Last week, we said goodbye to our 2017 summer intern class and celebrated their successes over the past 10 weeks in our Palo Alto office.
We had lots to celebrate, as their contributions were significant: creating new databases and automation systems, software enhancements, and sales enablement content, to name a few. Not to mention their many accomplishments in teambuilding, professional development, and community service projects. And then there was all the fun we had at off-site events, like bowling and an Amazing Race-inspired scavenger hunt around downtown Palo Alto!
A unique internship experience
Does this sound different than your internship? Today’s top intern candidates are hungry for real-world experience and eager for an advantage that will help them get ahead when they graduate. They bring an abundance of fresh thinking and new skills and are capable of making a huge difference in a short time frame. They over-deliver in terms of value to quickly make a measurable difference in an organization. We know our interns have!
In its second year, our intern program offers real-world, immersive work experience combined with numerous opportunities for professional growth, such as trainings, workshops, and networking events. Our interns have responsibility for business-critical work and strategic projects, which are presented directly to the executive team. They further expand their company reach through cross-functional group projects that focus on long-term business goals. These not only help them experience team dynamics and project management, but also make a lasting impact after the interns depart.
Our interns also have opportunities to work and network directly with our executive team and board of directors. We believe one of the most critical elements of the intern experience is building the foundation for their professional network as they start their career, and we make it a priority to provide them access to do so.
The competition is intense, the opportunities big
As a result, our program has become one of the most robust in Silicon Valley, a mecca for top-tier intern talent. We envision it as a model for other high-growth companies because we know that, today, internships work both ways: While companies have high expectations for today’s interns, today’s interns have even higher expectations for their employers. This year, we had over 2,000 applicants from universities across the country vying for 20 internships.
Historically, most interns anticipated largely administrative roles offering only a passive view of how organizations operate. But this is now a dynamic of the past, and we believe interns should—and do—expect more.
Companies’ expectations for interns have also changed. Interns now own critical responsibilities and take on substantial roles in high-impact projects and programs. Because of this, relevant coursework and demonstrated problem-solving in outside activities are now must-haves for competitive intern spots. Most importantly, interns bring energy and new thinking, which we, like many companies, count on and leverage from our intern class.
The next generation of talent
We not only take in talented interns—we actively seek these future leaders and change-makers. We strive to develop them into successful professionals by giving them a holistic work experience. And because we have a strong commitment to the development of the future full-time workforce, we aim to provide them what they need to be successful long term in their careers.
With clearly defined internship goals, cross-functional exposure, substantial interaction with leadership, and a development curriculum, we are committed to making a difference in their lives, and we know they make a significant difference in ours. Through this model, we’ve yielded substantive ideas from our interns, such as input on APIs, automation in marketing tasks, and new engineering processes.
High expectations and mutual commitment to success and growth should be a cornerstone for all intern programs. While interns gain invaluable experience and make long-term connections, companies gain insight into new approaches and creative thinking with impact lasting long beyond a summer term.
We’re proud of the ways our intern program has grown, and we’re thrilled to see the ways our interns have been successful at Adaptive Insights and beyond. They’ve gone on to work for companies like Amazon, Adobe, and Genentech, and some have even found their next job right here with us!
We wish our interns best of luck in their next endeavors, both in their studies and in their careers. Thank you for all you have contributed to Adaptive Insights—you exceeded our expectations!