Why I Returned to Appian Full-time After My Internship
Sabrina Schipper and Enzo Saba were interns on different teams and working on different projects at Appian, but this year, both decided to join as full-time employees. They shared what they weighed in that big decision, their favorite projects, and tips for future interns.
Meet Sabrina Schipper
Sabrina joined Appian as a summer intern in 2021 while studying marketing at the University of Delaware. Now she’s back as a full-time Marketing Specialist.
Meet Enzo Saba
Enzo was a Cloud Software Engineer Intern at Appian in 2021 studying computer engineering at Virginia Tech, and now he’s returned as a full-time Software Engineer.
How did you leave your first summer internship feeling?
Enzo: I was feeling grateful to learn from a really supportive engineering department where everyone is so interested in what they do. In just two and a half months of my internship, I felt like I grew more than I did in a year of college.
Sabrina: I didn’t want to leave, which is why I stayed on part-time through college and returned for another summer internship! I loved that the work combined my creative marketing side, business, and my interests in working in the tech industry.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on at Appian?
Enzo: During my internship at Appian, I had the opportunity to work on a feature that would allow our customers to access resources in their managed networks using a private hostname. This feature aligned with Appian’s great emphasis on empowering customers to maintain ownership and control over their data.
I was thrilled to lead the design and implementation of this feature during my internship, which gave me a taste of the software development lifecycle at Appian.
One of the most exciting aspects of rejoining Appian on a full-time basis a year and a half later was witnessing the adoption of the feature by many customers. It was so gratifying to see that my team continues to build upon and enhance the feature, and that I was able to contribute to Appian's commitment to private AI and data security.
Sabrina: I got to create and launch our monthly newsletter to our Appian customers, partners, and community. I collaborated with coworkers across the Marketing and Community team, like Ben Dudley and Lauren Papagalos on understanding what our community is looking for, writing the content, designing the creative aspects and visuals.
It’s a way to keep our community engaged and share valuable stories and tips with them. Along with hearing feedback from customers, it was cool too that my brother who’s a developer and uses Appian, and my dad who’s a fellow Appian employee also got to see the impact of my work right in their inbox too!
What made you decide to return to Appian full-time?
Enzo: It’s easily the best decision I've ever made in my life to be at Appian. It’s contributed to the energy I have in my life outside of work too because I’m excited about my job. The company culture is aligned with the ideal environment I see myself working in — ambitious smart people, who respect each other and are so dedicated to knowledge sharing. I thought: if I was able to learn and do that much in a two-and-a-half-month internship, what can I do by working here full time and contributing for years?
Enzo participating in the onboarding training program led by Customer Success.
Sabrina: I knew the growth opportunities would continue to open up for me. What makes Appian’s internship unique compared to other internships I’ve heard from friends, is that there’s an entire program built for interns to network, learn and grow. You’ll enhance your educational experience and make meaningful connections that are going to set you up for success in the future. I genuinely attribute basically everything I've learned about marketing to Appian—it's experience you're not going to get in the classroom.
What factors did you weigh in that decision?
Enzo: When I received my return offer I compared it to similar positions in the area and was happy to see that it had a competitive salary well above other roles. During my internship, I learned there are many parts of a job that aren’t related directly to your day-to-day work. It’s so important to build relationships with your coworkers and be in an environment where you can value your mental and physical health. Having intern mentorships, and social events like paintball and team dinners contributed to that and I knew it would continue as a full-time member of the team. Along with the technical challenge and learning opportunities, this was another consideration in the role and I knew I’d get that at Appian.
Sabrina: After two internships and part-time work at Appian, I was debating if I should try working somewhere else to broaden my horizons. Was I boxing myself in with all of my work experience at only one company? After two years with Appian, I’d had three different managers on different teams within Marketing and I knew there were so many growth opportunities that it would never feel limited or boring.
Sabrina and her teammates at the HQ office.
Which Appian values stuck with you during your internship?
Enzo: Constructive dissent was important to me because there are many things I’m approaching for the first time from a new perspective. From when I started, I can be open to challenging what I don’t think makes sense. I can ask: why are we actually doing it this way? What about trying it from a different approach? Even if we don’t end up going with my suggestion, it leads to constructive debates where my input is valued.
Sabrina: I always felt respected and supported, and that led to opportunities to learn and meet people from all levels of the company. For example, I mentioned to my manager Shiv that I was interested in our product content and he said our VP of Product & Industry Marketing would be a great person to talk to. That afternoon, he introduced us, we set up time on our calendars and I met with our VP, got to ask all my questions and he was incredibly helpful and welcoming. This happened multiple times, and showed how much Appian appreciates interns. I always felt like a member of the team and treated as an equal which was really important to me.
Sabrina, and two other Marketing team interns celebrating National Intern Day.
What tips would you give to future Appian interns?
- Be curious. Showing that you're curious during your internship and even during interviews will give confidence to your team that you'll be successful in your role.
- Get ready to learn, A LOT. You'll get to learn so much during your internship, and it's important that you welcome all the information. Sometimes it will be really useful to take a step back to consider things on a higher level, and to ask the right questions.
- Don't rush through training. If you find yourself finishing earlier than your peers, take the time to dive deeper into the content that's new to you. It'll impress your manager and show that you really care about learning the basics.
- Introduce yourself to people and start conversations. If you’re interested in someone’s role or a project they’re working on, message them. It can feel intimidating but you’ll see everyone is here to help.
- Show up for the social events and join the intern mentorship program. Making meaningful connections with coworkers will set you up for success.