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How To Land Your Dream Internship & Make The Most of It

7 Companies Hiring Now + Advice from Former Interns at BuzzFeed, Microsoft, & More

It's the end of April. Which for folks in the Northern hemisphere means spring is in full bloom. But for U.S. college students, the end of April means the end of classes and the start of summer...internships.

Even though classes are winding down and exams are in sight, it's not too late to land a summer internship with one of these great companies!


Given that internships are often a fast-track to lucrative full-time offers, the competition for getting a foot in the door is fierce... and so is the pressure to do well once you get there. So we reached out to interns at some of our partner companies to get their tips on how to land one of these coveted internships... and how to make the most of it once you're there.

I still remember my first internship and how clueless I felt about everything - from what clothes to wear to all things Excel. There was a lot that 13 years of school hadn't prepared me for. So whether you're still looking for an internship or you're anxious about your first day (or your child's), read on for some words of encouragement and tips on how to make the most of your internship.

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1) BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed

Advertising Operations Intern, Media Planning Intern, Account Management Intern, Business Operations & Strategy Intern

Tips From Madeleine Lee, BuzzFeed Production Intern 2018

What did you like most about your experience?

The thing I enjoyed most about my experience working at BuzzFeed was the opportunity to work in a professional environment with employees that were in the same age range as me. At previous internships, I was among coworkers who were many years my senior and made me feel alienated, inexperienced, and naive solely due to my age. By working among peers of my generation, I felt no ageism and a level of acceptance and understanding I hadn't experienced before.

What do you think you did that helped you stand out during the application process? What tips would you share with someone applying?

The thing I believe that helped me stand out the most during the application process was the prior experience I had in production and working in an entertainment environment. Because of this, I was able to adapt quickly to the shoots and set ups that the internship required. I would advise anyone applying to have a grasp on how video shoots operate and to exhibit their willingness to learn more about entertainment and media in their application.

What was something you wish you'd known before you started your internship?

Something I wish I knew before this internship was the format that BuzzFeed videos are made. If I had dedicated more time to watching their videos and understanding the scripts and set ups behind them, I would have needed much less time learning the set ups during my internship.

What advice would you give interns at BuzzFeed (or interns in general) to help them make the most of their experience?

Talk to your coworkers, make friends with the other interns, and don't be afraid to ask for advice and put yourself out there. By forming connections with other people at the company, you ensure that not only do you make friends and have a fun time while you're at work, but you have people that you can ask for harder assignments, to schedule you on certain shoots, or to help you learn more about producing videos. The internship is really what you make of it, as are most internships, so make it as enjoyable as possible!

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2) Solstice


Solstice Consulting LLC

Summer 2019 - Software Development Intern

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Tips From Julia Geraghty, Solstice Technical Analyst Intern 2017

What did you like most about your internship experience at Solstice?

I really loved getting to know so many people at Solstice during my internship. I made some great friends during that time, and it made me so excited to come back after graduation. Now I get to see and work with those same people every day.

What do you think you did that helped you stand out during the application process? What tips would you share with someone applying?

It sounds so cliché, but be yourself! I was definitely nervous for the in-person interview step of the process, but I really think that is what helped me stand out. Solstice's culture is a perfect fit for me to thrive within, and I think they saw that during my interview.

What was something you wish you'd known before you started your internship?

Asking questions is totally fine; you're not bothering anyone! The people around you have been in your shoes before and are probably happy to help. As an intern, you're not expected to know everything and asking questions is the only way to learn.

What advice would you give interns at Solstice (or interns in general)?

You're going to be surrounded by some incredibly smart people, and while it can be intimidating, it's also an incredible opportunity to learn. Try your best to soak up all the knowledge from the people around you! The skills I learned during my internship at Solstice are skills that I still use each day in my full time position.

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3) Avanade

Avanade Inc.

Intern, Advanced Analytics, Intern, Digital Developer, Intern, Marketing Coordinator

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Tips from Savannah Schuchardt, Avanade UX Design Intern 2017

"I had a fantastic time as a UX Design Intern for Avanade's Seattle Digital Innovation Studio. It was because of their awesome community and dedication to design that I decided to return! I would definitely recommend the program to any student interested in innovative UX & Product design."

What advice would you give interns at Avanade?

  • Challenge yourself! Take strides to involve yourself in the whole design process and push yourself to achieve new things.
  • Connect with those you admire. There are amazingly talented people here, and everyone is more than willing to go for coffee or give feedback on work.
  • Grow your skillset. Learn everything you can using the great design resources available.

All these things will help you grow as a designer, and will position you for future successes in the field.

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4) Expedia Group

Expedia Group

Analytics Summer Internship, Accounts Payable Apprentice, Account Management Internship- Feb/March 2019 start (German/Dutch/Nordics speaking), Product Management Intern

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Tips from Dorine R., Expedia Group SEM Intern 2011 (Current Global Product Manager)

What advice would you give interns at Expedia Group?

You need to learn how to F-L-Y:

  • F: Fear is not an option. Take chances and don't be afraid to ask tons of questions.
  • L: Leverage your role as the team's intern to network across different teams to understand how the business works end-to-end. You'll have more opportunities for shadowing colleagues and the leadership team that wouldn't happen as often under normal circumstances. In addition, leverage these colleagues to write you recommendations on LinkedIn so that you can start to build your professional profile.
  • Y: Yes is the answer to everything! That can-do attitude and positive energy will not go unnoticed. Particularly for junior roles, teams are looking to hire candidates that have a strong team fit and your internship is your opportunity to show them what an asset you would be to the team if you were hired full time.

(And just like F-L-Y, keep a notebook of all the acronyms you are about to learn at the company ;) )

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5) Dishcraft Robotics

Dishcraft Robotics Inc

Paid Internship, User Research

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Tips From Elizabeth Li, Dishcraft Robotics Software Engineering Intern 2017

What do you think you did that helped you land an internship?

I think my experience in school build teams really helped, with robotics in high school and solar car at Berkeley, as I was willing to work on pretty much any electrical engineering or programming task. That openness also helped me get a lot out of the internship since I was able to work on a bunch of smaller projects and could help out on all parts of the robot.

If you could do it all over again, what might you do differently?

I learned a lot from talking with everyone that worked there, since most people had years of experience in industry. I had no idea what field I wanted to specialize in (and still have no idea), but hearing about each person's journey and field was really interesting and informative. Even though I was younger everyone else working there, I felt like I was always welcomed in conversations and in asking any questions I had. I wish that I had taken advantage of this more and asked more questions, but other than that I don't really have any regrets about my summer interning there.

What advice would you give a future Dischcraft Robotics Intern or applicant?

For people looking to apply, especially for internships, I think showing a genuine interest in their goals and learning about software / hardware is really important... I think they value being a fast learner, flexibility, and good teamwork skills.

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6) ADP

ADP

Summer 2019 Intern - Project Management, Summer 2019 Intern - SBS Retirement Services, Summer 2019 Internship - Global Product and Technology

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Tips From Mudita Tandon, ADP Software Developer Intern 2018

What did you like most about your internship experience at ADP?

I loved the culture at ADP and the care they show for society. Moreover, the support system they provided for the interns was pretty amazing. I loved my mentor.

What do you think you did that helped you stand out during the application process? What tips would you share with someone applying?

I think just being honest and showing my passion towards what I do/had done up to that point helped me get the internship at ADP.

One tip I want to give to other applicants is to be ready to explain exactly what you have done in your past work experience and projects in-depth.

What advice would you give interns at ADP?

Your mentor and manager are there to help you. Try to interact with them a lot. Communicate with other teams as well. There is a lot to explore at ADP. Just use those 10 weeks to showcase your skill and explore new options within the company.

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7) Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation

Research Intern - Language and Information Technologies, Research Intern - AI Frameworks and Runtimes, Research Intern - Network Verification, Research Intern - Natural Language Processing. & more!

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Tips From Alisha Nanda, Microsoft Explore Intern 2018 (Current Microsoft Software Engineering Intern)

What advice would you give interns at Microsoft?

My advice for interns to make the most of their experience is to really integrate themselves into their team by taking initiative to go beyond just their project; some examples include getting lunch with the team, participating in code reviews, or asking for a side project that allows them to communicate with the general team. Many projects tend to be very limited in scope and thus, interns only interact with a small subset of the team. However, integrating with the whole team allows interns to fully experience what it would be like to work at the company full-time and provide better insight into whether they would want to pursue their career at the company.

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