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Summer University: what does it take to make the cut?

by Nortal HQ, February 19, 2020

Talented people will work out how to code and catch up ­– it is the right characteristics and the desire to keep learning that distinguishes the best from among over 1,800 submissions to the Nortal Summer University program.

Nortal’s Summer University 2020 program registration deadline in Estonia is April 19, 2020 and April 23, 2020 in Lithuania. We sat down with Summer University project manager Kärolin Varblane to discuss what the team is looking for in the new recruits.

How does this program work exactly?

We are very proud that this is already the 15th year for our Summer University and we have developed an efficient system to identify talented youth. In 2019, we received 1,816 applications.

After a careful selection phase, the best are recruited for a full-stack IT workout and after those days full of learning, real work in a real project starts! From day one, Summer University participants are paid and work on real projects with real clients and each newcomer has a mentor to support him/her.

 

The most important criteria is not IT education, but teamwork skills, eagerness to learn and a desire to do something meaningful.

After four months, the top participants are offered a full-time position at Nortal and become employees in our company. In 2019, 20 participants were hired.

Why are less than 5% recruited – are the others lacking coding skills or IT education?

Actually, the most important selection criteria is not IT education or coding skills, but teamwork skills, eagerness to learn and a desire to do something meaningful. Our projects don’t just solve technological problems, they have societal impact and benefit real people. Read about one of our latest revolutions from here.

In our experience, talented people can quickly gain the necessary technical skills during the four-month training period. The most important thing is to find people who have the right attitude and approach – an interest in constantly learning and improving.

Does this mean that you are welcome to apply even if you do not have formal training and education in IT?

Yes, absolutely. Of course, you must have an interest and some understanding of IT, but a degree in IT is not needed.

Also, those who have some background in other fields are welcome and sometimes the additional knowledge in different domains can be a plus in your career in the long run.

Can you elaborate? How can experience in an unrelated field support a career in IT in the long run?

Well, in science the most interesting discoveries today are made where different domains meet, like biochemistry for instance. The same goes for IT – it is very much intertwined with other spheres and domains.

For example, we even have people with a formal education in medicine working at Nortal. This is invaluable in eHealth projects because they can translate the business language and needs into IT and vice versa.

Summer University application deadline in Estonia is April 19, 2020 and April 23 in Lithuania. Read more about the program and submit your application!

Kärolin Varblane

Summer University Project Manager

Kärolin Varblane