Learn More about Audible's "Next Chapter" Returnship Program and How to Prepare for the Interview Process
Audible’s ‘Next Chapter’ Returnship program is a 16-week paid full-time internship for experienced professionals returning to the workforce after taking time off for caregiving.
The program is open to professionals who have at least 5 years of professional experience and have been out of the paid workforce for at least one year to focus on caring for a child or other dependent.
Join us to learn more about our distinctive returnship program and how to prep for the interview. You’ll hear from our Program Manager, Supriya, who will give an overview of the program and interview process, a returnee-turned new hire, Archana, will share about her personal interview and returnee experiences and from a mentor, David who will discuss the importance of mentorship and it’s impact on returnees in our program. We hope you’ll join us!
Start Your Next Chapter After a Career Break: How You Can Get Back to Work With a Returnship at Audible
If you've stepped back from your career to take care of a loved one, you're not alone. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, millions of individuals have left the workforce to become stay-at-home caregivers. Unfortunately, this decision doesn't only affect monthly income; it can also create a hole in your resume that makes re-entering the workforce a challenge.
However, some employers are starting to realize the importance of looking past resume gaps in order to assess the holistic experience of applicants. A CBS New York article reports that "there are a growing number of corporate programs aimed specifically for [returnees]."
These programs—returnships—are basically mid-career internships that offer training, experience, and networking opportunities to professionals who have been out of the workforce for an extended amount of time.
CNN puts it this way: "There are lots of exits off the highway of our lifetime work, but very few on-ramps. And returnships are one of those on-ramps."
In essence, the goal of these programs is to give qualified individuals a jump start to pick up their career where they left off. The returnship experience gives hiring managers a reason to look past resume gaps and hire qualified people that they would otherwise overlook. And they're working pretty well. The New York Post explains that, upon successful completion of these programs, roughly 80% of returnees get offered a permanent job.
Are you looking for a returnship?
Premium audio storytelling company Audible launched their Returnship Program, Next Chapter, in 2020 and recently announced new opportunities for applicants. The program offers experienced professionals who have taken a career break for caregiving a full-time, paid remote internship over the course of 18 weeks. It gives participants a chance to return to the workforce by revamping skills, updating their resume with new experiences, and making connections with other professionals.
"We're helping people bring the skills that they have developed in the past, and put them back to work," said Anne Erni, Chief People Officer at Audible. "This is an incredible opportunity to show women and men who choose to opt out that they can return, and they can return and have successful, highly paid careers."
Audible's returnship program is open to professionals who have:
- 2 to 5+ years of professional experience
- Been out of the paid workforce for at least one year to focus on childcare or other dependent care.
- Upon successful completion of the return ship there is a possibility of an offer for full-time employment.
If you're interested in returning to work with Audible, you can read more about the Next Chapter Returnship Program here.
Anshika Priyadarshee knows how to make anywhere feel like home. She grew up living in India, Kenya, and Canada before moving to New York for a job with Audible, where she now works as a Senior Software Engineering Manager.
"It's probably the longest I've spent in one place," says Anshika of the six years she's been living in the city and working from Audible's Newark headquarters. "It's been a nice way to get to know what is a pretty beautiful city."
Anshika started her career journey at Audible through their internship program, and she's long been an advocate of educational opportunities for women interested in engineering. At Audible, she participates in their Impact Group for Women in Tech and hosts field trips for organizations like Girls Who Code.
We sat down with Anshika to hear more about her work, why it's important for tech companies to reflect the diversity of their users, and how she works to make that possible.
Making tech for real people
As a software engineer, Anshika enjoys writing code that brings a new feature or product alive. But what she's come to love even more is the opportunity to see how her work impacts Audible users.
"A really big piece of fulfillment for me is seeing customer feedback," she says. "Recently, we launched a new type of product offering, something my team has been super involved in, and it was so exciting to go on Reddit and see the reactions of people who were really excited to use our product."
Anshika knows that in order to create products that work for everyone, tech workforces need to include people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. "Tech is influential. Depending on who's participating, it can shape how the future generations see things," she explains. "It's important to have that representation because if you don't, you have a whole segment of the population that gets left behind. You want to address the needs of each group," she says, highlighting how employee resource groups, called Impact Groups at Audible, such as Women in Tech, which she's a member of, as well as others like AudiblePRIDE, Unidos@Audible, Women@Audible, Moms@Audible, and the Black Employee Network provide vital perspective on Audible projects.
Bringing in the next generation
When Anshika first started her career, she had a preconception that computer science was something dry. "Once I got into it, I recognized there's actually so much more you can do with it. There's an element of creativity that wasn't necessarily conveyed," she says.
That's part of what inspired Anshika to get so involved with Audible Cares, her company's community giving efforts, and to lead specific projects through the Women in Tech Impact Group like field trips with Girls Who Code. "I'm hopefully changing the dialogue on what CS means to everyone else," she says.
As part of those community service initiatives, Anshika and other engineers at Audible mentor young women interested in tech, encourage their studies, provide advice, and give them a glimpse into different career paths. Anshika and her team participate in panels, where they talk about topics like building a spirit of resiliency, recognizing the power of failure, and building careers that work for them. "It's pretty impactful, especially meeting students who are a bit closer to making their decisions for which careers they want and being able to take part in their journey," says Anshika. They also host workshops for students to experience hands on code writing in a terminal while working from a set of prompts.
In pre-pandemic times, the field trips also included a tour of the Audible Studios where the magic happens. "It's pretty exciting for them to see how we actually go from book to voice experience," says Anshika, whose personal favorite listen is When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi.
But despite the pandemic, Anshika continues to make connections with the next generation and encourage their dreams. "A different type of barrier has gone down because we don't need that physical presence, so it opens up the door for a lot of other people to participate," she says. She's hosted virtual workshops and partnered with college students as they consider careers in tech. "Ideally, [we'd] give everyone exposure to it," she says.
"Giving back is good for the future of tech," says Anshika, and it's also good for Audible as a company and its employee satisfaction and retention. She really appreciates how the opportunities she's had to participate in community involvement and community service have enhanced her career. "It's been a great way to meet people [at Audible] I wouldn't have normally connected with if I just stayed within the scope of my team," she says. "Whether it's meeting with principal engineers in Seattle to get their ideas on effective workshops or working with our executive sponsors to get input on our direction, it's been very impactful career-wise, and a different way of understanding how people learn and work at Audible."
Combining her engineering work with her community work has empowered Anshika to ensure that the future of tech is a diverse, representative, and inclusive one. If you're interested in doing the same, check out Audible's open roles here.