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6 Awesome Tech Companies To Intern For–According To Interns Themselves

Posted by | October 19, 2017 | Internship

Via Forbes : 6 Awesome Tech Companies To Intern For–According To Interns Themselves

Internships have the potential to be incredibly valuable experiences and a good entry point for a career in tech–but if you choose the wrong company, you might find yourself just fetching coffee and getting stuck with busywork. To help you choose a company that has a good internship program, read about where these former interns worked and what made their experiences positive ones.

1. Intuit: David Aghassi, Software Engineer Intern

What the internship was like: “Intuit has a robust intern program, and when I started everything I worked on was documented internally so I was up and running in under a day. The work I did wasn’t just ‘intern’ work; I was able to work on meaningful projects above my level and see how my contributions impacted my team. Once I was hired at Intuit as a full-time employee I learned that a bug fix was named after me – called ‘The Aghassi Patch.'”

What made Inuit a unique place to intern: “Interns get the chance to meet with top leaders from across the organization, including the CEO, Brad Smith. They host an annual Intern Summit where Brad gives motivational advice to the interns. It’s inspiring to see the leaders take time out of their schedules to meet with us. Also, housing in Silicon Valley is tough, but Intuit provided me with fully furnished housing and transportation for the summer. This took the stress out of finding housing and allowed me to focus on the work. I liked that they encouraged interns to take trips on the weekends so we could explore the Bay Area and build community.”

Advice for others who would like to intern at Intuit: “There are three things I’d recommend. First, tech skills are imperative to landing an internship, so work on projects in your free time. For example, build a website or app and develop a portfolio. Second, it’s all about team. Be passionate and willing to work across teams, across geographies and across disciplines. And finally, network, network, network. Tap into alumni and contacts in the industry, not only while job seeking, but throughout your career to nurture professional relationships.”

2. Thumbtack: Kevin Beaulieu, Software Engineer Intern

Why he chose Thumbtack: “I had been doing some interviews for a full time job just to get a feel for what was out there, but decided to stop interviewing once I got an offer from Thumbtack. Thumbtack filled all my criteria–a humble and inclusive culture centered around a really bright team, challenging but exciting work to be done on the product, and the stage Thumbtack is at as as company.”

What made the experience rewarding: “In talking with friends who interned at larger companies, I quickly realized the impact I was having on Thumbtack’s product. I built new features that were being seen by practically all Thumbtack users and are still in the product today. That was extremely rewarding for me.”

How their program was unique: “Something I thought was unique is every intern at Thumbtack is assigned a mentor on the team. I worked with my mentor at the start to nail down my initial project, and from there, we checked in regularly to make sure my personal and professional goals were being met during my time here. I knew I could go to anyone on the team for advice or guidance, but knowing I had a mentor who was personally invested in my growth was very meaningful.”

3. Toast: Mahfuza Shovik, Software Engineering Intern

What the internship entailed: “Over the summer, I was working on multiple projects for the Payments team, most centered around the tooling for their credit card processing software. One thing I really appreciated is that the projects they gave weren’t just busy work; a lot of the features I worked on are being used every day. A lot of the skills and techniques I learned while working on my projects were transferable, so I’m deeply grateful for my coworkers for teaching me so much.”

Why she loves the company: “What makes Toast so great is absolutely the people. It may sound cliched, but when you’re a college student interning in a new city, you need a good support system. From day one at Toast, I was never just seen as ‘the intern’; I was a member of the team whose concerns and questions were treated with just as much validity as any other engineer’s would be. I felt comfortable talking to anyone in the office, whether it was questions about their code or asking for their favorite restaurants in Boston.”

Advice on how to land an internship: “Everyone worries if they have enough experience to land an internship. If this is you, then my advice is to gain experience in other ways and to be persistent. For example, I worked on personal projects and participated in hackathons while keeping Toast in the loop of what I’ve been doing. Had I not kept in contact with Toast or not worked on my skills, I would have definitely not passed the interview and landed an offer. So I recommend that if you lack the work experience, there’s nothing stopping you from going and getting it on your own.”

4. Vocate: Neil Tapiavala, Business Development Intern

What the internship taught him: “I learned fundamental skills such as messaging and cold outreach, but being inside this particular company (a job-matching marketplace), I was also learning a tremendous amount about the job landscape. What are employers looking for? How are students and grads presenting themselves to these employers? I was seeing exactly what HR departments and hiring decision-makers were looking for through the platform, and seeing what job seekers were doing right and wrong in the process. I found myself in a position where connections into any industry were only a few conversations or clicks away.”

What startups like Vocate look for in interns: “Tech startups are looking for a few basic characteristics in an intern: interest and drive. Be diligent, follow-up quickly, be prepared with ideas. You are then thrown into the pit alongside the CEO and founders. You aren’t just an intern; you’re a part of the team, learning how to become your own ‘intra-preneur’ and put out the biggest fires.”

5. Label Insight: Peter Kimes, Inter-Departmental Intern

What a cross-departmental internship looks like: “My role at Label Insight was based mostly in the customer success and finance departments. On the finance side, I was working primarily on projects to examine spending, revenue projection, and day-to-day expense reports. For customer success I was able to work on reviewing various client contracts, put together training decks, and help implement our brand new CRM tool. I also had a great time helping out in marketing; there was always something new and fun to learn about.”

His favorite thing about the company: “For me, what made Label Insight a killer internship were the people and the work environment. I had the opportunity to learn from so many amazing, hard-working people. They were all so willing to help me out or find me interesting projects to work on. It was gratifying to work for a company that wasn’t just about the next selfie app, but trying to make a difference in the world. Also, I loved having dogs in the office every Friday.”

Advice for aspiring startup interns: “My advice would first be to find startups that spark your interest, whether that be a mobile app, tech solutions, or consulting. After that, do your research and really find out what makes that company special or unique. At Label Insight, the fact that we were trying to solve a bigger problem affecting so many people was a big plus for me. Finally, reach out and talk to contacts in the company or in the industry. Startups usually tend to find a younger workforce, and I always found everyone was extremely willing to talk to college students and help them out.”

6. ServiceNow: Rachel Berman, Data Analyst Intern

What she did during the internship: “While at ServiceNow, I worked on a variety of projects within the Global Demand Center. I created many prospecting lists uploaded to Surf so that ADRs can contact possible clients, as well as routing inbound leads that come into Surf every day. I also worked on a few projects to create training documents and powerpoints to explain some new processes that would come into play. Each project was different and challenging, and I feel like I learned new skills from each one.”

What makes ServiceNow great: “In my mind, ServiceNow is great because they treat their employees so well. I once read in an article that successful companies shouldn’t focus on the customer, they should focus on the employee–and in turn the employee will focus on the customer. I think that because ServiceNow treats their employees so well, their employees are dedicated and passionate about what they do, which is what makes it such an awesome company.”

Her advice for landing an internship there: “Try to learn as much about the company and its culture as you can, and to show that you are passionate about what ServiceNow does. There is a strong company culture within ServiceNow, and I think it’s really important to hiring managers that you are able to fit in with that culture. In addition, know your skill set and be confident about it.”

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