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On 20th of February 2021 at CodeChem we organized the third Virtual Open Day, which many of us will remember for a long time. It was challenging, fun and exciting. Unfortunately, due to the COVID situation we had to hold the event online. That limited us to display the chemistry that's present in our company.
But we still managed to pull it off. The event was attended by more than 150 young people ready to give their best. We rolled up our sleeves, prepared a hundred virtual machines, and created a lot of discord channels. We were motivated and impressed by the number of applicants.
Open Day is not just important to us, it's the most important event of the year for CodeChem. During it, we get to meet interesting people, smart students, and folks full of ambition. We get to hang out with them, teach them, but also allow them to teach us too. Everyone has a unique set of qualities.
Meeting smart people. It's always a pleasure to meet young people who are hungry for knowledge, not afraid of new challenges and who are interested in technology. Right?
Knowledge sharing through problem solving. This is one of our core values, but we also like to exercise it outside of the company as well. Teaching is in our DNA. It's what we love to do.
Discovering like-minded people. This is how we started the company, and it has proven itself to be the best way to grow our team.
Let no one leave empty-handed. Open Day is not only for us to find our colleagues and friends. It's an event where both sides are winning. Some candidates continue to work with us with the Boost Internship Program. But those who don't, they leave smarter.
First, we started with a presentation about our company. It was short because there were over 150 candidates. We had to divide them into two batches because the time was limited.
Then, the next 3 hours were intended for the workshop. The candidates were divided into software and embedded teams. Each team consisted of two candidates and one mentor. During which the candidates were given a task. The idea behind this concept is to think together and help each other. The mentors helped them achieve that easily.
The problem solving process was not easy at all. But it was a good way to show off their skills so we can test their knowledge. The candidates saw it as great challenge but they didn't give up. Kudos to them.
Тwo days after the event, we asked the candidates to share their impressions through an anonymous survey. Here's a part of their answers:
"It was a truly wonderful experience, something unmatched by any standard teaching or learning. I learned a lot and had a great time."
"Fun! The problem I faced was interesting. Working with a mentor was a new experience, as was the whole day. I also liked the approach and structure of CodeChem."
"The whole organization was great. My mentor left a very good impression on me. Now I know where I am and where I need to be career wise. It was a great experience."
"It was a fun experience. Especially the pair programming part. It was interesting for me to adapt to someone's tempo and mindset. Also finding ways to explain my point of view, and come to a common solution."
"Open Day is a great way to relieve the stress of a traditional interview with definitions."
"For the first time I participated in this kind of Open Day. But the experience is only with positive feedback. I've had An interesting connection with the employees. I saw the way you should communicate with them. That was a new experience for me. That taught me how you should function in a team or in a given task that you need to perform. Plus, I realized what level my knowledge is and what I need to correct or upgrade. Thank you for the opportunity to attend such an event."
"Before the event, I had no experience when it comes to direct contact with an IT company. I was skeptical about working in a team but I was surprised by the good organisation of the CodeChem team. I was in the Software group. The application was quite interesting. I could see where I made mistakes and where I needed help. You inspired me to make Bejeweled in React! Very pleased with the event!"
"Virtual Open Day 2021 was a very unique experience for me. The cooperation with the mentor was great. I learned from the open discussions to look at the problem from another perspective. We discussed different implementations and what is a better solution. The relaxed atmosphere made the event fun and interesting."
"Great! I like that we worked in a team + mentor. We had great communication and a good problem to solve. I wanted it to last a bit more."
"The idea for the event itself was very good and everything was well organized. The mentor was attentive, patient and very dedicated. All in all, it was a nice experience to work in a team and share knowledge and ideas. Thanks to the whole team for the opportunity to attend such an event."
"Interesting and unusual. This is my first time attending this type of event. The problem was interesting. Everyone from CodeChem looked very nice and approachable."
"The environment was very sociable and my time passed very quickly. The event was engaging and, above all, interesting."
"The online event was great. It was well organized and the mentors were available at all times. There was a good atmosphere. The task (at least the one for embedded group) was interesting and challenging."
"CodeChem left a great first impression on me. The employees had a friendly relationship with each other. That made me want to be part of such an environment. I hope the mentors are always in the same mood for helping and explaining as they were on the Open Day."
"At the beginning it looked like an ordinary IT company. But, as I watched the synergy between the team I realized that this is a very interesting approach. I hope one day I could be part of that team."
It was our first experience with a Virtual Open Day. We didn't know what to expect and what outcome we would have. But now, we can proudly say that the Virtual Open Day 2021 brought us a lesson, new friends, and tons of experience. We're looking forward to organizing the next one, but hopefully in real life, like we've always used to do.
Previously published at https://blog.codechem.com/we-mentored-over-150-students
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