From student to intern
The year was 2014. The month, July.
That was when I had my first professional experience in HR and my first contact with Integer. Having finished the first year of my degree in Human Resource Management, I thought it would be a good bet to gain some professional experience and start to get an idea of the job market. Not only HR, but also to understand a little better how the professional reality worked and what was waiting for me after finishing my degree. Despite knowing that I would give up 2 months of my summer holidays, I didn’t think twice and decided to apply for Integer’s internship programme. I knew that this time would not be spent in vain and I saw it as an investment!
A lot is said about summer internships and the comments are not always the best, but the internship at Integer exceeded all my expectations! I ended up learning the basics of recruitment and selection processes and, more importantly, I was able to understand how the day-to-day life of a company was, the challenges, the difficulties, the ways to overcome them and how to find solutions for the unforeseen.
I confess that the first days were very challenging, as I had to learn new technical concepts and get to know in depth the different IT profiles. However, with dedication and support from everyone, the days became easier and easier.
What I liked most in this first experience was not so much the operational part, but rather the value Integer gives to its people, the proximity that exists between the strategic top and the employees and the importance they give to work-family/life balance.
The internship ended and I always felt that the doors would remain open for me to return. I was left with one certainty: Integer would be a company I would like to be part of in the future.
The first return to Integer
I finished my internship and another year of my degree followed. Although it went well, I felt that it was not enough and that perhaps I could do something more. It was then, in the third year of my degree, that I had the idea of returning to Integer part-time.
During this period I gained even more knowledge and professional experience, while at the same time studying. This experience allowed me to develop as an HR professional and, more than that, helped me to better understand the applicability of many of the contents that were taught on the course, such as: Recruitment and Selection, Performance Evaluation, Training Management and many others.
From Integer to the world
After 6 months, the opportunity arose to study abroad during the last semester of the course, under the Erasmus programme. I chose to go ahead with this experience, but I confess that I was a little afraid that this change could be seen in a less positive way by Integer. However, it was exactly the opposite! Integer understood that it would be a great opportunity for me, an attitude/gesture that speaks a lot of Integer’s culture and values. This was one of the best experiences of my life. I met a new culture, a new language, new people (who became friends), I gained knowledge outside the HR area and, from a personal point of view, I had one of the most exciting years, until today! Living and studying abroad was a big change and probably the most intense.
As soon as the experience ended, as promised, I returned to Integer where I was for another year. This time, working full time. During this period, I continued to develop as a professional, always with the goal of making Integer grow with me, too.
The more I interviewed IT profiles, the more my curiosity and desire grew in me to understand what it was like to be on the other side, that is, to work on a more technical side. Would the change make me gain another perspective and change the way I saw recruitment? Was there an opportunity before me that I couldn’t pass up?
From Recruiter to Functional Analyst
As time went by, the motivation to try a more technical job, and to see the IT area with different eyes kept growing. However, the change was not at all easy and I still spent a few weeks thinking about it. After some reflection, I ended up leaving Integer in 2018, promising that I would return if I returned to the recruitment area.
I worked for 2 years as a Functional Analyst on SAP projects and, to date, it was the most demanding experience I’ve had. Moving to the technical area is not easy. Learning everything from “scratch” and trying to understand several technical concepts from scratch is not something you can do in a week. I learned a lot, about how IT projects are managed, about their various stages, about the day-to-day difficulties of projects, about people management and, as you would expect, I also learned a lot about various concepts in the area, learning that still helps me today. However, the biggest learning was on a personal level. I understood what my limits were and, above all, what I liked more and less to do from a professional point of view. Although I developed on various levels, both personal and professional, I became demotivated as time went by. I began to feel that I didn’t fit in that area and that contact and communication with others, for me the true essence of HR, had been largely replaced by requirements analysis and functional testing.
The return to Integer and HR
The year 2020 brought us the covid-19 pandemic, an involuntary change we all had to make that impacted our entire lives. In my case, it had more impact on a social level and learning from colleagues, as I was deprived of most of the interactions I had professionally. This aspect was the trigger that led me to take the decision to leave the technical area. It was then that in September of that year I returned home and had my most recent move. Integer welcomed me, once again, with open arms. On this return, I came across a more solid company, with more defined business processes and a larger and more robust structure. I also returned with some more maturity, with greater knowledge of the market and, above all, better prepared to talk with profiles from the technical area.
Currently, it’s been almost 2 years and the experience has been very positive. I continue to learn a lot and now I’m also starting to help the more junior profiles.
Basically, what I want to transmit with my story is that change is essential for our development. It is necessary to discover what we like more and less and to get to know other realities. I thank Integer for all the support and I believe that other changes are still to come, and I am sure they will be amazing.