Sep 2, 2017

What makes an awesome intern experience in product management?

by Jodi Washington & Lauren Matheson

Three things: doing meaningful work, being treated like employees, and having fun of course!

We just wrapped up a full year of managing the product management (PM) intern experience for the Networking, Security, and Business Operations teams. No, we aren’t recruiters nor do we work in HR. We’re just some gals on a mission to deliver awesome. So… how did we do it this summer?

The Work

We decided early on that leadership needed to take a different approach to our summer internship program. Instead of assigning our Sidekicks (interns) a summer project, how about we give them the opportunity to choose? Projects were scoped, bios created, casual chats scheduled between interns and hiring managers, and matches were made in heaven (so sweet). When leadership is just as invested in your project as you are, amazing things can happen in a short 10-12 weeks. Final presentations this year were truly built by a group of high engaged, extremely energized Sidekicks!

The “L” Team

Relationships are critical to a successful Sidekick experience, especially in a company of our size. To ensure we accelerated their ramp up, they were engaged with the right people, and had access to senior leaders, each Sidekick was managed and mentored by a Product Manager from The League. The League is comprised of early-in-career PMs in Networking, Security, and Strategy & Business Operations, who live and operate in our MBA Job Rotation Program incubator. Working alongside The League, Sidekicks were immersed into the day-to-day life of a PM allowing them to began real project work Day 1.

Fun (our favorite!)

You would not believe (on second thought, maybe you would) how many times we’ve heard “this is the place people come to retire”. Loosely translated, people think this isn’t a fun, cool, or even remotely interesting place to work. Here’s what you need to know about us.

By day, we are the Intern Angels. By night…the Vibe Tribe. We sprinkle technology fun-infused fairy dust across every nook and cranny of our campus and people…pretty much everything we touch turns to gold. And our TRIBE feels the VIBE. Our team of highly skilled Am”badass”adors’ sole goal in life is to ensure our employees, Sidekicks, and Formidable Full-Timers love where they work! From weekly Pop-Up Parties and Crunch and Munch Lunches, to Giants games and family dinners, the experience here is above and beyond awesome! Don’t believe me? Ask them!

So, our advice for those looking to build an awesome intern experience is simple. Aim for the moon and fire! Your interns (and their signed offers) will be 100% worth it.