have the chance to carry out other non-job specific tasks to help the GE community.

What has been your best moment as an intern? In general, just being feel valued as part of my team and feeling like you are relied upon as a team member.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? I am working on a large piece of legacy code which took me a while to get my head around. I have had to conduct a lot of investigations to fix and test the code. This process has given me a good understanding of test based development.

What has surprised you most about being an intern at GE? Being such a large business it’s surprising how close a community everything feels. Everyone I have met onsite is friendly, easy to talk to and is willing to help with any work problems or questions I have had. This creates a good support network.

What is it like being a part of a large group of interns? It is nice to have a good community within the intern group and to have made such good friends.

Have you done anything extra during your placement which is not part of your job? I have been involved in the following extra events and activities during my internship:

  • Women’s Network – The Women’s Network has given me the opportunity to attend events on site to meet female GE leaders and learn about their career paths that lead them to the position they are currently in. It is great to see how GE is leading the way to get more women into engineering roles with their aim to have 20.000 women in STEM roles by 2020.
  • Assessment Centre workshop – I have had the chance to help at a mock assessment centre workshop at Loughborough University which has allowed me to get an idea as to what GE is looking for when they are look at applicants for graduate roles.
  • Further Skills Programme – All interns at the Leicester site are part of the Further Skills Programme which has allowed us to attend key workshops and training relevant to GE including FastWorks and Six Sigma training. We have also taken part in an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) project for the site to come up with ideas to improve EHS perception to present to the leadership team. I was given the opportunity to present during this project.
  • 95% – The “All in for 95%” campaign was a site wide campaign that I was involved in. I took part in a project that gave me the opportunity to visit all areas on site and meet a lot of the employees as well as the opportunity to present findings from our project to leadership. 
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