2021 was a busy year for Mistral’s recruiters, but at the end of the year, one particular email caught everyone’s attention. It was from 16-year-old high school student, Sajra Mušanović, who really invested some serious time in writing down all the reasons why Mistral is an ideal place for her to do a winter internship. Everyone was in awe of how she presented herself.
Sajra’s interest in the IT industry began in elementary school. As a young girl, she attended IT Girls’ HTML and CSS workshops to learn the fundamentals of web development. She also has a strong interest in graphic design. When she realized she’d have to choose between two areas in which she is equally passionate (software development and graphic design), she decided to start with coding and contacted Mistral.
We were so impressed by her knowledge, professionalism and perseverance that we simply had to find a way to get to know her better and find a place for her under our roof. It’s no secret that we enjoy working with young people, but we’ve never had an intern this young join the team. We went above and beyond to find the best way to fulfil her wish.
Sajra already knew a lot about Mistral from following us on social media, but she says she had no idea how many different jobs exist in the IT industry. When her four-week paid internship began, she quickly realized that there was a way to combine both of her passions into one, which is why her internship focused on front-end development and UX/UI design.
“I only learned C++ in high school, but at Mistral I used HTML, CSS, Figma, and Bootstrap, and I also learned how to make basic UX/UI mockups. I had some HTML and CSS experience before, but now I feel like I have enough knowledge to work on a project on my own,” Sajra said.
A Mentor and a Friend
Harun Čavčić, our senior software developer and a prominent mentor to many Mistral interns, guided Sajra during her four weeks in Mistral. When asked to describe the curriculum Harun prepared specially for her, Sajra only had words of praise:
“Harun created a perfect internship plan for me! It was almost as if I had written it myself. He prepared it by simply looking through my CV and interests, and he managed to combine two of my favorite worlds. He was always willing to assist and explain things to me whenever I encountered a roadblock.”
Daily communication and an interactive approach to learning were the backbone of Sajra’s internship plan.
“I used interactive videos and Udemy materials recommended by Harun to properly understand things, and I felt like I was guided by and learning from a true expert. Harun is a fantastic mentor,” Sajra said.
Harun was also impressed by Sajra: “First and foremost, I’d like to emphasize her highly developed communication skills. Her onboarding process, for example, was extremely quick because she communicated well with the team and the people around her. Sajra possesses all of the prerequisites for success in the IT industry. She is endowed with perseverance, incredible organization, and a strong desire to learn, in addition to her communication skills,” Harun said.
Practice Makes Perfect (and Wins Awards!)
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Sajra surprised us again with her passion for growth. She applied to the Sarajevo School of Technology Winter Academy, a Mistral-sponsored event aimed at getting young people involved in STEM. She simultaneously attended both the Academy and the Mistral internship, and by the end of the Academy, she even had an award to show off.
“They told us there would be a Hackathon, and I was very excited about it. My team and I worked on a smart solution idea: an app linked to a recycling machine that encourages people to recycle by rewarding them. We created a mockup and a 3D model of the machine, and I was able to put the skills I learned during my internship at Mistral to good use,” Sajra said.
Sajra’s team won the hearts of the jury by convincing them that this is something that our country needs, and as a prize, they all received a 30% tuition discount if they decide to enroll at SSST.
What the Future Holds
Looking back on her winter break, Sajra says her four-week journey with Mistral was one-of-a-kind. She says she never imagined a workplace could be so enjoyable.
“I like the atmosphere, the opportunity to be relaxed and flexible in the office, and the way Mistral treats people. Everyone is wonderful; whatever assistance I require, people are there to help me. From the very start, everyone was extremely friendly; people would approach me and introduce themselves. So, if you ask me to name the top three highlights of this winter fairytale, I’d say: the wonderful people I met, my mentor and the knowledge I gained, and the flexible schedule and atmosphere in the company,” Sajra concluded.
We invited Sajra to spend every school break at Mistral, and we hope to see her as a member of our team when she turns 18. Of course, we want her to prioritize her studies first.
Sajra intends to improve her HTML and CSS skills in the coming months, as well as learn C++ (which she has as a school subject) and Python.
Although she is already back in school, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing her again. January was a truly special month for us thanks to Sajra, and we hope her story inspires others to follow in her footsteps. In her own words, don’t wait for an opportunity, make your own now.