Recently, we’ve shared some deeper discussions with alums here on the blog – Ari Brashear, Josh Maurer, Nikki Dunlap, Monica Arganda + Nicole Mares Rivera! Now we are very excited to share a recent conversation with one of our company partners.
Over the years, Mike Guerrero worked on his skills as a developer and a manager all the way to his current role as Director of Engineering at Ceatus Media Group. He possesses a unique perspective on the company’s internship program, having personally experienced the program from both sides. A graduate of our 2016 Bravo cohort, Mike interned at Ceatus and immediately transitioned to a full-time role. He honed his expertise as both a developer and a manager and has maintained his passion for welcoming junior developers to the field.
Through this partnership, Ceatus has opened its doors to 20 talented students, affording them invaluable real-world experience and mentorship. These interns have worked under the guidance of the engineering team, benefiting from a wealth of knowledge and passion for cultivating talent. Interns have thrived, gaining practical skills, expanding their professional networks, and developing a deep understanding of the industry.
What first connected your company to LEARN?
I am a LEARN alum, and Ceatus was the company where I initially interned as a junior developer.
What has kept you returning to this partnership for so long?
LEARN has reliably provided interns capable of learning new skills in a very short timeframe. As a former student, I am very familiar with LEARN’s teaching process. They do everything they can to prepare their students both in knowledge and attitude to enter a programming career.
One of the reasons that I take interns from LEARN is that it’s my way of giving back to a group that put me onto a very fulfilling and successful career path. The other reason is that I will probably need to hire another developer one day. I like being able to trial-run an intern for six weeks instead of hiring a person who claims to be a mid-level developer on paper but is actually very inexperienced. We’ve been burned twice by hiring ‘mid-level’ developers, and the internship program is an effective way for us to get to know individuals on a deeper level.
How do you measure the success of your internship program?
Very successful. Most of the successful software engineers that have come to Ceatus have been through LEARN. I have personally hired one engineer directly out of the internship who has shown great aptitude and potential for the job.
How time-intensive was it to set up the program?
Setting up the program was a fairly short process. It only required a few emails back and forth between the internship manager and me. The longest part of the internship process now is interviews, which is about a half-day commitment (excluding the internship itself, of course). Everything other than the interviews is handled by LEARN.
How much time do you think your engineers divert from their daily schedule to guide or mentor the interns?
I spend 10 minutes on average every morning meeting with the interns to ensure they are on track. Help meetings are held whenever the interns require them. They are generally held 1-2 times a week and last about 40 minutes to an hour on average.
How has the program evolved over time, and what changes have yielded the most success?
No specific changes to the program have affected my end of the process, meaning neither an increase nor a decrease in success.
How does the company foster a culture of mentorship and learning through its internship program?
I meet with interns every morning and remind them I am always available for meetings. However, my work commitments mean those meetings may be pushed into the morning meeting the following day. So the longest an intern should wait for answers will be until the next daily meeting.
What specific skills or qualities do you hope interns will bring to the company?
I hope to find interns who are good at communication and willing to dive into a monolithic app and follow code backward to find the things they need to alter or find examples applicable to their current assignment.
Thank you so much to Mike Guerrero for sharing his insights with us today and Ceatus Media Group for championing this program!
The impact of this kind of dedication and commitment to fostering talent is felt throughout the industry. By championing internship programs, companies can empower students to kick-start their careers, inviting fresh perspectives and enthusiasm into the industry.
As the internship program continues to flourish at Ceatus, it is a testament to the power of collaboration between academia and industry. The ongoing partnership between Ceatus and LEARN academy benefits the students who participate and fuels innovation within the company. The interns bring fresh perspectives and ideas, invigorating the workplace and fostering an environment of continuous growth and learning.
Mike Guerrero’s journey from intern to Director of Engineering at Ceatus Media Group exemplifies the transformative potential of a well-structured and supportive internship program. Through his passion for mentoring and dedication to the growth of junior developers, Mike has propelled Ceatus to become one of the program’s most outstanding company partners. His commitment to fostering talent and shaping the industry’s future has impacted the interns he has guided and the larger professional community.