This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
Working for Metaswitch was great, mostly because I felt I fitted in well with the atmosphere and work ethic. The work was interesting for the most part and my manager was always motivational. There were a couple of dull days but overall the work was varied and challenging and I could imagine working here.
Everyone in my team and the wider company was friendly towards interns, and there were many social activities that we were encouraged to participate in. However, the project I was given to do was very different from the work done by the rest of my team so it was hard to feel included in team meetings.
My manager (sitting behind me) and mentor (next to me) were on hand practically whenever I had a question about anything. As well as this, we had weekly feedback chats to discuss progress and development. If I had questions for anyone else in the company, they were open to me coming to their desk to discuss it.
I was very much responsible for driving my own work pace, so whilst I always had something to do, and kept myself busy, it never felt like there was desperate pressure to complete it by any deadline. On a few occasions I did feel like I was running out of useful work, but my manager always found something else to do.
It was made very clear to me from around the second week of my internship that I was expected to drive the direction of my project and take responsibility for its completion – this was put on my development plan. My project was small enough that this was manageable, but big enough to feel like an achievement.
For a software engineering internship, I feel I learnt surprisingly little coding (I had done some before). Instead, I learnt communication skills, time management, working to an open-ended brief, and working within the regulations and standards of an industry. While this won’t be directly relevant to my degree, these are good life skills.
I got on really well with my colleagues – we had a lot in common, the culture was very much nerdy and proud. During most of the day the office was quiet, people focussing on their own work, headphones in, although the office was open-plan so it was easy to discuss work or just chat.
My personal experience was a little disorganised at times, as my manager was on holiday for the first week of my internship, and there was a week where both my manager and mentor were away. However it was apparent that Metaswitch have a lot of interns, have been doing this for years, and generally the process was smooth and well organised.
My manager and mentor were always on hand, I had a personal development plan tailored to me, and access to all company training resources. As well as this, there was a creativity training session for all interns, lunchtime talks on various topics, and a presentation and feedback session for improving communication skills.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
If I decide to go into software engineering, I will definitely consider Metaswitch. I was offered the chance to go for a graduate job interview at the end of my internship, but I turned this down to continue studying for the time being. However, the offer of another internship remains open, so I will see what happens.
There were around 40 interns working at the Enfield office at the peak of the summer, and I was living in a house with 8 of them. Because there were so many of us, it did feel like we had a good community going, and we would have lunch, go to the pub, go to company events together, and have parties at the weekend.
A lot of the cost of living was subsidised by Metaswitch – I was living in a company house, so rent was very cheap and included utilities, and there was a tab at a local pub at least 2 nights a week, so I don’t think I ever bought my own drink in the 3 months there! There’s a Lidl so shopping was also affordable, but transport into central London is pricey.
There’s basically no nightlife in Enfield. During the weekends, most interns went home or to visit friends in more interesting locations. There were a lot of pub trips but nothing beyond that.
My internship overlapped with a company-wide team competition, so there was always some crazy and vaguely competitive event going on. Interns were encouraged to participate, so I took part in a Bake-Off, a game of Assassins, and a rounders tournament. I also joined the company board games society and Frisbee team.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Computer Science, Telecommunications
22nd September 2017