July 6, 2023

From Students to Professionals: FAROS Program 2nd cycle

From Students to Professionals: FAROS Program 2nd cycle

Why it is smart to start investing in the stock market?

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Should I be a trader to invest in the stock market?

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What app should I use to invest in the stock market?

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Is it risky to invest in the stock market? If so, how much?

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Tell us if you are already investing in the stock market

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Following the success of last year's FAROS program, which provided talented students from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad with practical knowledge and skills, we are thrilled to announce the launch of another exciting batch. This program offers students a unique opportunity to gain invaluable experience and further enhance their academic pursuits in a software engineering company.

Just like its predecessor, this year's FAROS program pairs participants with two mentors—one from academia and another from the industry—to provide comprehensive guidance throughout the program. Students have the chance to immerse themselves in an environment closely resembling real work experience and even write their thesis based on assigned topics. Additionally, students receive financial compensation for their work. Last year, our two FAROS participants even joined Enlight Engineering and became our colleagues after the program. Students that can apply for this program must be in their final year of undergraduate studies or on master's studies at the Faculty of Technical Sciences and they must show exceptional results during their studies.

In this article, we share insights from two participants—Teodora and Rade—who shed light on the program's benefits, their project experiences, and the invaluable lessons they've learned. Through their perspectives, we gain a deeper understanding of the transformative impact that the FAROS program offers to aspiring students.

By focusing on mentorship, practical learning, and academic advancement, the FAROS program continues to shape the future of these talented students, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen fields. Join us as we explore the remarkable journey of Teodora and Rade, and discover how the FAROS program empowers the next generation of IT and engineering professionals.

What is the concept of the program?

Teodora: The program lasts for 5 months, and we work for 20 hours per week, which means 4 hours per day. We also have 2 mentors to supervise our work, whom we can approach for assistance with any project issues or if we need someone to review our progress or seek advice.

Rade: Additionally, we have the freedom to choose the technologies and topics of our projects ourselves.

What are your projects about?

Teodora: I am working on developing an information system for a school library, which essentially involves creating a web application.

Rade: My assignment is to work on a street lightning system. This topic is also the subject of my thesis, so this program offers me an opportunity to gain knowledge and refine it as best as I can.

What does working with a mentor look like?

Teodora: We have brief daily meetings with our mentors, as well as more extensive meetings every two weeks. During the short meetings, we discuss our progress from the previous day and plan for the upcoming day. Our mentors are also available for quick consultations whenever we need assistance.

Rade: The best aspect of working with mentors is the tremendous amount of learning that takes place. They review our progress, identify mistakes, and clarify any doubts we may have.

More importantly, our mentors guide us in developing the skills and competencies required for our future careers.

Their feedback and advice help us improve our abilities and make progress more effectively.

What was the biggest challenge of this program?

Teodora: In this program, I chose to work with technologies I hadn't previously used. While I had some basic knowledge, I had to acquire a deeper understanding. I spent half of this project conducting independent research and self-study. Mastering new technologies was the most significant challenge, which I successfully overcame.

Rade: The biggest challenge for me was working with Jira for project planning. I had never before considered tasks in terms of project management. So, carefully planning each phase and defining activities and goals proved to be difficult. This program provided me with an opportunity to learn about project planning and management.

What are the biggest benefits of the program?

Teodora: I believe the greatest benefit lies in the amount of learning that occurs within just 5 months. Despite working only 20 hours per week, I have gained an excellent knowledge base for my future job. Additionally, the combination of hard and soft skills I have acquired is invaluable. I now feel equipped with both.

Rade: I have always had an interest in microservices, so being accepted into this program and working with a mentor has significantly aided my understanding of this topic.

It provides a practical experience similar to regular projects. It simulates a great working environment where we can make mistakes and learn from them without real-life client pressures and deadlines.

Which soft skills did you acquire?

Teodora: Firstly, I appreciate being able to witness the entire project work process – from planning and coding to quality assurance testing.

In addition, I have learned several soft skills, such as better time management, setting priorities, planning, and presentation.

I have also experienced working in a team, and working with a mentor, which taught me how to communicate my opinions and desires effectively.

Rade: As Teodora said, we have learnt the important skills of presentation, planning, organization, communication etc. But I would also like to reflect on my perspective before coming to FAROS program and a nearshoring software development company such Enlight Engineering in general. I believed that managing a project is much easier – I did not realize how much careful planning and time it takes to define a project from start to finish. Thanks to this program, I now know how to approach it which will definitely help me in my future career.

In conclusion, the FAROS program has proven to be a catalyst for growth, providing students with the tools and experiences necessary to thrive in their careers and make a meaningful impact in the world of technology. Looking ahead, the FAROS program will continue to refine and innovate its structure, based on the experience of each participant.

To read about the previous cycle of FAROS program click here.

About the author
As a CKO, Boris has a key role in managing and advancing organizational knowledge assets and expertise.
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