Real life work experience may seem frightening, especially in combination with a new country and culture. However, with IFS at your back, you have the right conditions for a great and engaging internship.
Therese Ekstrand has her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Communication and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree in IT and Management at Linköping University. During her internship at IFS R&D Technology, she has worked with user experience and complex forms in IFS Enterprise Explorer. The aim of her internship is to examine and think about possible starting points for moving from single, complex pages to simpler, more purposefully built pages.
Maria Jonsson has her Master of Science Degree in Business and Economics and now study for a Master’s in IT and Management at Linköping University. During her internship at IFS R&D Financials, Maria has conducted a pre-study of current and future trends concerning environmental accounting and reporting. The assignment involved performing a gap analysis of these trends and the solution offered by IFS today – Eco-footprint Management.
Our work at IFS
We are two of four students from Linköping University’s IT and Management Master’s Degree program that are interning at IFS. The ten-week internship at IFS began in April and as a part of our internship, we spent four weeks in May interning at IFS’s Colombo, Sri Lanka office.
Throughout our internship, we were tasked with assignments and placed under different product groups. The assignments we were given were hands-on and strongly connected to the company itself, which really made us feel like a part of the IFS organization.
Our assignments were not location/office-specific. The work we carried out was the same in both Sri Lanka and in Sweden. However, we did feel that the Sri office offered more extracurricular activities. For example, we were invited to attend a customer visit with porcelain manufacturer, Dankotuwa Porcelain, together with two BSAs from R&D Financials. Although it was an educational visit, it was not directly connected to our assignments. This is just one of many examples that reflect the friendliness and hospitality found in Sri Lanka.
Working at the Colombo office
So what are the differences between the offices in Linköping and Colombo? The most prominent we would say is the difference in the social environment and energy that is found in the Colombo office. The office there is a much more intense experience compared to working at the Linköping office. This, of course, is due to the fact that we had to take in and digest many new impressions from not only the work environment but the country and culture itself.
Even though IFS is a global company with Swedish roots, we find that the Sri Lankan culture is quite prominent in the Colombo office. While working in Sri Lanka, we experienced thoughtfulness and consideration that is beyond anything we have experienced before when encountering new people. Not only were they concerned about our wellbeing, but they also wanted to make sure that our stay there and the experiences we had were good. When it came to our stay outside of the office, we rarely had to stand completely on our own two feet. Instead, if there was something they wanted us to see, they simply took us there themselves, whether it was shops, restaurants or historical sights.
Connected to this are the Sri Lankan’s joy and pride in their own country and culture. People here are more than willing to share their view and philosophy on life. Despite having learned about culture and religion during elementary school, we were taught new things every day; sometimes about things we thought we already knew.
This has been a valuable opportunity for us to see and experience life at IFS. It gave us a glimpse of the bigger picture in regards to the IT industry. In this short period of time, we feel that we have gained a lot of valuable knowledge that we can take with us in the future.
Thanks to our assigned mentors and supportive colleagues, we have been able to complete our assignments, broaden our network and gain real-life work experience in a way that we could never have expected. This all makes us very grateful for the opportunity given to us by IFS and the people within the company.
2016 IFS Interns
From left to right: Therese Ekstrand, Maria Jonsson, Jeff Råsten, Emma Torberntsson