My first week as an intern at CANGURU in times of COVID-19
Updated: May 20
My name is Maarten De Geest and I am 21 years old. I am now in my third year of academic bachelor business management with a major in marketing and a minor in sales consultancy. It sounds like a lot of studies but actually it is just a bachelor that offers many opportunities. In this bachelor's I have discovered what I like to do, or at least that is what I thought. Since last year was not easy with all the entanglements and the online stuff, I lost my mind a bit. I didn't want to sit in front of a screen watching classes for hours, I wanted to go outside. I wanted to see people, party and so much more as long as it was in person. So the search for an internship was not easy. Meeting people online is not straightforward. After about 5 different online conversations, I ended up at CANGURU, a company where they really took the time to talk to me rather than interrogate me. Below you can read how I experienced my first week at a people-centered IT company.
To be honest, my internship did not start on Monday, but on Sunday. I wanted to know where the office was located on that immense industrial estate. So I had already gone to take a look. Also, the government had just announced a relaxation of teleworking, so I could physically spend my first week at the office. The office was quite empty. Many people worked from home, yet I met many people that day. Online of course.
When I entered, I was warmly welcomed by someone from HR with the necessary portion of enthusiasm and the right amount of coffee. Also the managing partner Geert De Winter took the time to receive me and tell me all the necessary information about CANGURU. After Geert had told me everything about CANGURU, someone from HR helped me to install my laptop and mobile phone. By this time it was afternoon and time to eat.
After lunch I met Jan Roels and Valerie Verheye who are both part of the Sales Circle, the team I will join for the next 14 weeks. I will also join the Business Development Circle and the Marketing Circle. Jan and Valerie will also be there to guide me and point me in the right direction when I need it. It was a nice first day.
My day starts at 9 o'clock with a big cup of coffee and a good mood, I am looking forward to it. Today I was introduced to the Business Development Circle and the Marketing Circle. The nice thing about these introductions is that I actually meet everyone and that everyone is so friendly. It may have been online, but I still felt very welcome. What also became clear to me is that within CANGURU everything and everyone is equal. No one is less valuable and everyone has a voice, which for me as an intern was a huge relief.
After a morning filled with numerous cups of coffee, it was time for a meeting. But not just any meeting. It was a walk-meeting, so we could discuss things as we walked, which was great! It was good to get outside again. In the afternoon, I worked a bit more on projects and talked to colleagues. I could work like that every day.
It was a busy day with many meetings ahead of us and a few things that needed to be finished. Consequently, there were also many coffees. But all in all, the day went very smoothly. I had a lot of colleagues ready to explain things and help me where needed.
With a good mood and, again, a large cup of coffee, I started the day. The week had gone really fast. Friday went just as fast. I was allowed to work on projects that suited me and I got help when I asked for it. But the freedom is also wonderful. You don't have someone who comes every so often to see what you are doing, but you have a team that comes every so often to ask how you are doing and if they can help. I can look back on last week with a smile!
This first week of internship has made me realise where I want to go with myself. It has also shown me more about how I want to develop myself. I am looking forward to the weeks to come and what I am going to learn. It’s time to put 3 years of theory into practice, I’m looking forward to it!